dividing a vinyl recording into "songs" for Itunes

I’ve just started using Audacity for the purpose of digitizing my vinyl collection into MP3 for iTunes or for burning to CD. I have the recording down pretty well, but I can’t figure how to divide the full vinyl side file into songs. I managed to create sections and label them but when I tried to export to MP3, it exported the file as a single file which did not keep the separate songs. I call them “songs” because reading the manual, the term “tracks” has a different meaning. I’ve tried reading the manual, but it is not very clear on this point.

Thanks in advance for any help - I’m sure there’s a simple fix!

If you provided labels at the beginning of each song, then it’s File > Export Selected Audio. Not Export Audio. That should pay attention to the labels and make multiple files.

Any reason you’re exporting the work as MP3? We recommend exporting the vinyl capture as WAV (Microsoft), 16-bit and put them somewhere nice as your music archive. Only then make lower quality MP3 files for casual listening.

WAV is the same high quality as Audio CD. MP3 is a compressed sound file with some sound damage. So by all means make the CD from the WAV not the MP3. This can be a bookkeeping conundrum if you’re using iTunes to burn the CD.


See this suggested workflow from the Audacity Manual: http://manual.audacityteam.org/man/sample_workflow_for_exporting_to_itunes.html


Koz meant File > Export Multiple… . Export Selected Audio will only export one selection at a time, and you would need to make each label a region label, not a point label at the start of each song.


I keep master files in lossless format, but confess that my go-to archive is kept in VBR-2 MP3 format. Partly because my ears aren’t what they used to be, and partly because I no longer have the high end audio system that might make a difference. I find that in really critical listening with good cans, I can’t be sure there’s any degradation apparent even at VBR -4, so I figure if I can’t be sure about -4, then -2 is certainly all I need. And that’s in dead silence with no ambient noise clouding things.
So when the OP uses MP3…that can be a very sensible choice.

I’ve heard an AWFUL lot of commercial CD’s where the track splits, especially on live albums where there are comments and crowd noises across tracks, are just mutilation. And I know I’ve done better when I was splitting recordings made from the original LPs, but it takes careful tagging to put labels at the correct break points between tracks (where there really is no “full break” on the original). Once I do my job and tell Audacity to “export tracks” or whatever the exact correct option is these days…they pour out flawlessly. Well, once I got set up on making sure the labels would all be done uniformly as well.(G)

Just to say, especially for the OP…it is a short learning curve, but then Audacity’s results can EASILY outperform the commercial junk coming out of the recording industry!

OP uses MP3…that can be a very sensible choice.

Or not. The goal matters a lot.

Nobody will contest that most of the better compression technologies can’t be heard while they’re working—they produce essentially a perfect listening experience. What they don’t produce is the ability to make anything else.

Making a compressed Dance Mix (for one example) from your compressed archive can lead to audible compression distortion as the system tries to compress the compression artifacts.

Modern compression techniques work by cleverly hiding the damage. This is that “Deleting the violins nobody is going to hear anyway.” That process is a lot harder when the system tries to hide two damages behind each other.

You can make a WAV into anything with no multiplier-effect compression damage.