One More Question about Selecting

I use Audacity to modify mp3 music files. I’m using 2.1.1 with Mac OS 10.8.5.

I have used other (now abandoned) audio software for Mac.

Here’s my example.

I have a 4:30 mp3 file. When the file is opened with Audacity, the file is shown correctly.

BTW- I prefer “audio file” as opposed to “waveform”. I did scientific research for 20 years, and the only time a file was referred to as a “waveform" was from an oscilloscope.

I want to remove 30 seconds from the middle of the file. I want to select each point independently. But other than selecting the entire time by dragging the cursor over the selection, I don’t know how to do it.

How can I select beginning and ending time points?

Audacity does not work directly on “files”. Audio data is “imported” into the “Audacity Project”. Usually “Importing” means that the file is copied into the project, though if “On Demand” import is enabled (The preference option: “Read uncompressed audio files directly from the original”), then Audacity creates “alias” files that point to parts of the data and the file data is copied when needed. You can read more about this in the manual here:
and here:

There are several ways to “select” audio. Probably the best method for what you want to do is to enter the start and end times (or start time and length) into the “Selection Toolbar”. See:

If you’re looking for visual cues for a specific musical event, then you may be stuck with Zooming and inspecting the blue waves, and yes, they originated on the face of a scope. When you find the exact point you want, set a label there. Labels are sticky so when you drag-select, the drag marker will stick to the labels.

I only ever use three zoom tools:

Zoom into selection, Control-E
Zoom out to the full show, Control-F
Zoom out a little bit, Control-3. There are many other Zoom tools.

While you’re zooming around, you can also skooch forward and backward in the timeline with Shift-ScrollWheel.

I turn off Auto Update, to keep Audacity from grabbing my edit view out from under me, but I like it running during a recording.

Audacity > Preferences > Tracks > Display > [_] Update (de-select).

Good Luck.


Steve, thanks for the info. The term “file” has been used consistently since 1980 to mean “data”. So “audio file” means audio data. But one person’s “wave form” is another persons data.

I read the section of the manual regarding “wave form selection”. Audacity is the most complex application for editing wave forms that I have seen. I will continue to study the manual. Sometimes, though, complexity is not the answer.