Importing issue

This might be an issue with Windows Explorer but it also involves Audacity.

It’s about importing files. For example, in Windows XP, I have to manually select the file with the mouse and import it. Then when I’m done and ready to import the next file from the same folder, I still have to manually select it, and so on for every file I want to import. Is there any way to make Explorer automatically select the next file when reopening the import dialog, so all I have to do is press the Enter key? I checked the Audacity Import/Export options but didn’t see anything. Thanks.


If you don’t mind importing the files all at once you can select multiple files at once and drag them into the same Audacity window. If the files you want are next to each other, hold SHIFT when selecting the next file. If the files you want are not next to each other, press CTRL while selecting the next file.

Please be careful with XP. Microsoft is no longer patching your system so you are exposed to all new hacks and security risks that come along. At a minimum, install an anti-virus program and do regular overnight checks (if you are not already doing so).

You can install a version of Linux for free if updating Windows is not practical.


Also, what edits are you making to these files? You could consider automating what you are doing by making a “Chain” of the effects you want to run (including an export command), then select the files you want to modify and Audacity will run the Chain on each file in turn.

See: .


Hi Gale :slight_smile:

Importing multiples is a good idea, the only problem is in Exporting. When you Export Multiple it retains my file names, but it messes up my custom tag info. It replaces it with what it thinks it should be.

Exporting individually messes up the file names AND tag info. It all has to be edited.

Doing them individually isn’t that bad, I’m just always looking for a way to speed things up if I can. :mrgreen:

I do use Chains quite a bit, but there’s still the same issue with Exporting. I tried importing multiples then exporting via Chain and the tag info and file names still got messed up. :frowning:

You’ve still not told us what you are actually trying to do? Are you just using Audacity as a file format converter?

In what way do the tags get messed up, exactly, using Export Multiple? Can you give an example?

If you are not using the seven built-in tags that come with Metadata Editor, but adding your own, they get changed to TXXX user-specified tags, but that applies to all methods of export.

In that way are the file names messed up when applying a Chain to files? The file names look the same to me.

I don’t know if it would help, but you could import from a list of files and specify in the list that each file was to import into a separate window: . Then each project window would have the correct tags on import.


Okay, I’ll use three Alan Parsons songs as an example, including my tag info for each one. Let’s say I import these songs into one window:

File Name: 01 To One in Paradise
Title: To One in Paradise
Genre: To One in Paradise

File Name: 02 Sirius
Title: Sirius
Genre: Sirius

File Name: 03 Eye in the Sky
Title: Eye in the Sky
Genre: Eye in the Sky

The first example is what results when I use Export Multiple. Notice it adds a number to the Title field which shouldn’t be there and uses the same data for the Genre field in each file.

File Name: 01 To One in Paradise
Title: 01 To One in paradise
Genre: Eye in the Sky

File Name: 02 Sirius
Title: 02 Sirius
Genre: Eye in the Sky

File Name: 03 Eye in the Sky
Title: 03 Eye in the Sky
Genre: Eye in the Sky

This is the result if I export them individually:

File Name: 01 To One in Paradise
Title: Eye in the Sky
Genre: Eye in the Sky

File Name: 01 To One in Paradise
Title: Eye in the Sky
Genre: Eye in the Sky

File Name: 01 To One in Paradise
Title: Eye in the Sky
Genre: Eye in the Sky

It tries to name every file “01 To One in Paradise” and you have to manually change it, or it simply overwrites the previous file. It also uses the same Title and Genre data for every file.

When exporting using a Chain, it behaves the same as if you’re exporting them individually, it just does it for you. But it doesn’t give you the opportunity to change the file name, it goes ahead and overwrites.

I’m not aware of the seven built-in tags you mentioned. Are you talking about Templates? That’s something I’ve never used and I’m not familiar with. I only use the Title and Genre fields but they always have different data. Is that something I could create a custom Template for?

I really don’t want to use a separate window for each file. That’s one of my biggest pet peeves about Audacity. :laughing:

You’ve still not told us what you are actually trying to do? Are you just using Audacity as a file format converter?

