Just want simple linear directions for simple task

My project is recording music on a couple of old iPod touches for use in my car. I have successfully recorded moderately dynamic music but need to compress the more dynamic files. My test example is Wagner’s Ring. As I understand it, this is Audacity’s original purpose (opera listening in car). All I want to do is rip files to my iMac, run them through Audacity and load the compressed files onto my iPods so that I can listen in my car without crescendo shock or constantly fiddling with the volume control.

Interestingly, I haven’t been able to find a set of step by step instructions and suggested settings to do this relatively simple task. Can somebody please point me in the right direction? I’m fairly smart but not a sound engineer so I’m not familiar with that vocabulary.


I understand it, this is Audacity’s original purpose (opera listening in car).

Not exactly. Audacity’s purpose is an audio production tool. Chris’s Compressor’s job is listening to opera in the car.


There is only one shortcoming I know of. Whatever performance you work on has to have something at the very beginning. Chris’s Compressor will freak if it sees dead silence in the first second or fraction of second. This shortcoming isn’t likely to be fixed, either. Chris has reached end-of-life.

Other than that, Chris is a fully adaptive, dynamic compressor. I use it to process a podcast to FM radio standards…so I can listen in the car.

I personally crank the first value, compression ratio up from the default 0.5 to o.77. This change gives me an almost perfect match to one of the local FM stations which carries the show as a broadcast.


Thanks Kozikowski,

When I get the latest version of Sierra to allow Audacity to recognize Chris’s Compressor and figure out how to get the AIFF file into Audacity, compressed to my liking and out in a useable file to load onto an iPod, I’ll have a reference setting. I might want a bit more dynamic range than standard FM radio.

So far, getting Audacity to recognize the compressor has been a major PITA. I hope the rest of the workflow will be more harmonious.


Have you got that working yet? We’re aware that Apple have made changes to Gatekeeper which has caused problems with plug-ins for many Sierra users. Fortunately there is a workaround, so please ask if you still need help with that.

In that case, the default settings should be close to perfect for what you want.

Running Sierra 10.12.3 on an 12 GB iMac. I have tried most permutations of reloading, using the terminal code suggested etc., etc. to get compressor.ny to show in the plugin selection, even though in the folder, no clue how to both load a ripped file into Audacity and apply Chris’s compressor to it to get a compressed audio file to use for listening in the car. Apparently, Audacity development has not kept up with Mac OS. In any case this is way more trouble than its worth.

I’ll check back from time to time and hope for a solution. Wish me luck in looking elsewhere for one!


I guess you’ve not seen my reply in your other topic: https://forum.audacityteam.org/t/just-want-simple-linear-directions-for-simple-task/44934/4

If you’re too frustrated to deal with this now, get the new version of Audacity when it is released in a week or so. The Gatekeeper issue has been mostly resolved.
I think it unfortunate that Apple push their updates so forcefully on users with little or no warning. It damages our reputation as well as theirs :frowning:

Topics merged.


If you need to get this done now, you could try “Mac OS X DMG version: 2.1.3rc2 (for Testing Only)” from https://www.fosshub.com/Audacity-devel.html/. It is not yet advertised as the finished 2.1.3 release but we feel it should be safe to use given it has had a lot of bug fixing and testing already. It will become the 2.1.3 release if no further problems are found with it.

File > Import > Audio… top left of Audacity.


Thanks to all for your help! I finally got Audacity to work using the included compressor but got some surprising results. I tried one more time.

I imported all 20 bands of Wagner’s “The Ring Without Words” (Telarc CD) into Audacity and it worked, kind of. The result was all 40 tracks at once. Interesting but not my goal :wink: Are there settings to allow compressing a complete CD (aiff files) in sequence? Classical music is nice to have indexed by the complete work instead of individual files

Regarding Audacity recognition of the compress.ny file; I tried the terminal work around with full permissions but it did not work (file not found). I’ll probably wait for the Mac OS update to try again.

Thanks again,


Do you mean that you have 20 separate audio files, each with consecutive parts of the album?

If so, then the simple way is to do one track at a time.
Import → Process → Export → Undo (Ctrl+Z) back to an empt project → onto the next file…

An alternative way is to import all of the files (they appear one above the other) DO NOT PRESS PLAY (that would give a very loud mix of all tracks at once), then process all tracks, then “Export Multiple” based on tracks (see: http://manual.audacityteam.org/man/export_multiple.html)

That seems reasonable. I thought of the first one but the parallel processing of all 20 files might be less tedious. I also found that using copy mode works but the direct method does not.