Play Order for Exported MP3 Files

I am trying to convert my LP collection to digital and Audacity seems to be doing a good job. I particularly love the ability to remove the clicks in some of them.

But one puzzle has come up. I am recording one side of a LP record to a single project file and usually that is 5 or more songs. When I export them to MP3, for my portable player, I have two choices: create one long MP3 file for the entire side of the record, or export the songs one at a time. If I export to one MP3 file, there does not seem to be any way to jump to the next song on the MP3 player. On the other hand, if I export to individual song files, 5 or 6 of them, then even if I start the file names with track numbers (01, 02, 03, etc.) they do not play back in order on the MP3 player.

Frankly, I want both of these things: the ability to skip to the next song and have the songs play back in the proper order (which I would specify). I don’t want to have to create a “Play List” for this, just start the first song and let it go. Is there any way to accomplish both of these things?

There is no supported way in the official MP3 standard of marking songs within a file.

What order do they play back in? Does the player’s manual tell you? What version of Windows are you on?


Open the MP3. Go to File → Edit Metadata. Check the Track Number field and correct it if necessary. If you haven’t tagged the files with the Artist/Album/Title data, you can do that too.

Then, your MP3 player should have an option of playing the tracks in-order or shuffling/randomizing playback.

“No supported way in the official MP3 standard…”. Thanks, that is what I feared.

The manual says nothing about the order in which the files are played. I guess I will have to experiment. One would have thought that the designers would have thought about this.

One would have thought that the designers would have thought about this.

While the songs are in the computer, they’re going to be sorted according to the filename like any file. Once in the audio production program, you can order them as you wish.

Itunes has playlists and you can scramble the songs inside a playlist however you like.


Are you using File > Export Multiple… in Audacity? That should guarantee the Track Number in the file’s metadata is ordered in order of the labels or tracks in Audacity.

The MP3 player should (unless set to random play) play in either file name order or metadata Track Number order, but we can’t tell you what it does from here. Ask the manufacturer for advice.

You could also look in its manual for “Chapter Frames”. Almost no players support this, but that is an unofficial addendum to the ID3v2.3 and ID3v2.4 standard that offers markers within an MP3 file - see .


Thanks to all. I am looking into your suggestions.