Export to project directory

Hi all.

Is it possible to set audacity preferences to have the export directory be the same as the directory containing the project file?

I process a lot of audios and export them to .ogg and .mp3, and I’ve had to change directories on exports more times than I can count. It would be great if it would just default to where I already am. My hand is getting tired. :-/


sorry, forgot:

  • Linux Debian/buster (with KDE desktop)
  • Audacity 2.2.2 from Debian main repo

Short answer, no.

Longer answer:
Audacity will attempt to use whatever export folder you used last time for exporting. So if you have all of your projects in:
then once you have exported a file into “~/Music/audacity-stuff/”, then all subsequent exports will go into “~/Music/audacity-stuff/” until you export somewhere else.

The first problem with providing options for the default export directory is that everyone wants different options.

Some want to set a specific “absolute” path as the default (such as "C:\Users<user name>\Music").
Some want the default to be the same folder that they imported from.
Some want the same folder as they used last.
Some want to automatically overwrite whatever file they imported.
Some want the folder of the first file imported into a project.
Some want to mirror a folder structure in a different location.
Some want a sub-folder relative to the project.
Some want a sub-folder relative to the imported file

The next problem is that in computer programming, everything has to be defined exactly so that whatever you do (as a user), there’s a rule to cover it. So for example, if the default was to export to the same folder as the project, then:
What happens when you record into an empty project?
What happens if you have more than one project open?
What happens if you copy audio from one project window to another?
What happens if you save multiple copies of a project in different locations?

Taking all of this into account, the problem quickly becomes extremely complicated with dozens / hundreds of possible combinations, and even they the developers will not make everyone happy (many will be unhappy about the increased complexity). Rather than do that, the developers decided to have one rule: “Export to the last used folder by default, and allow the user to select a different location at the time of exporting”.

I have been saving to my Applications/Audacity directory, for no particular reason except that that is where I first saved a music file. I would like to change to a new folder I created within my Users/ directory but I don’t know how to get there in the Export Audio “Where” dropdown. I am running Mojave and Audacity 2.3.1 and here is the menu I see:
Screen Shot 2019-04-07 at 10.27.47 PM.png

Click on the little downward pointing chevron in the white box immediately to the right of your dropdown menu in the Export Audio dialog (to the right of the “Where:” input field).

This will expand the Mac export dialog for you - you should then be able to find and choose your new folder.


Can’t believe I missed the second little arrow.

It was getting late.