Default directory for macro output doesn't work

My macro ends with an MP3 export.

It does not matter what I set as the Macro output directory in the Edit->Preferences->Directories, the MP3 export file is not created there, but in the c:\users\defaultuser\Documents\Audacity\macro-output folder. If it didn’t exist, Audacity will create it.

A very interesting phenomenon, because It worked approx. for 10 exports, not once after that. Reset Configuration has also no effect.

Windows 10
Audacity 3.2.2

Is this a general service computer? One that has a bunch of different jobs?

What were the jobs after the last good export—even though it would seem to have nothing to do with this problem? Skype, Zoom, Meetings, and other programs change computer configurations when they run, for one notable example.


Shopuld have no effect to Audacity.

I clearly enter the target folder for the parameters, but it doesn’t work there. See screenshots here.

The directory config

The macro:

The output went to the folder on the right panel:

But the source is on the left panel. So, I don’t get it. :confused:

I’m not on Windows, but it sounds similar to this bug:

There is no crash in my case. Just the target path doesn’t work.

It is also possible that you have more than one version of Audacity installed on your machine, and that you have somehow invoked the older version.

To eliminate this as a possibility, uninstall all versions of Audacity. You can also spot-check both C:\Program Files and C:\Program Files (x86) for an “Audacity” subdirectory. Then re-download and install from here: Audacity ® | Downloads

Note: older versions of Audacity are available here: Old Audacity versions download

Yes, there were two installations, but removing the x86 version, the situation is still the same.

I tested ExportMP3 in 3.2.2 and in the current 3.2.3-beta. I was unable to reproduce your issue.

You could try rebooting and/or re-installing Audacity.

Recently I installed the latest release, version 3.2.3.

Steps to reproduce the error:

  • Saved a project into a specific directory.
  • Run a macro that have an mp3 export at the end.
  • The mp3 file created into the Documents\Audacity\macro-output\ folder

If I define a specific folder for the macro output, let’s say “test”, the mp3 file will created into "test\macro-output" folder.

I give up.

Yes. According to Audacity Manual - Apply Macro:

  • If the project has been Saved, then the exported files will be saved in a folder named “macro-output”. The “macro-output” folder will be in the location specified in Directories Preferences.
  • If the audio in the project came from an imported file as its initial step (that is, it is a named project), the “macro-output” folder will also be in the location specified in Directories Preferences.

Also in Directories Preferences, we see:

  • If you set a default folder for Macro output Audacity will create a folder called “macro-output” in that folder and that will be used for exports from Macros.

If you want to see pre-3.0.2 macro behavior, please see this thread: Legacy macro-output folder

I am working with e-books. Every time I finished a part of a book, I have to go to the macro-output folder, and copy back the exported mp3 file to the project directory.

It is really annoying. I think a parameter is exactly what it is - nomen est omen - to do whatever I want with it. If I want to put the macro output in a specific folder, then let me put it where I want it. Seriously. I really wonder, what is the purpose of this (or any) configuration parameter if it can’t take any value I set.

Please share your suggestion with the developers by creating an Enhancement issue here: Issues · audacity/audacity · GitHub

Please share your suggestion with the developers by creating an Enhancement issue here

Sorry, no. This is not an enhancement. This is a real bug.

You shouldn’t be using C:\temp for user data.

What happens if you (logged in as “geza”) set the macro folder to somewhere in:
C:\Users\geza\ …

Bugs also need to be reported on the same GitHub issues log.

But I’m unsure that what you have is a bug - it works for me on W10 - I did a lot of QA testing on this when ex-developer James Crook improved the Directories preferences adding a lot more options.


Version 3.2.3

  1. Created a new project.
  2. Saved into d:\temp\test.aup3
  3. Exported to mp3, selected the export path to d:\temp, export file name test.mp3
  4. Run our own “mastering” macro with an mp3 export at the final step.
  5. The exported mp3 file went to c:\users\myusername\Documents\Audacity\macro-output\ folder.

The preferences defaults are empty for all of these paths:

Macro output

Setting the macro output to d:\temp the mp3 export went to the automatically created d:\temp\macro-output.

(Created a Github issue. Thanks for the idea.)

Good plan. :smiley: