Predefined length recordings

How to set Audacity record length 45 minutes, followed auto stop?
Purpose is cassettes archiving in half unattended mode.

  1. Start recording and forgot.
  2. Track stops accordingly after predefined cassette length (45 min) and recording stops automatically.
    3 . Cutting off manually cassette starts/ends without recording. No track separation needed.

Is it possible?


Use Timer Record:


Another option:

  1. Generate > Silence for 45 minues
  2. ensure it is fully selected (Ctrl+A)
  3. Shift+Record to “record on a new track”
  4. Observe: the recording will stop when it reaches the end of the selection


On cassettes is 30 years old radio station daily broadcasting and somehow it just felt brutal to delete all.
As I have a lot of cassettes to archive, setting for each cassette timer recording doesn’t feel comfortable.
Therefore 2nd option feels more promising.

You may find thes tutorials from the Aydacity Manual useful:




As these are old cassettes (aren’t they mostly all so these days) I would recommend re-tensioning the tape by fast rewind to the end and then rewind back… Take care to stop before the end if you are using a cassette deck that doesn’t have proper braking/


See also this article from the Audacity Wiki:


I have proper equipment Akai cassette players etc.
And a lot of old cassettes from different sources.
Some have rare live recording which I’m not able to evaluate right now, sources and backgrounds are very different… and takes days to determine exact cultural value.

So I just start to play cassette and find how start more or less automatic digital mp3 conversion …
And not staying aside watching computer.
Else these cassettes are over sooner or later over written.

Looks like predetermined length recording still might have a place in Audacity wish list.

with Best Regards

Audacity’s got one:

Or there’s the quick and easy way that waxcylinder described here:

I don’t really see the need of a third method to do the same thing.

Actually, there is already a third way. You can create a macro containing two commands. For example, for a 45 minute (2700 seconds) recording:

Select:End="2700" Mode="Set" Start="0"

Looks like predetermined length recording still might have a place in Audacity wish list.

Then make it save the work to disk while it continues recording. Throw in a SMPTE time track and you’ll have the full-on surveillance recorder everybody always wants.


Thanks to all proposals.
First I took a closer look and tested Timer recording but is there a way to generate automatic file names?


  1. new cassette play start and 2. Audacity shortcut “Shift+T” and “OK”.

Presently “Save Project” and “Automatic export” require manual entries, when Save project is always same and only automatic export +1 file naming numbering is sufficient. I’m sorry if I missed something
Any ideas?

Looks a promising idea.
Is there any ideas about automatic next recorded +1 fail naming convention?
These radio broadcasting mostly music archive cassettes don’t have any dates or notes and should be recorded just file name +1.

Else: oxide-shedding, brittle ageing tapes snap, write-through from neighbouring layers, and other forms of tape degradation

BTW you can always prevent over-writing by knocking out the over-write tabs that all cassettes had.

Some people recommend gentle heating in an oven to mitigate oxide-sheddng (the glue gets brittle over time)- but I’m never sure of that approach …