Save Compressed Project - could we retain fragmentation?

When we export a compressed project, it turns each track into a single .ogg file, filling up any spaces with silence.

As someone who is starting to use Audacity for collaborative editing, it would be really helpful to be able to see where the breaks in tracks are. I understand why filling in the gaps is necessary for the compression to work optimally but I wondered whether there might be a way to retain the breaks across compression/decompression of Audacity projects.

My thoughts would be that there are two easy ways to do this:

  • Have a marker that would indicate the start/end of a break - a standard pattern inserted into the stream seems logical - that could be added to “bracket” the silences on export and then everything between the “brackets” is simply removed on import.
  • Have an independent data file in the project that provides this indexing data, created ahead of compression and read after decompression.

I’m sure there are other ways one could implement this, but those ideas might work for starters.

As a workaround, you could label each of the audio clips
Note that regions of absolute silence may be easily removed with “Edit > Clip Boundaries > Detach at Silences” (see:

Thanks for the suggestion - it is probably not practical for hundreds of edits over an hour or more of audio, but I wasn’t really familiar with labels and I will probably have a use for them. Also this might provide a built-in mechanism for the work I am talking about.

Because I’m looking at collaborative editing, the thing that is useful to me is seeing where audio has been moved and changed - removing all silence wouldn’t do this because we’re dealing with spoken word a lot of the time so there are silences on tracks, being able to retain the boundaries of edited audio is the most practical way I can think of to do it. Right now the plan is probably to just zip up the uncompressed folder but that is going to be a lot bigger than a compressed project would be because zip tools don’t know as much about the data as Audacity does.

Zip tools do have the advantage that the sound quality is totally unaffected. Just zipping up the AUP and its _data is generally what I do when sharing a project. With the aid of dropbox and broadband it’s not too inconvenient.