New file placement behaviour in Version 3


I use Audacity to batch-convert MP3s, normalizing and export them in another Quality. Until now this was very comfortable, Audacity creates a subfolder named “macro-output” and is placing the converted files there. A sub-folder for every single folder. But there is a change in the new version and I think it’s a bad one. I just used the new version with 2 different folders. Audacity creates in Folder 1 a sub-folder “macro-output” and places the created files there. That’s what I wanted. But when I convert the files from Folder 2, Audacity moves the created files in the “macro-output” of Folder 1, and doesn’t create a seperate “macro-output” in Folder 2. Why? Now I have to seperate manually all the files to replace them in the correct folder. Is this a bug or intentional?

I’m not certain but I suspect it is intentional.

There are pros and cons to the new behaviour. You have discovered the “con”, but fortunately it is very easy to workaround.

Before processing Folder 2, press “Ctrl + W” (or select “Close” from the “File” menu).
That will close the current instance of Audacity and open a new Audacity window. Then when you process Folder 2 a new “macro-output” folder will be created in Folder 2 (which is what you want).

The downside (the “con”) is that you have to remember to press “Ctrl + W” between processing different folders.

On the plus side, quite often when I’m batch processing files, the “input” files are not all in the same folder. Previously I would have to create a new folder and manually copy all of the files that I want to batch process into the same folder, otherwise my processed files would be scattered into multiple “macro-output” folders, which I would then need to locate and manually move the files into one folder and then delete the empty “macro-output” folders.

In other words, when I “want” the output files from multiple locations to all end up in the same place, it was previously “a right royal pain” (inconvenient), but now it is dead easy (very convenient).

In short, if you want separate folders, then the new behaviour is a net “con” but with a very quick and easy workaround. If you want a single output folder then the new behaviour is a big net “pro”.

Unfortunately I don’t think it would be easy to make this into a user preference because it (probably) ties in with the new (and much improved) Directories Preferences (See:

Ok, thank you. I guess I can live with this workaround, in most cases I just work with a single folder.

Now that I’ve played with this a bit, I’m not sure that I entirely like the new behaviour.

I like that I am now able to get all of my batch processed files into the same place without having to move them all manually.

I don’t like that I could accidentally overwrite my processed files with other batch processed files if I forget to start a new project AND have the same file names in different folder (though this is rather a fringe case and I doubt that I would make this mistake more than once).

I’m also not keen on the fact that there’s no indication of where the files will end up (and no it is not obvious because I would have expected the old behaviour if I hadn’t seen your post).

Perhaps Audacity should should show a message before the processing starts, to say where the files will be exported, with an option to change the output folder location(?), or would that be more annoying than now?

Hmm, that would be an option. I don’t know, I still prefer the old way but I don’t want to switch to the old version only because of that. Maybe ask one of the developers?

A lot of folk get very hacked-off with suchlike nag-messages.

You should see the number of folk who complain that Audacity nags them thy they are closing without saving their project :unamused:


The most comfortable way, of course, would be to choose between the two behaviours.

But as you said, this would be surely difficult for the developers.

You should see the number of folk who complain that Audacity nags them thy they are closing without saving their project

There’s an easy way to get rid of those complaints.

[X] Don’t show this warning any more.


You rise to the bait far too easily Koz :wink:

Ain’t gonna happen AFAICT :sunglasses:

Not while Audacity is entirely “project” based.

However, if there is ever an “edit my audio file in place” mode (which there may be in the future), then there would (probably) be no nag about saving a project. The down side is of an “edit my audio file in place” mode is that once your input file is overwritten, it is permanent (I hope you had a backup).