Sound finder in multiple files


I would like to use the sound finder function on multiple files.

I succeeded in doing it, however, it provides a list that presents the beginning sound time in each file, however, without the name of the files.

So I don’t know which time belongs to which file.

I would be grateful for any support on this matter.


Do you mean you have multiple Audacity tracks stacked on top of each other?

Sound Finder itself does not provide a list. If you export a label file at File > Export Labels…, you will see a list of all labels with their start and end time then their name.

If you select the first audio track, run Sound Finder on it, then click in the grey area below all the tracks to deselect all tracks, select the second audio track and run Sound Finder on that track, that second audio track’s labels will be in their own new label track. File > Export Labels… will then list the labels for the first label track followed by the labels for the second audio track, and so on.

I’m only guessing what you want to do. If the above does not help, can you describe what the practical end purpose is?


Dear Gale,
Thanks for the quick reply.
You have generally guessed right.
I’m running a cognitive experiment, in which participants read words. I would like to know how long it took for them to read each word since presentation.
My experiment generates wav files for each word reading (see attachments), which I import to Audacity. Then I analyze all files using the “sound finder” function. Then I use “export->labels” function to create sound times output.
The output is a txt file with (I believe) sound-beginning times (reflecting the star of word-reading since word presentation). HOWEVER, the list is sorted by time (see attachment), and I can’t know which time belongs to which file.
Thanks for your support.
Label Track10.txt (190 Bytes)

You will have to type or copy and paste the name of each file into the label. Click in the label, type the name then press ENTER on your computer keyboard to confirm the label.

Or click in the audio track’s name (at the top, where the downward-pointing black triangle is), then click “Name…”. CTRL + C to copy the track name. Right-click over the label and choose “Paste”, then ENTER on your keyboard.

If you are only interested in the start time of the word, you can use Analyze > Silence Finder… instead which will place a point label at the end of the silence instead of a region label for the sound. To make that easier to use, select from the start of the track to the end of the word before running Silence Finder.


I have thousands of files!
I can’t change each label manually.

Is there any other way?

There’s a version of SoundFinder that numbers the labels:
Does that help?

Not in Audacity. I would have said if there was. :wink: There could be a feature when adding a label that the label and/or the label track name takes the project name or the name of the audio track being processed.

You could “vote” for that but that doesn’t mean it would happen. It needs a developer to code it.

I looked at SoX which is a command-line application. You could ask on their Sox-users mailing list whether someone has written a script to do what you want. SoX could probably be adapted to do what you want, if you had the knowledge.


Hello Steve,

A version of SoundFinder that numbers the labels could be helpful.
Particularly, if it numbers the labels that comes from different wav files (in the forum link you present numbering of labels of the same sound file).

However, I can’t understand how to apply this version.
Could you be more specific about this label-numbering application?


That looks to be functionally the same as the shipped Sound Finder which already numbers labels. That shipped numbering does not help because there is only one “sound” in each imported file, so all sounds are numbered “1”.

If you could rewrite the numbering for Meni so that it did not reset for a new track, I assume that would help. Meni would still have to type in the laptop number and experiment number if that varied between the files imported.


Ah yes, it’s “Silence Finder” that doesn’t number.

Here’s a version that includes the track name in the label text:
SoundFinder.ny (6.48 KB)
Instructions for installing: Missing features - Audacity Support.

Excellent, Steve.

A more general feature for new labels or label track name to take project name or track name would be valuable too, sometime.


We can’t currently set or modify track names with Nyquist plug-ins, though I have it in mind to add that as a new feature in the future.
Using the track name in labels is easy enough now that Nyquist is able to read the track name:
Documentation: Missing features - Audacity Support
The plug-in in my previous post gives a practical example:

(setq label-string (strcat label-string (format nil "~a (~A)" (get '*track* 'name) sound-count)))

Note that (get 'track 'name) requires the plug-in to be “version 4” (or later), so when updating old plug-ins it will be necessary to update the version number in the plug-in header, and replace “S” (the global variable for track audio in plug-ins prior to version 4) with “track” (the global variable for track audio in version 4 plug-ins).

OK, I remember now. That feature is very powerful - for example I only need to replace two instances of " 'name" with " 'rate" in your plugin and the labels show the track project rate.

The “general feature” was requested not specifically for plugins but for normal CTRL + B or CTRL + M addition of labels. Presumably when a plugin was used that wrote labels, the track or project name would be prepended to whatever label the plugin wrote?

A SoX script would still be the quickest way for Meni if there was one - then no need to import all the files.


Dear Steve and Gale,

Thanks a lot, we are almost there!!

Indeed, sound-finder labels get the file names, which is excellent.
However, the new plug-in opens the multiple files in multiple independent windows. So I have to apply a sound finder and generate output for each file separately.
Is there a way to use these file-name labels on multiple files that are opened in a single Audacity window?

Thanks again!

The plugin does not import files. Use File > Import > Audio… to import files into the same Audacity window.


Indeed, my mistake! I used “open” instead of “import”

So…It works!!

Thanks a lot!!