I work a lot with video editing software which allows me to “scrub” my material around any point I choose so that I can locate the exact frame I want to edit on. Having found that frame I can mark it as an “in” and then move to another place and using the same technique mark an “out”. I can preview the edit and if I don’t like it I can trim frame by frame until the edit works
I am now trying to edit music on Audacity and cannot find any similar facility. It seems like I have to locate the edit points in real time, delete the intervening material and if it doesn’t work undo it and try again.
Is there any facility like “scrubbing” and marking and trimming edit points available in Audacity? I have tried searching but all I can find is some discussions.

Audacity doesn’t have classic video editing. On the up side, Audacity is not limited to frame boundaries, so we have that going for us.

It doesn’t have Edit Markers, either. We have Labels. You can park as many labels as you want. They appear on their own track and they’re sticky or magnetic.

You can drag-select a clip and the drag will stick to the label points.

I never tire of telling people I only use three zooms…ever.

Zoom into the selection (Control-E), Zoom out a little bit (Control-3) and Zoom out Full (Control-F). The drag-select mouse does everything else. You get good at looking at the blue waves and finding the points, for example, between words. While you’re in a Project, you can UNDO as much as you like. Audacity Projects will not Save UNDO.

It’s good to stop Audacity from automatically flipping the timeline view. That will drive you mad.

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

Shift > Scrollwheel will move the track slowly back and forth.

There is a “scrubbish” thing that’s being developed, but I need to look it up.


This is the manual. Scroll down to Using Audacity > Editing.


Still looking. I know video editors (bowing deeply) are horrified that we can’t just grab the cursor and go screaming off down the timeline and have the show follow us in Donald-Duck Speak, forward and back.

MUMUMUMUM eeeeeeeeee dududududududud bibibibibibibibibi [Mark-In]
And etc.

I think a video editor (human) should design scrubbing. Classic developers just have no idea what that’s like. Although you do need to remember the only way editors (software) are able to repeat tight phrases like that is because video editors do have frame boundaries. That comes up almost immediately in discussions…


Audacity 2.1.1 already has Scrubbing (and Seeking) already released - see this page in the Manual:

Th user interface is not the simplest, we know that and have been discussing plans to work on that. But at the moment we are working on bugs and release candidates for the upcoming 2.1.2 release and no further work will be done on scrubbing until after the release of 2.1.2.

The other useful way to preview bits of audio is to use the Time-line Quick-play tool - see:
Personally I find this easier to use than scrubbing and find myself using it in preference to scrubbing.