Get File Info for the active project?

(Sorry, this is probably a stupid question. But I’m really struggling to find reference to it in the manuals or on this forum.
I can’t think of workable search terms.)

All I want is to see directory info for the location of the currently active project. Most Mac apps have an option, somewhere among their menus, to display relevant document file information (obviously, Audacity has this info — or it wouldn’t be able to save the file in the same place each time).

I have two files open, right now, with the same name — but one is from an earlier backup on a different disk drive.
How can I find out which is which?

I’m running Audacity 2.2.2 on Mac OSX High Sierra (10.13.6)

PS: whilst I’m in this predicament, a thought suddenly occurred to me for a feature request.

I know that History is only good for the open file; once you close it, History resets; no more undos. Makes sense.

However, what if a simple text file were appended to at the point that the file is closed — effectively, a simple History log file? This would take up hardly any space in the Data folder (being just a list of header text from the actual current History, appended to the text of steps from prior histories).

Of course, you would not be able to “Undo” any of these steps, but at least you could see where you’ve come from — you would have a list of previous steps taken in chronological order.

This could prove valuable in a number of ways, for example: when you wish to repeat the same processes on different projects; or when, as in my case, now, you just want to know which of two files had the unwanted filter applied before saving.

What do you think? Worth raising?
In fact, pro tem, might it even be the sort of “tool” that could easily be designed to run manually from the Analyze window?

(obviously, Audacity has this info — or it wouldn’t be able to save the file in the same place each time).

Maybe not like you think. Yes, Audacity keeps track of location information, but nothing else. Audacity converts the incoming file to its own internal file system. That’s why there is no CLIP INFO. Audacity has no idea. That’s also why Audacity can’t edit an MP3. You can edit the MP3 content, but then Audacity has to make a new MP3 and increase the MPEG compression distortion.

There is no simple UNDO. Audacity makes a copy of your old show when you take an action. When you UNDO, it just plays back the show before this one. That’s also why you can’t UNDO out of order.

Oddly, there was another sound editor which did save all the UNDO and production information. The users screamed that the projects were too big.


Ah. OK. Thanks again.

So, even though Audacity knows where it will store the project if I hit “Save,” there is no way I can get it to share that information with me?


How easy do you think it might be to devise some sort of a plug-in to keep a text list of all historical changes as you go along? Too optimistic?


Try using File > Save > Save Project As… that should offer you as default the current project location - from there you should be able to ascertain its pathing (I always find this easier on Windows than on Mac - but I’m only a Mac amateur).


Audacity has a tool for this - in 2.2.2 it is called Chains

In the soon to be upcoming 2.3.0 Chains has been replaced by Marcors with the runctionality being extended.

For 2.2.2 Chains please see: Macros - for batch processing and effects automation - Audacity Manual


Thanks, WC.

I had heard about Chains, but haven’t gone there yet.
I’ll look into it. Could be ideal for some of my repetitive stuff.

And you’re right about the File>Save Project as…
It tells me what I need to know.

(Still, I wish there were some way to append the text of the History to a list of all prior histories — however basic that list.
-The text would take up so little file-space, yet save much confusion when returning to earlier edits.

-I used to “Save As…” the files with different names to know where I stopped,
-eg. “Chapter 8 Normalized”; “Chapter 8 edited to 25 mins”
-— but that caused whopping gigabyte Data folders to be duplicated over and over again.

-For now, I guess my best bet will be to make a note in the Label track of the very last thing I did before closing.)

In the soon to be upcoming 2.3.0, Chains has been replaced by Macros with the functionality being extended.

Ah. That’s good to hear about. Perhaps I should make my log History suggestion (if there’s still time)?
Or perhaps there will be some way to write my own macro to keep a record of History text.

There is also an important suggestion I would make regarding standard good practice for Mac apps.
There ought to be a list of currently open projects in the “Window” menu. At the moment there is only the “Bring All to Front” choice and, especially when zoomed, it’s not always clear if — and how many — other windows are open.

Do you know how I can get any suggestion(s) to the Audacity team before they start locking 2.3 down?

Too late for 2.3.0 - we’re already testing the Release Candidates.

You do that , as you have done, by writing here. The Audacity developers don’t read this Forum by and large - but we on QA do.

There is a Feature Request for this already logged in: Missing features - Audacity Support

Make Undo history viewable (but not actionable) after close project: (14 votes) just so you can see what those actions were.
Can be done by:
Export undo history or complete commands history as a .txt file (8 votes 20Oct17) or
Store Undo history in the AUP file: (7 votes) then you could look at the items (grayed out) in View > History.

Would you like me to add your vote for any of that?

It is something we have thought and discussed - but so far noone has picked it up. My personal preferred solution would be the Export of the undo history by means of a command.


This is something we are aware of.

There is a commented out section on the appropriate page in the Manual which says:

Gale 06Jul16: Commented out list of open windows as this is not available at the moment.
List of open windows
Contains an item for each open project. Selecting a project window from this menu will bring it to the front and make it active, retrieving it from the Dock if needed. Any project that has never been saved will just be called “Audacity”. The active project window will have a check beside it. A project window in the Dock will have a diamond beside it

IIRC I think its is an Apple Mac OS issue rather than an Audity one - but I will ask?


A little more digging shows that we already have this logged on our bugtracker:

It is a P3 bug - so it gets Release Noted.

Have a try with the workaround I suggested in Comment #13 of that bug thread:

… if you right click on the Audacity icon in the Task bar at the bottom of the Mac screen, you can then select “Show All Windows”. This will display all open Audacity project windows enabling to choose any one by clicking it.


Wow, Audacity people are on the ball.

Thanks Waxy Cylinder and Peter for looking into these and for suggesting the workarounds.

Yes please, Peter. Do add my vote to Store Undo history in the AUP file. That would be a really handy feature.

We are one-and-the-same - Waxcylinder is the nomme de guerre that I adopted when I first came yo this Forum 12 years ago when I was a novice user who needed help :wink:

Done - plus I added mine for the export method

Peter (AKA Waxcylinder) :slight_smile:

Many (but by no means all) Mac applications display a document icon beside the file name in the title bar of the window. Right-clicking on that icon (or the file name) shows the file path to the document. To see this, open TextEdit, edit and save a document, then right-click on the document icon or file name.

It would be nice if Audacity could do that.

– Bill