hyperlinking labels


It’s my first post here. I hope this is the right forum for it.

I’m a language learner and work with long audiobooks using, at a time, audio files and the corresponding text (in Microsoft Word 2003, click the link below the French sample to see the exact format of texts I use). For the purposes of revision and better understanding, certain passages require relistening. So I’d like to be able to:

  1. label the required passage in the audio file
  2. hyperlink it to the corresponding text passage
    2a. relisten to the passage clicking the hyperlink directly in the text
  3. loop the label (if necessary)
  4. forward and rewind the audio within the label
    Here’s a sample text for French version of Les Trois Mousquetairs by Alexandre Dumas:
    On devine si notre joie fut grande, lorsqu’en feuilletant ce manuscrit, notre dernier espoir, nous trouvâmes à la vingtième page le nom d’Athos, à la vingt- septième le nom de Porthos, et à la trente et unième le nom d’Aramis.
    La découverte d’un manuscrit complètement inconnu, dans une époque où la science historique est poussée à un si haut degré, nous parut une trouvaille presque miraculeuse.
    Aussi nous hâtâmes-nous de solliciter la permission de le faire imprimer, dans le but de nous présenter un jour avec le bagage des autres à l’Académie des inscriptions et belles-lettres, si nous n’arrivions, chose fort probable, à entrer à l’Académie française avec notre propre bagage.
    Cette permission, nous devons le dire, nous fut gracieusement accordée ; ce que nous consignons ici pour donner un démenti public aux malveillants qui prétendent que nous vivons sous un gouvernement assez médiocrement disposé à l’endroit des gens de lettres.
    Or, c’est la première partie de ce précieux manuscrit que nous offrons aujourd’hui à nos lecteurs, en changeant son titre en celui des Trois Mousquetaires ; prenant l’engagement, si, comme nous n’en doutons pas, cette première partie obtient le succès qu’elle mérite, de publier incessamment la seconde.

    Say that I want to hyperlink the blue text to the corresponding part of the audio. I would like to mark the beginning and end points in the audio, hyperlink this part to the blue text. Then after some time, I’d go back to it and click on the link and relisten to the blue text.

Is this feasible with Audacity?
Is there any other free audio software that makes it possible and is quicker than Audacity?

I know I can cut the file(s) into smaller ones containing the required passages, but I’m looking to find something that would be quicker and simple, plus wouldn’t require me to use more space on my hard drive.

I read here that there were some plans to work on labels in Audacity.

I’ve got Audacity ® 2.0.0 (Unicode) and Windows XP.

perpetua: thanks for the nudge for making me mosey over to that proposal page.

I think that at least two of the enhancements have been implemented already:

  1. Labels retained when they define the edge of a selection for which there is now a Preference setting to set this behaviour on/off

  2. Dragging I think this is fixed in recent Audacity releases

I marked those as potentially completed in the wiki.

I also added my support for a simpler method of label deletion under More Convenient Label Removal : "I strongly support “Delete Label” added to the label’s right-click context menu. "


I’ve done some work on improving labels.
I’m trying to understand your feature request.

Are you saying that you want the label text to open an html page in your web browser?

Is this a second behaviour that occurs simultaneously with opening an html link?


Thank you both for your answers.

I want the chosen text, once clicked, to open the corresponding audio label with my audio player (I use Media Player Classic Home Cinema ( Say the audio file of this part of the French book is 1h long. The blue part starts at 05.45 and ends at 6.53. So using Audacity I create a label with these extremities; I hypelink it to the text in my text editor. Then I can click the link in my editor and listen to the blue part directly, without looking for the beginning (nor end) of it. No website is opened during the process; I only gave the link to the website above to exemplify what my text looks like in the text editor.
So is it possible for Audacity to create labels within an audio file that MPC (or any other free audio player) could read and that could be hyperlinked to a text in a text editor (Word 2003 in my case)?

An ideal solution for me would be an audio player that can do all the things I mentioned. I could then hyperlink the audio labels to the corresponding text in Word. However, so far, I’ve been unable to find one.

No. Audacity has no relationship to the file it imported - it just makes its own copy of it. Nor does it control other applications. All you can do having labelled the audio is export it to a separate audio file (you can export labelled audio segments at one go using File > Export Multiple).

You can embed or record audio files in Word I believe, and move that file’s icon around the document as you wish. But that isn’t exactly what you are asking for. Ask Microsoft if you need more help with that.

Probably you need to spend money on a professional language learning tool (but I don’t know anything that does what you want). You could ask on an audio books forum. The nearest software I could think of would be like a karaoke player or some tool that used a linked text/audio format that had embedded time markers in the text.

Audacity or a special version of it might in future do something like you want in future but highlighting written text that corresponds to a standard format audio recording would require very advanced speech recognition and would probably be very slow.

Why do you need to play segments in MPC when you can play them in Audacity?


Highlighting text would be a very useful feature for many language learners (I don’t need it now, however, for the language I learn; I might need it in the future).

I play segments in MPC because it is simple and quick enough – time if very important if you learn a language reading-listening books – It takes 15 minutes, give or take, to open a 1.5 hrs file in Audacity on my computer. However…
Can you link an Audacity label to a text/icon in a Word document? (Then save it in Audacity supported format and listen to it with Audacity with one click.)

That’s fairly slow. What format is the file in? If it is WAV, you can get faster import by changing the Import / Export Preferences to “Read uncompressed files directly…”. Also look in Directories Preferences. Is the Audacity temporary directory set to your fastest hard drive?

No. Same reason as before :wink: