Exporting individual tracks sequentially to CD

Hello , new to forum but have used Audacity before and always been able to use it fairly intuitively. Stuck at moment trying to do some fairly basic track editing. I have a cd with 100 mp3 tracks on it. The tracks do not have sufficient fade in and start fairly abruptly. What I want to do is import the mp3 tracks , add some “fade in” and normalise the tracks. Then "export " the modified tracks back to a cd as mp3 files.
I can do the import and each song shows as a numbered track with its title , vertically laid out. I can do the editing but do not know how to “export” the tracks so they end up as individual numbered tracks on the cd which can be stepped thro to any tracks. All the help I can find on exporting says the tracks will be mixed down to one track. If I do this then all the tracks play at once . Is Audacity able to do what I want?

With MP3s the track number is (optionally) included in the [u]metadata[/u] (AKA “tags”) and then your player software can play in track-order or alphabetical-order, etc.

Normally, the existing metadata should be automatically carried-over to the new MP3. (Except for the album artwork, which Audacity does not support.) You’ll probably have to work with one track at a time. If you have embedded artwork you’ll need to use something like [u]MP3Tag[/u] to copy it to the new files.

If you’re all done and you just need to add the track numbers, it’s better to use MP3Tag or something similar that doesn’t “touch” the audio.

and normalise the tracks.

Note that regular normalizing is NOT the same as volume matching or loudness normalizing. Regular normalizing “maximizes” the volume by adjusting for 0dB peaks, but some tracks will still sound louder than others (most commercial music is already normalized).
There are tools like ReplayGain (which has to be supported by your player software) or Apple has something similar called Sound Check that will volume-match your entire music library. MP3Gain and WaveGain adjust the loudness of the actual file so they work with any player. Since there are lots of normalized/maximized quiet-sounding songs, these tools tend to lower the volume of most songs and a lot of people don’t like that.

Audacity has [u]Loudness Normalization[/u] but it’s tricky because you can push your peaks into [u]clipping[/u] (distortion) on the quieter-sounding tracks.

The best way to volume-match is by ear, but it’s time-consuming 100 tracks -

  1. Normalize (maximize all of your tracks).
  2. Choose the quietest sounding track as your reference.
  3. Adjust the louder tracks down to match as necessary.

Or, there are 3rd-party plug-ins that can measure loudness so you could use a semi-automated process. (Audacity can set the loudness but there is no built-in way of simply measuring it.)


As you may know, MP3 is lossy compression. When you open an MP3 in Audacity (or any “normal” audio editor) it gets decompressed. If you re-export as MP3 you are going through another generation of lossy compression and some “damage” does accumulate. You may not notice any quality loss but it’s something you should be aware of and you should try to minimize the number of times it’s re-compressed. There are special-purpose audio editors such as [u]MP3DirectCut[/u] that can do limited editing (including fading & normalizing) without decompressing.

Thank you for your words of wisdom. I did manage to figure out the “Export multiple” which does the job I want. I wasn’t aware of the cumulative effect of many mp3 imports / exports and will take your advice on using my ear to get equal volumes.