That would be good to know. If you’re doing very simple cutting and exporting, there may be much better software for that than struggling with doing something that Audacity doesn’t want to do. Koz

I said what I was trying to do in my first post, i.e. make Explorer focus on the next file when I reopen the Import dialog. Then Gale and I got sidetracked on the issue of importing multiples as an alternative. The bottom line is i want to make the process of importing and export as fast and as easy as possible. Hope that makes things more clear.

Yes, but you’ve not said why you need to do that - why you need to use Audacity at all.
Are you doing some sort of editing of those files?
Are you just wanting to edit the meta-data / id3 tags?
Are you just wanting to convert WAV files into MP3 files?

The actual task that you are wanting to do could have a significant baring on how best to accomplish that task. At the moment you have just said that you want to import and export, which in itself does nothing.

To directly answer your original question:

No there isn’t, but if we know what the task was then we may be able to make useful suggestions.

I just thought it went without saying the reason I was importing into Audacity was so I could edit, that’s why I didn’t say it, but yes, I import, then edit, then export.

The only solution that I can think of would be for you to write a batch script that reads the file names, then issues a command line launch of Audacity with the next file on a key press.

What edits? What we’re saying is that if (for example) you were importing MP3’s, normalizing them, then fading in and exporting to the same file, there are better tools that do that without re-encoding the MP3.

No re-encoding means not only that the tags or file folders don’t change, but that the MP3 remains the same quality as before.


Oh, I see what you’re saying, sorry it took me so long. I appreciate the help but I’m not looking for another tool, just trying to figure out the most efficient way to use Audacity. My question has been answered so I’m checking out now. Thanks. :slight_smile:

OK. When exporting multiple by tracks, the track name is used for the title tag (it’s a time saver If the imported file has no title tag - we can just use the track name which will have the name of the imported file).

Almost no-one complains about this, but it is true that if you open Metadata Editor after importing the last of multiple files, it will show the actual Track Title tag of the imported file, but when you Export Multiple, the Track Title tag offered will change to the track name.

In a similar way, the Track Number when exporting multiple is generated from the order in the sequence of exported files, and isn’t the actual Track Number tag in the file.

This basic problem is that Audacity does not store per-track metadata and just reads the metadata from the last imported file. If you import multiple files it has nowhere to read the tags of the previously imported files from.

Same problem. Audacity only stores metadata for the last imported file, so all exported files get that file’s metadata except for Track Title and Track Number.

This is because Audacity is offering the name of the project for the file name, the project name being the name of the first imported file (see the Title Bar at the top of the project window).

This would have to be a feature request for an option to offer the imported file name (or more simply the track name) when using Export Selection.

Yes, as above it uses the metadata for the last imported file.

For both these problems, you would have to have Metadata Editor turned on for the export step in Import / Export Preferences, and modify the tags in the metadata window for each file.

Alternatively, import each file into a separate project window in which case the metadata in the exported file would be correct and the file name offered for export would be the same as the imported file name. But then you lose the export automation.

I can’t reproduce any problem here if you use “Apply to Files” when applying the Chain (as you should be doing assuming you want to apply effects to the whole track). Again it would help if you could say exactly what edits you are making.

If you are performing edits that apply to only part of the track, then the feature request is that there should be a way to specify the selection to affect when applying Chains to files.

The purpose of Chains is automation, so I don’t think we would want it to halt and ask questions.

See: Audacity Manual . It wouldn’t help you force Audacity to use the actual metadata in the file.

If after importing the last file you were to load a Template that had a specific Title and Genre then those fields would appear in the Metadata Editor. Those fields would always be the same when you loaded the same template.

Assuming you showed Metadata Editor for the export step, then if you load the Template before starting the export process, the Genre field from the template would be passed to the metadata window for the next file However the Title and Track Number which are set automatically as above would always override the template.


Since you’re on Windows, you could try using another tool called AutoHotkey. Try searching

AutoHotkey lets you write powerful definitions for user actions (aka macros) and assign them to most any keyboard key(s).