Windows 7, Audacity selection issuses.

Audacity is having issuse to keep the selection audio of what I want. When I go to “Export Selection” it selects the entire thing, and exports it all. Incase you need some help for what I’m talking about heres a video of the problem

When using “Export Selection”, you need to select the actual audio - that is, the part of the audio that you wish to export needs to be highlighted.
In the next version of Audacity (2.0.6), “Export Selection” will be renamed as “Export Selected Audio”, which I think describes more clearly what it does.

In your video, the highlighting on the Time Line (the “ruler” at the top) shows that the region from about 2:25 to 2:35 is selected, but there is no actual audio selected (the audio waveform is not highlighted). By default, if you perform an action that requires selected audio, and no audio is selected, then Audacity will select all of the audio. You can see this happen in the video - as soon as you start the export, Audacity selects (and highlights) all of the audio. (this “default” can be changed in Preferences, but it is usually best to leave it at the default setting).

If you wish to make the selection apply to all tracks, press Ctrl+Shift+K.
The “selectedness” of individual tracks can be toggled on/off in several ways. With a mouse, you can hold down the mouse key and click on an empty space in the panel on the left end of the track (take care not to accidentally nudge the “pan” or “gain” sliders). Clicking there without the shift key will select the entire track.

When a track “has focus” (a yellow line around it) you can toggle whether it is selected or not by pressing the “Enter” key.

Selecting audio is described in detail in this part of the manual:


I’m new to this forum and I recently upgraded from Audacity 2.0.2 to 2.0.6. And since then, I have the same problem described by Steve, an occasional annoyance that has become chronic. I don’t have a video to show but I have attached a screen-capture that shows what I have selected. (One movement of one of the concertos in the larger MP3 file.) I am doing exactly what has worked for me almost always in Audacity 2.02: I specify the start and end points of the interval I wish to export and click [File]/[Export Selection]. (Or rather [Export Selected Audio] in 2.06). Either immediately or after I specify a file name, I suddenly find the entire file - 00:00:00 through 01:03:57 - selected and ready to export, instead of just what I selected.

BTW, when I initially select the interval, only that portion of the ruler is shaded for selection. Only after it has selected the entire file and I re-enter the interval will the body portion of the selection be shaded. If I just want to play that selected snippet, it starts in the correct place. So that aspect of selection seems to be correct. If this is insufficient to select a section, what more do I need to do? Another BTW: It misbehaves the same way whether the [Snap to] is set to Nearest (default), Prior, or Off.

Now, as I play with it, I tried this:
After selecting an interval as described above, I clicked on [Edit]/[Select]/[Left at playback position [ ] and again for [Right at playback position ] ]. Now it seems to behave, even for the next selected audio, without clicking on [Edit]/[Select] again. It is a gluteal pain if I always have to do this and I don’t know if this will always work. The problem does not always happen anyway so I may have just run into a less temperamental mood of the program. :slight_smile:

Thanks for advice here.

– Rasputin Paskudniak (Concise is my middle name - NOT :unamused: )

In your picture, the audio track appears to be correctly selected.
How exactly are you making the selection?

In your picture, the audio track appears to be correctly selected.
How exactly are you making the selection?

Exactly as I had described but I’ll break it down into steps:

  • I used the “clock” times at the bottom to select the interval from 20:48 through 25:47 in the larger file. This caused it to shade the ruler section of that interval but left the “music” graphic section unshaded. (This does NOT always happen; in better times it shades the music graphic for the interval as well.)
  • When I clicked on [Export Selected Audio] it shaded the entire hour+ mp3 file, ruler as well as the music graphic, changing the time interval to include the entire file
  • I then re-entered the 20:48 - 25:47 interval while the entire graphic was shaded. This produced the properly shaded ruler + graphic for the desired interval.

Note that even then, when I clicked on [Export Selected Audio] it proceeded to expand the selection to the entire file. But the above describes how I arrived at the screen shot I had attached.

(Sighhh… There’s a reason I can’t be concise - I try so hard not to leave room for misunderstanding. :cry: )

BTW, to add to my frustration, after I posted this, the problem stopped happening though it’s a safe (?) bet it will be back. It is #@^^% difficult to reproduce this predictably, as normally required for a decent bug report.

– Rasputin Paskudniak

Thanks - the problem lies in the detail.

As mentioned previously, the default behaviour in Audacity is that if you try to do something that requires a track to be selected, if nothing is selected, then Audacity will automatically select everything. This is supposed to be helpful, and in most cases it is. For example, if you go to amplify a track but you have forgotten to select the track first, then rather than just “not working”, Audacity will select the entire project and apply the effect (which is probably what you wanted).

OK, so getting down to the problem…
In order to select some audio, not only does there need to be a start time and an end time for the selection, but there also needs to be one or more audio tracks selected.

Here we see that “track 2” is selected but “track 1” is not selected (note the colour of the track information panels on the left end of the tracks)
Note that although “track 2” is selected, there is no actual audio selection, because no start/end times have been set for the selection.
If we compare with this next picture, we can see that now “track 1” is selected AND there is a time selection. So now we do have some audio selected.
Finally, in this third picture, we can see that there is a selection in the timeline, but no audio tracks are selected, so there is no selected audio.
In order to “Export Selected Audio”, there MUST be some audio selected (not surprising really :wink:)

So the “trick” that will solve your problem, is to ensure that there is a track selected.
The easiest way to do that is to just click on the track before you make the selection.
You will notice that as soon as you click on a track, the track information panel becomes highlighted in a darker shade, indicating that it is selected - then you can just make your selection (so that now there is some “selected audio”) and then export the selected audio.

There is more information about selecting audio in the manual: