Still no way to name clips w/o label track?

I am working on a heavily edited interview (for radio). In 1h40 of source audio I will be identifying nifty clips and then assembling those into a 1hour finished segment with structure and flow, organised by major themes that only emerged gradually over the course of the interview. Interviewees’ last minute afterthoughts will be reunited with earlier topics, etc.

I’m doing this by grabbing sections of audio out of the mixdown Audacity project and pasting them into a final edited, air-ready track in a new, blank project. It would be really, really helpful if I could attach names to clips, like “Jane on Mulching” and “Joe on Wheelbarrows” (yes, it’s a show about farming). But all I can find by googling is that I can use a label track to tag the start of clips (or even the whole clip as a labelled region) but then I have to get rather clever if I want those labels to stay with their clips during subsequent editing.

Diligent googling revealed that I either have to select two tracks at once for any editing operations (the main track and the label track), as I understand it, or I have to use some advanced “synch” feature to lock the tracks together so that edits always affect both…? I’m a little unclear on this, being a fairly naive and basic Audacity user, and will have to experiment. Is this info up to date?

Anyway, it seems to me that there’s a case for being able to just name a clip, simply and easily. A clip is an entity (a chunk of audio that for some reason the user decided was a coherent unit) and surely it deserves a name, just like tracks have names and projects have names. I was rather surprised to find that clips didn’t have names (not that I can find, anyway).

So I guess my question is: do clips still not have names? do we still have to use labels as a kind of clunky workaround for named clips? and if so, can I put this in the queue for feature requests please? Clips Deserve Names – I think everyone who works with long-form spoken word, particularly news and interview or talk show format, would agree!

Well done with your diligent Googling. Yes that’s correct and up to date.
The “Sync-Lock” feature is documented here:
From your description it sounds like you will only need basic sync-lock functionality with one label track below your audio track(s) in the “new” project.

I’d suggest that you have a quick practice on an unimportant test project to familiarise yourself with sync-lock before using it in the (important) project.

Unlike tracks, clips are mutable. Developers would need to decide what to do when clips are joined, merged, split, imported, exported, pasted, copied, rendered, mixed… and it’s very unlikely that their choices will suit everyone - Much more complex than it initially sounds, and quite a can of worms.

I expect some would, but I expect that most manage perfectly well without. I think it all depends on your workflow. Over the last 10 years or so, I only recall this being requested a couple of times, so it doesn’t seem to be a high priority for many users. On the other hand, we have a big list of features that are regularly requested.

Handling clip names is likely to be a lot more complex than clip colours (a new feature that still requires a lot of work). Even if a developer was interested in adding this proposed feature, it’s not going to happen overnight - the Audacity development team is just a tiny band of volunteers.

Does anyone know whether this is feature in the works? Perhaps this question hasn’t arisen much because posting here requires joining this forum, which entails time and quite a few steps–when what people really want is to find answers and after seeing the answer “No, the feature doesn’t exist,” 99% of people will curse or shrug and move on. I didn’t do either but absolutely agree the ability name clips is a no-brainer and anyone doing any kind of substantive work would find it useful–even if they are proud of knowing how to get the result of a simple feature by, instead, in following 10-12 cumbersome steps. So, I wanted the OP, and the person who responded–both of whom will doubtless ever see my note–to know I agree 100% Audacity really really needs to add the ability to name clips. Not being able to so make what I am trying to do (on 3 different sorts of projects) unreasonably complicated and time-consuming, when I want to be focusing my attention on other more important, less trival-and-simultaneously-vexing concerns.

It’s not “in the works”, it’s in the app …

Audacity 3.1.3 certainly enables you to rename clips - just double-click in the Clip-handle drag-bar and you will be able to edit the clip name.


This made me realize that the Manual’s page on Clips does not mention renaming - so I fixed that in the alpha Manual for the upcoming Audacity 3.2.0: