Converting long multi-track file into many single-track fyls


I’ve been trying to find simple freeware along the lines of UnRarX in which you can open (or drop) a single long audio-file (aiff, wav, mp3) comprising many tracks and the app spits out individual mp3s, each comprising a single track. Couldn’t find any free app that does this. Neither iTunes nor Audacity have this feature though you can do so manually in the latter. Wouldn’t it be simple enough within the Audacity code-base to add this feature by finding all inter-track pauses (it could try to find them itself, prompt the user for them, and/or have a field in some part of the Preferences) and export, in a single step, all at once, the whole file into many individual-track mp3 (or other format) files? Or is this already doable? FYI I’m still on an ancient version 1.2.6 because (a) it suffices for my limited needs and (b) I’m still on 10.4.11(!)


Audacity already has silence finder and sound finder functions - see down the page in this entry from the Audacity 1.3 manual:

You will need to use 1.3 for this as I don’t believe that 1.2 had these features. And note that it doesn’t always work as you expect as the gaps between tracks on an LP or tape are rarely “silent” - which is why you have to play with the thresholds. And for classical music in particular false silences can be detected which are not inter-track gaps.


First a couple of minor points.
The referred-to page makes mention of Silence Finder and even shows its dialogue window but it doesn’t say how to get there (i.e. through which top-level menu). I found the answer (Analyze) in the tutorial page. This should be mentioned in the other page too.
Next, doing an Export Multiple after doing Silence Finding sometimes results in the first and/or last track not being exported because it ‘thinks’ a track is bracketed by silence but a multi-track file may not begin and end with anything more than a millisecond of silence. IMHO, it would be smarter for Export Multiple to also export from start of file to first silence and from last silence to EOF. (I can guess the workaround: simply add a couple of seconds of silence to the start and end of file before using Silence Finder, just to make sure.)
Actually, these features are available in good old 1.2.6 so ‘my bad’ that I did not know about it or find it.
Finally, waxcylinder you da man! Thank you! And Audacity rocks! (It also rolls.)

kds, the page I pointed you out has the header “Analyze Menu” and as such it is implicitly trying to say that all the analysis tools are available from the Audacity “Analyze” menu. The documenters assumed that was clear enough - but are you saying that that is not the case and could be made clearer and more obvious for the reader?

Thanks for pointing this out.


Note to fellow forum elves: do we think that this is really a feature request or should it more properly be reported as a bug?


Regarding the file splitting I can say that I’ve been successfully using mp3splt on linux:

It’s available for mac too through fink and macports (and there’s also a windows installer on the download page). I’ve only tested it in linux though (and the command line tool only, I haven’t tried the GUI yet).

It has the advantage that it can split mp3 files without decoding/reencoding them.

I hope this helps.

You mean on this page:
Did you miss the big bold title at the top where it says “Analyze Menu”?

If you use “Analyze menu > Sound Finder” (available in Audacity 1.3.x only), the first section will be marked even if there is no silence at the beginning.
If you use “Silence Finder” then you may need to use the option in the Export Multiple dialogue to “include audio before first label” (available in Audacity 1.2 and 1.3)

Silence Finder and Sound Finder operate on single audio tracks.
For multi-track projects, if you want to split the project, taking into account all of the tracks, you should mix the tracks down before using either Silence Finder or Sound Finder. In Audacity 1.2, to mix the tracks use “Project menu > Quick Mix”. In Audacity 1.3, to mix the tracks use “Tracks menu > Mix and Render”.

If you need to keep the project as separate tracks, but you want to create labels based on the full mix, in Audacity 1.3 you can use:
Ctrl+A (select All tracks)
Ctrl+Shift+M (Mix to new track).
Then apply Silence Finder or Sound Finder to the new (mix) track.
Then delete the Mix track.

kds, the page I pointed you out has the header “Analyze Menu” . . . could be made clearer and more obvious for the reader?

First, I goofed; that said, perhaps yes. If someone is wanting to learn Audacity, he/she won’t miss that header on the top of the page but if someone wants to dive in (land on the page and do a find) to get the one solution he needs, he’ll miss it. I see no harm and only an advantage if the heading of the page, corresponding to a top-level menu choice, is in a larger font and colourized boldface.
bgravato, thanks but my need is to split a multi-song source of any one of a few different audio formats, not just mp3.

Did you miss the big bold title at the top where it says “Analyze Menu”?

Yes! :frowning:

then you may need to use the option in the Export Multiple dialogue to “include audio before first label” (available in Audacity 1.2 and 1.3) . . .

I saw that but it was greyed out. Confirmed that it doesn’t work in my version. (Selected audio to ensure that there would be audio before the first silence point, did the Silence Find, and went to Export Multiple, in the dialogue the ‘Label’ radio button is on, but the ‘include audio before first . . .’ checkbox remains greyed out – disabled.)
We’re using the word ‘track’ in different senses and, because this is a technical forum, I probably shouldn’t have used it in that sense. My sense: “This CD has 20 tracks!” Yours: “The rhythm track lacks immediacy and the vocal track’s off-centre.” Trust this clears up the confusion.
As two Audacity persons are looking at this post, what do you think of Audacity being able to capture multiple inputs (on-board mic, line-in, USB input, and on-board app input a ala Audio Hijack). I realize it was conceived as some kind of audio mixing/production app but now that it’s become an everything and the kitchen sink audio app, why not?
Thanks to everyone,

I can’t reproduce that.
Are you using Audacity 1.3.12?
Could you give me a step-by-step method so that I can reproduce the issue. (If screen-shots will help, there is a screen-shot tool in the Audacity Help menu. Up to 3 images can be uploaded in a forum post using the “Upload Attachment” tab below the compose message box).

No, as I’d written in my original post, “FYI I’m still on an ancient version 1.2.6 because (a) it suffices for my limited needs and (b) I’m still on 10.4.11(!)” So the reason you couldn’t reproduce the bug is that we’re probably using different versions.
I also noticed on the main Audacity page ( that 1.3.12 is called the ‘beta’ and ‘work in progress’ while 1.2.6 is called ‘main’ and ‘complete’; however, you get a download choice between one or the other and not a stable 1.3.x release (i.e. an in-between release, say 1.3.8, may have been a good stable release)
Also, reading that page I realize that 1.2.6 is not ‘ancient’ as I had thought it to be!

I thought you may have taken waxcylinder’s advice and upgraded.

Audacity 1.2 was first released in 2004. The final update was in 2008. That’s ancient in software development terms.
If it’s a bug in 1.2.6, which it may well be, it will not be fixed because all work on the 1.2.6 version ended in 2008.
Most of us that work on the documentation and support side are longing for the day when the 1.2.x series is officially pronounced “obsolete”. Hopefully it won’t be long now.

Or at least “Heritage” - I suspect that we will still need 1.2 for some of the older platforms that still persist :wink:


You mean for people that want to run Audacity on obsolete/heritage/antique operating systems? :wink:

Hello again,

Did waxcylinder advise me to upgrade to 1.3.x? Or did you feel he did so because he only asked? Anyway, if so I missed that. (And now I can’t check because the thread on this reply page is cut off.)
So to my earlier question: Which 1.3 release (i.e. which rev or minor version) is considered stable and the best one to upgrade to? As a lay user, I don’t want an unstable (relatively) beta release. Also, why not give such an in-between option between the last final release (1.2.6 at present) and whatever happens to be the current beta release?

Thanks again to waxycylinder for answering my original question.

1.3.12 has proved pretty stable in my daily use. I’ve also been using various 1.3.13 Alpha’s for testing and they seem pretty good too. So go for 1.3.12 for now and upgrade to 1.3.13 when it comes out as the next Beta (possibly as early as next week).

You can get 1.3 from here: