Export/Save to location where file is located.

I know that title might be confusing, so let me try to clarify it to the best of my ability.
I’m getting really tired of opening a file, working on it, and being done with it, ready to export… But I always have to find the location if it isn’t the last location I exported in. I think it should detect where the file came from, making that the export location as well (obviously being allowed to change it while exporting if need be). It’s not just an inconvenience but an annoyance as well. It takes up a good chunk of my time, as I work on multiple projects. This feature would be a GODSEND!

Also, changing the file format from something that isn’t Wav back to Wav, the name changes to a bunch of Japanese or Chinese (probably Chinese) text.

The next version of Audacity will offer more options for default file locations. See here for a preview: https://alphamanual.audacityteam.org/man/Directories_Preferences

That poses a number of problems:

  1. It would make overwriting the source file the default, which is generally a bad idea because almost any mistake would then permanently destroy your work with no chance of recovery. It is recommended to always export as a new file and keep your original source file at least until you have checked that your exported file is correct.
  2. It makes no sense for recordings.
  3. It makes no sense for multi-track projects that may have files imported from multiple locations.

Puzzling :confused: Please start a new topic for that issue, and provide clear step of how to reproduce the problem.

Well, it would be nice as an option that’s disabled by default. I am fine with overwriting, and others that don’t want to use it won’t have to.

I swear I always get the “doesn’t make sense” excuse.

The “safety” recommendation of disallowing file write over is simply an obstacle to using Audacity in tandem with any digital audio workstation.
All other editors allow this basic command. Like, don’t worry about my files bro, just give me “save (write over)” in the same directory and format as the original file. Please. After all the years. It’s not the fault of the program if users make mistakes.
Why shut out out millions of potential users?

Here’s a third request for the same basic thing. Work like Microsoft Paint, and Microsoft Word, and Microsoft Office, and every other FILE editing program out there, by default, instead of being kind of a DAW and kind of a WAV file editor and kinda not.

I would suggest that a low effort in place “save all to original files” feature, which skips tracks that don’t have the original format, and won’t work to save MP3 files, if the MP3 encoder isn’t ionstalled, but at least will always default EACH exported track to the FOLDER where it originally was opened from, if it was opened and imported would make LOTS of people happy.

You’re late to this particular party.
With current versions of Audacity you can overwrite the imported file.

Don’t you think that this is a bit like complaining to Microsoft that PowerPoint doesn’t behave like NotePad? What about people that actually want a multi-track audio recorder and editor rather than just an audio file editor?

Thanks Steve, I am aware of that, but I specified “in the same directory and format as the imported file”. Export audio requires finding the original file path, which can change for any new file. Having preset file paths available to save to does not help.

Just to make you clear of what i am trying to do:

Open the file in Audacity from the DAW. (File goes offline in DAW)
Edit file in audacity.
Save (export audio from audacity) with one click. (no manually looking for the file path).
Re-focus DAW (File goes online in DAW).

For that to work, the imported file would need to become the default export file. I don’t think it’s likely that the developers will go for that as a mainstream option because of the risk to less sophisticated users of permanently overwriting their source files without warning.

As an alternative, how about the possibility of a plug-in?
It could work like this (the key combinations could be anything, I’m just using the current Audacity defaults)

  1. “Shift + Ctrl + i” opens an import plug-in.
    Select the required file and import it.
  2. “Shift + Ctrl + e” exports the project (via a second plug-in) and overwrites the original file.

I’ve not tested this idea, but I think it’s possible.

I tried that and no, it is not a solution. For starters i said i am opening the file from the DAW.

The solution is getting the computer to store the file path of the imported files, and providing “export (overwrite source “D:Audio files\something.wav”)” for the selected track.

I don’t think it’s likely that the developers will go for that as a mainstream option because of the risk to less sophisticated users of permanently overwriting their source files without warning.

You keep saying that. Are you aware that all the commercial mainstream editors do this? Stop coddling the user, and let us use the program.

How? :confused:

You want us to pamper the expert users instead? :wink:

I don’t think it’s likely that the developers will go for that as a mainstream option because of the risk to less sophisticated users of permanently overwriting their source files without warning.

add the warning if it bothers everyone so much.

Audacity is assigned as an external editor in my DAW.

right click on an audio item to “open in audacity.exe”.

You want us to pamper the expert users instead?

No, i (and many others) just want Audacity to work properly in the MAINSTREAM use case i have highlighted. Please consider telling that to the developers before making your own mind up about it. I am sure they will appreciate it.

The way that I see it is that your feature request is essentially a matter of convenience. It would be a jolly nice convenience for anyone using Audacity as an external editor for a DAW, as it avoids the need to navigate to the DAW’s data folder on export, but still only a matter of convenience.

On the other hand, we want to avoid the accidental overwriting of source files, which could be devastating and irreversible.

Satisfying both cases is not simply a matter of “let the user decide”, because that assumes that the user already understands the implications of their choice, which is clearly not the case for inexperienced users (the majority of Audacity users).

As a DAW user myself, I do see the benefit of your suggestion, and hope that it will be implemented in one way or another. On the other hand, from a “user support” viewpoint, I do not want to be in the situation of having hundreds of users that have accidentally destroyed irreplaceable recordings. The final point is that any solution has to be implemented by a developer, and there are very few Audacity developers.

This feature request is already logged on the Audacity wiki.
I have logged 3 more votes for the feature for the contributors to this thread.

Yeah the convenience factor that’s preventing the everyday use of Audacity in tandem with a DAW like every other editor. So potentially every DAW user.
And for the fear that some users may complain IF they choose the wrong field, even after it could be hidden and turned off by default and a warning could be implemented.
For fear of a deluge of customer support queries that are not even your problem. really. :laughing:
I bet a dev could code this up immediately and implement it without anyone noticing.

Back in the days of Audacity 2.0.6 a commercial user of Audacity paid me to add this ability to Audacity. Part of the deal was that the solution was open source. Part of the description for the change was “we will never need to open more than one file at a time”. In the description there was no mention of destructive over-writing. It was quite a bit more complicated than I expected and only worked on Windows.

For about six weeks the user (actually, almost 1000 radio stations across Europe and northern Africa) was quite happy, then… A few of the stations were unhappy with the “never open more than one file at a time” restriction. It was a fairly simple matter to reinstate this ability. Again, they were briefly happy until they realize that the save folder was always the folder of the first opened file. We took a poll of the users and determined that it was about about 50/50 for defaulting to the first opened file’s location. I ended up adding a preference switch for “first opened location/last open location”
first or last.png
All went well until users started complaining about over-writing file “a” with a playlist composed of files “a” and “b”. I addressed this by NEVER doing a destructive over-write. If a save is going to result in overwriting an existing file the existing file is renamed. It might be as simple as renaming “a.wav” which becomes “a.bac.wav”. If “a.bac.wav” already exists an integer is added: “a_1.bac.wav”; if this would result in a collision the integer is incremented and the result tried again, and again, and again…

Just saying… It can be done, it’s not pretty, there are gotchas, it was a LOT of work AND the source (2.0.6, Windows only) is available for the asking.

On one hand we have the mod (who today learned about launching audacity as an external editor) saying we can’t have the feature implemented for fear of inexperienced users messing up their files, and on the other hand we have “trained professionals” in radio stations that can’t handle the settings.
No winning.

I would not say that it is quite that bad. I have modified Audacity on quite a few occasions for professional users - law enforcement, medical community, audio professionals. For one thing, they almost always have a very clear understanding on what is exactly that they want. On only one occasion have I had to write a new users’ manual - but that was the result of wanting many specific small changes, and one large change. All of the small changes already existed in my personal version and the large change required quite a bit of documentation.

Another thing, I cannot expect the incredibly helpful folks on this forum to do tech support on my modified versions. I have to do all my own tech support but, surprisingly, there has been very little of it. Probably the worst tech support issue is that if I make a change to Audacity for a user that user is forever frozen as far as the Audacity version is concerned. Until Audacity 3.0 came out I would carry originally cherry pick bug fixes and add them to my personal version and for a couple of my professional users. Sadly, the change to unified file format is so major that it will mean that all of my modifications are now frozen in time.

So, probably a slight win in the long run.