How to get tags in when batch exporting as they actually are

If you have 10 files that you are editing and then do a Ctrl+Shift+L to save them Audacity will not save the files as the tags are written (tags as written by MP3tag and as viewed on MediaMonkey or elsewhere)
In other words the track title is not what is written on the tag but rather the file name, and, if you have, for ex., track 3, and 6 and 9 under track it will save them as 1,2,3 instead. How do we avoid this? How can we make Audacity just copy what is actually written on the tags and not set it’s own?
Thank you

Windows 10 home ver 1903 OS build 18362.657
Audacity ver 2.3.3

I tested this on W10 with 2.3.3 and the latest 2.4.0 alpha test build that I have.

Steps to reproduce

  1. Import three audio files into Audacity

  2. Observe: trackname in each TCP is taken from each filename (without extension)

  3. Export Multiple as MP3 (Ctrl+Shift+L) - to a different folder location

  4. Observe Export Multiple defaults to Export by track rather than by label

  5. Click Export button

  6. Observe in metadata for track-1 Track Title metadata defaults to same as track name (original file name)

  7. Change that metadata entry to “first”

  8. Press OK button

  9. Observe in metadata for track-2 Track Title metadata defaults to same as track name (original file name)

  10. Change that metadata entry to “second”

  11. Press OK button

  12. Observe in metadata for track-3 Track Title metadata defaults to same as track name (original file name)

  13. Change that metadata entry to “third”

  14. Press OK button

  15. Observe exports take place 3 files

  16. Use Windows Explorer to examine the three output files

  17. Observe: filenames of output files are same as the original filenames but with mp3 extension

  18. right click on each file and examine its “Properties”

  19. Observe: the “Title” metadata fields show as "first, “second” and “third”

I get the same resulkts if I export multiple as WAV files

So for me Audacity is working properly and as expected (handling the seven standard metadata fields properly)


Hi waxcylinder

I am not sure if I understood your reply well or perhaps if I did not explain myself well enough.

My music files have certain tags. For example if I go to my MediaMonkey player I will read these 3 titles as examples
Artist track # album Title
1- D Bowie 03 Heroes Joe The Lion
2- D Bowie 05 Low Art Decade
3- D Bowie 07 Scary Monsters Ashes to Ashes

The actual files are titled
1- 03 Heroes 1977
2- 05 Low 1977
3- 07 Scary Monsters 1980

If I now try to batch save them (converted from flac to MP3) they will show up as their file names and not their tags
Below are screens hots of what I mean (with different titles than above).

It seems that this forum does not allow more than 4 attachments so I will the other 2 here

As you can see when I batch save, the track numbers are now 1, 2, and 3 instead of 02, 05 and 07
and under title you get the full file name instead of just the tile. etc. etc.

Hence I don’t want my tags to have anything to do with the file name. I want my tags to be my tags: the title to be what it’s supposed to be, the track number to be as I have it etc. etc.
Hence the track title is not “02 - Boy eats girl - Copy of” It is “Boy eats girl” And the track is not ‘1’ it is ‘02’

Metadata tags and filenames are totally different things - Audacity does not take its filename from the metadata.


Thanks again buddy (waxcylinder )
This now being clear, the question remains, how do I do so? In other words is there a plugin or something else that I can use for me to do it like I want it to?
I find it, as it is now, most annoying since it is so time consuming–forcing me to do this manually each and every time to each and every one.

You would need a Macro that
a) managed to capture the required metadata text
b) uses that text as the output filename for an export

I’m no expert with Macros, but I suspect that b) is possible - but a) may not be.


I don’t think that Audacity scripting can do that.

Probably the easiest solution would be to use a batch renaming app to rename your MP3 files to match the id3 tags. There are several free apps available, though I’ve not used them myself. Google suggest (I would recommend searching reviews before downloading, and virus checking before installing. A good virus checker for single files is the online checker:

Thank you Steve for your suggestions.
If you take a look at my postings I am already using MP3Tag,[as you suggested]. This tool/app does this work on its own, in other words you can use it before or after Audacity–not during. I am asking for something that works within Audacity. And what I was/am asking for is for Audacity to copy exactly what MP3 has already done–hence so I do not have to go back to MP3Tag and start all over again. :slight_smile:
I am sure there is a reason why Audacity does things the way it does (copy the file and not the tags), but I can’t figure it out. It doesn’t make sense to me.

Audacity has one set of metadata for each Audacity project.
Each project can contain data from any number of files, but regardless of the number of tracks imported, the project still only has one set of metadata.

When you Export Multiple based on tracks (rather than labels) what Audacity does is to base the exported filename on the track name in the track’s Track Control Panel.

When you import the file in the first place Audacity uses the filename (minus its extension) as the trackname,

So the workaround for you, if you want to dot it all from within Audacity as you say, would be to change thre trackname of the track to be the same as the metadata field you want for the exported filename.

