Exported file has tracks superimposed on one another. Help!

Using version 2.1.1.
As a new Mac user of this program (used it for years on PC), I’m encountering a huge problem that no end of Internet searching has resolved. My Audacity- exported mp3 file contains 5 or 6 chunks of other mp3 files I imported into Audacity, and when (on PC) I exported the completed file to save it, I was always prompted with a dialogue box identifying those imported files (metadata? tags?); all I did was hit OK and it was fine. What’s happening on the Mac is that I’m NOT prompted for those tags/metadata and in the final product, I have tracks bleeding into eachother/superimposed on one another when they definitely WERE NOT in the original. What could be causing this? Please, please, help a new Mac user. Thanks!

The presence of the metadata export dialog is a setting.

Audacity > Preferences > Import/Export: [_] Show Metadata…

Unless you tell it not to, Audacity will smash all your audio tracks (stacked vertically) into one show. Click just above MUTE to select a single track or Shift-Click to select multiple tracks, and then Export Selected.


Thanks for your reply. Perhaps I wasn’t clear about what the problem is. I wanted all tracks ‘smashed’ into one, so didn’t mute any of them before I exported. What happened in the resulting exported file is that somehow --and this was NOT present in the original before I exported it—several of the recorded sections and imported mp3 sections files are superimposed on eachother, sort of bleeding into one another, creating musical chaos: two compositions playing at the same time; voice overlaid on top of music when it wasn’t meant to be…THIS is what I want to troubleshoot and avoid in the future. Is there a different setting on the Mac, perhaps, that I need to attend to, that I didn’t have to on the PC?

While we chew on this, give us your operating system version. Apple (upper left) About This Mac.


The forum elves run the risk of arriving half-way through the movie. Let’s back up. What’s the goal? What’s the show? I want to create a show that does…what?

If you do, as a test, select just one track and export it, does it? Do you get that one track as a clean, undamaged presentation? (Use Export Selected)

If there is a problem with it, does it play OK in QuickTime? Control-click the sound file > Open With > QuickTime Player.

Unless proven otherwise, the export dialog has nothing to do with sound management.


The Mac is running OS X Yosemite 10.10.5. To answer your questions, if I export one track, it exports fine; no problem. What I’ve run into is a situation where there are several tracks; 4 in this last case, and each is lined up so that no more than one track has audible material at one time. No overlay, no overdubbing. There’s a spoken intro, then a mp3 file, then when that one;s over, another starts, etc. This is for a radio show. As noted above, when this file was exported, the music was jumbled on top of eachother, as if one track had bled into another.

That’s a stumper, isn’t it?

Is this the first show you’ve tried to produce in Audacity? The first show with this combination of OS/Versions?

Can I assume you import all of your music so they appear one above the other and then Time Shift them all into position?

The show plays perfectly well and runs OK until you try to export? As a WAV?

Arrange Audacity so the Full show is visible (Command-F), and take a screen shot (Shift-Command-3). Post it here.

From the forum text entry window, scroll down > Upload Attachment > Choose File, etc.


Export the show as MP3 and post it similar to the way you posted the screen capture. Start with 128 quality and reduce it until it fits. The forum will not let you post large files. How long is the show?


How are you listening to the damaged show?