Confused by "Chains" usage procedure

I hope I’m not missing anything obvious :blush:

I’m trying to process a batch of mp3 files using the Edit/Apply functions. I’ve edited chain “MP3 conversion” so that the first command is to “TruncateSilence”.

I follow these steps:

  • Click Apply Chain → Apply to Files

  • Select a group of files for batch processing

  • “Apply Chain”, “Importing MP3”, “Truncating Silence” windows appear whilst processing

  • When processing is complete, the screen returns to the initial blank grey slate

However at this stage I’m not sure if further steps are required.

Is the batch processing complete? If so, where have the output files been placed?

You need to add an “ExportMP3” command at the end of the Chain.

The exported files will be saved in a folder named “cleaned” in the same folder that the original files came from. The original files are not altered. See

Note that MP3 is lossy so the exported MP3’s will lose quality. You can cut pieces out of MP3 files losslessly with direct MP3 editors - see Some of those direct editors have batch processing but it depends exactly what you are doing with the files.


Sweet, works a treat. Brilliant time saver!

BTW, the above-linked help page highlights the importance of adding the ExportMP3 command much better than the HD-based help I initially looked at does (helpmanualmanchains_for_batch_processing_and_effects_automation.html). Doesn’t excuse me of course for not initially giving the help any more than a quick glance (slaps forehead)

I’m not sure if this is the right area for suggestions, but I’ll add these:

  • Have a window open at the conclusion of processing, along the lines of “Processing finished, X files are at C:Xcleaned”, with maybe an option to open Explorer at this folder.

  • Have the “Select file(s) for batch processing” dialog open with the last folder opened by Audacity in the same session. I noticed each time this dialog opened in a single session, I would need to traverse back up to the folder I wanted, even though I used this same folder each time.

  • Warn the user if a file already exists in the cleaned folder before overwriting it.

  • Allow the Apply Chain/Applying “progress” window to be resized, or defaulting to a larger size. As it is, the mouse is locked out from the small window (can’t resize/move or even use Cancel button), meaning with reasonably long path names the only guide to progress is to watch the position of the vertical scroll bar.

Anyway, thanks guys and keep up the good work.

Sorry I looked, but I can’t agree. There are two illustrations and an example that contain ExportMP3. Near the top of the page we see:

To create an audio file as part of the Chain process you must include an “Export” command (such as ExportWAV).

The best board to post in is

I agree some extra information would be helpful.

Yes I agree, that annoys me too. The “Select file(s) for batch processing” dialogue always points to the same folder that File > Import > Audio… points to.

An objection to that could be that Chains are often run unattended. I agree there should either be an option not to overwrite if you run the same Chain again, or Audacity should just create another “Cleaned” folder.

OK. If you are developer, a patch would be welcome.