  1. When editing the metadata - copy the required metadata field (Ctrl+C)
  2. Click on the track name in the Track Control Panel
  3. In the dropdown context menu click on Name…
  4. Ctrl+V to paste the name from step 1 into the name field
  5. Press OK

Then later when you export your file will have the same name as the metadata at step 1


Thank you for your idea waxcylinder

This would require me doing so for each and every track wouldn’t it? And assuming so, how is that different, from a work-to-do POV as it is now? Now when each window pops up I have to refill in all the required data. Your way, if I understood it correctly, would have me do the same thing but prior to the fact. (Besides the fact that this would not change the order of the track number, since now the order is 1,2,3,4 regardless of what is written on the file)

What I have now is thousands of flac files which, using Audacity, I am converting to MP3. If I could get a plugin, script or something to do this on its own, copy the metadata, then it would save me hours of work.

BTW if a long file ( for ex 1 hour of continuous music) is used and cut into individual files as it is now each file will either overwrite the previous one, or if 'overwrite file" is unchecked, will write each and everyone as the same file and adding a number sequence at the end of it. ON the other hand,as I am asking, it would in fact write the file as I would input into the meta data field–again saving time :slight_smile:

Thanks again

Unless you do a “batch rename” of all your files as I suggested a few posts back.

HI Steve–thanks again
Unless I failed to understand what you meant by using IDrenamer or MP3tag for batch renaming I fail to see how this would help. Are you not saying (sorry if I am wrong) to use one of these apps outside of Audacity? In other words after I use Audacity to then go to these apps? If so then I failed to make my question understood–and for this too I apologize
– First of all I do not want to use an app after Audacity I want to be able to do so within Audacity; while I am using it–while the converting and saving is taking place
– 2ndly, MP3tag is an app I have and it is being used to name/tag or rename/retag my files before using Audacity.
And it is because all of this time and effort is used to do such work with MP3tag that I find it frustrating to have to do it all over again once I decide to use Audacity to convert those same files from flac to MP3.
My main audio player is MediaMonkey and if I decide to use it to convert my files it does so exactly as I like them to be flawlessly. Why don’t I therefore use MM to do such conversion? Because I prefer Audacity and often I do work on the flac files before their conversion–something I cannot do with MM.
Just to be clear, during my conversion and saving process, it is not the file name I want to have changed (though that would be OK too) it is only the tags within.
or perhaps it is time to ask another question, Why does Audacity seem to be able to read some tags but not others? The file name and track number are definitely wrong and whatever comes from the first file seems to stay (is written) on all other files equally.
Thanks again

No, that’s not what I’m saying.
I’m saying to batch rename your files before using Audacity.

Say you have a load of files called:
A.mp3, B.mp3, C.mp3 …

And they have respectively in their metadata:
NAME=Apple, NAME=Banana, NAME=Cucumber …

and you want to export your files as:
Apple.wav, Banana.wav, Cucumber.wav …

Then before you use Audacity, batch rename your files to:
Apple.mp3, Banana.mp3, Cucumber.mp3 …

What will then happen, is that Audacity will export the files according to their new file names as tracks Apple, Banana, Cucumber…
and Export Multiple will export them as Apple.wav, Banana.wav, Cucumber.wav …

OK, my fault in not explaining myself properly and not fully understanding what you were trying to say.
Your suggestion is very good, thank you, but it does not address my problem.
Your suggestion means that you want me to actually change my file names. I do not want to do that.
Hence, why I asked for Audacity to read my metadata and not my files names.
And BTW even if I were to change my file names Audacity would still track them wrongly. Because, if or excample there are 4 files their track numbers will be automatically 1,2,3,4 and not their actual track numbers (according to their metadata)
I feel terrible in having you and others being so nice in trying to help me only to realize I am having a terrible time in explaining myself properly. I apologize for this.
The answer to my question/problem was actually addressed early on–saying this app only reads file name and not metadata hence why I was hoping there was a way around it, a plugin–and this is where you came in. BUT, in the hope of having explained myself better this time–I am looking for an app to use within Audacity, not before nor after. I NEED to do it while I am doing what I am doing.
(And I still don’t understand why it isn’t designed to do this anyway. It doesn’t make sense to me)

The basic problem is that Audacity only has one set of metadata for the “project”.
It does not make sense for Audacity to try to maintain a set of metadata for each “track”, because as soon as someone edits or mixes tracks together, the track would have multiple sets of metadata.
It is not possible for a plug-in to read a track’s metadata, because Audacity tracks don’t have metadata. Only the “project” has metadata.

Thank you Steve. Now I understand. Obviously most people who use this software (and why it was designed) is not to use it for how I use it. And I guess this would explain why things are saved as projects as default (.aup) as opposed to a music file: be it flac or what-have-you. Which is something else I was not clear about–still am not fully clear either. I assume a project can save a file with multiple tracks (bass, percussion, vocals, etc.) and the purpose of it. Hence what Audacity was created for.
I just use it to do what I’ve been doing or for mixes and that’s all. I’ve never saved a project or had use for it. Actually if I could get rid of that window that pops up every time I try to save a music file asking me if I want to save the project, it would be doing me a favor… Ha ha
But anyhow, thanks again :slight_smile:

Yes. And labels, and envelopes, and MIDI tracks. A project can contain a lot more information than just an audio file.

Interesting thread.
Anyone mastered how to get the metadata tags back into multiple files?