perform same task on several files

Is there a way to export mp3s for a group of files.

i have a dozen .wav files open and would like to export them as mp3 format. doing it one at a time is kind of clunky and once i start a single export my audacity windows lock up until it is finished so i can’t even set up subsequent files to go while the first one is processing.



Please see “Export Multiple”
Note that for unattended multiple export, you will need to turn off the prompt for the “Metadata Editor” in your preferences (see:

thanks for replying. didn’t see multiple export or the resulting problem i’m reposting about in the FAQ.

i changed the metadata preference. didn’t realize that was addressable. that was one of the things that made me think multiples wouldn’t be possible because a response was needed.

but when i choose Export Multiple from the File menu I get this error message:
“Cannot Export Multiple
you have only one unmuted audio track and no applicable labels so you can not export to separate audio files.”

Please read this page of the manual:
Export Multiple needs to know which parts of the project you want for each exported file. You can tell Export Multiple that information by either:
Putting each “song” on a separate track,
Labelling each song,

then select the appropriate “tracks” or “labels” option in the Export Multiple dialog.

So I don’t think the Export Multiple command can do what i want it to do. I’m not talking about breaking a single project into multiple tracks (the difference between track and label seems a little ambiguous in the manual). Rather I have a dozen separate files/projects that i would like to have opened and perform the same export function. That is why i tried the Export Multiple command directly without labeling tracks internal to a single project. I assumed it would ask me to identify a range of files or projects that i wanted to export. Or it would ask do you want to export all open projects or something like that.


If you import all of those files into the same project, they will appear one under another as separate tracks in that project. You can then use Export Multiple “based on tracks”.

There English language is not very helpful here. The word “Tracks” in English may refer to “songs”, “files”, “sections of a CD” …
Are you clear about what it means now?

But tracks in audio recording often mean different channels of the same song which is whay i found the term confusing. Left and Right in simple stereo but many multiples prior to mastering so that is the use, I expected given that the definition, as you post, can incorporate several meanings. So it is confusing to use that as the word to mean displaying different songs in the same project when it can also mean displaying multiple parts of the same song which are ultimately mastered to a lesser number of tracks for normal listening.

And the label motif which, because it displays horizontally is very well illustrated in the manual seemed to cover the album motif where songs would be separated by a pause of no sound. To complicate matters further though, the labeling area is called a label track. In the sense that it is an additional vertical feature beneath the sound depiction that makes senses but further ingrained the idea in my mind that tracks relate to vertically displaying different information about the same piece of sound and not vertically displaying different pieces of sound unintended to be merged.

more important from a user interface standpoint, none of the manual depictions of tracks show a picture which conveys the concept of using tracks to open multiple songs or different sounds one under the other vertically and i had no idea that is how they would display. now that i know to use “import” instead of “open” and to handle it as a single project and that all the tracks display vertically in the interface, each with its stereo format vertically displayed as well, it was quite easy to undertake what I was up to and Audacity is much faster at opening and exporting multiple tracks than when i would handle them individually as well.

thanks for your help.


That’s a less common case for Export Multiple if the source of the Audacity tracks is files. In that case one would more typically use a Chain applied to files. Open Audacity, File > Apply Chain… then select the built-in “MP3 Conversion Chain”, choose “Apply to Files…”, select the files in one folder, then apply the Chain.