Exporting Audio

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Peter 3Jan13: Reviewed and edited prior to implementation as this is a new page.
  • Ed 3Jan13: first pass grammar review finished, still needs: spell check, links checked.
    • Peter 4Jan13: ran it through a spellcheck in MS Word - ok.
    • Gale 05Jan13: Thanks for working on this. I fixed the error that Export Multiple is based on selections and removed unwanted abbreviations. Also reordered Export Commands to be more digestible, added the missing step about audio before first label in Export Multiple, and added a div for muted tracks not being exported. Please recheck.

      I think the very specific div I added about dots and special characters is warranted (or at a minimum, we should retain the current link to the FAQ). But should this div go where it is (on the basis straight export is where this problem occurs most), or underneath Export Multiple Dialog?

      • Peter 5Jan13: Ooh, I do like these new changes Gale - looks a lot better I think - a fresh pair of eyes often helps. I think your "dot" div is in just the right place. Maybe we need an extra sub-bullet under point 3 in the "Export Multiple Dialog block to ram home the point there - we do get forum posters who say "Why did my export stop after the n'th track ...".
  • Gale 08Jan13: The export multiple should not fail on Windows at the nth track, because the illegal file name dialogue should trap Windows illegal characters. There are known bugs with this on Mac and Linux. I added a sub bullet in Export Multiple, please check.
    • Peter8Jan13: The extra sub-bullet is indeed useful - but I made a readability tweak, as I found myself stumbling when trying to read it.
    • Gale 09Jan13: Thanks, the tweak does help to scan that. I refined that idea further but I strongly prefer the original link text. Connie reminds it's "file name" not "filename". Is the advice div better? I think so. Rather than have three advice divs, I promoted the one for "mute" to an alert.

You must use one of the Export commands.to make an audio file for playing on your music player, burning CDs or for use in other programs. Saving an Audacity project only makes a text file that tells Audacity how to work with the audio you see in Audacity itself.

Export Commands

There are two Export commands for exporting a single audio file. These let you export either the whole project or a selected part of it.

  • File > Export... exports all the audio tracks in the project. By default, multiple mono tracks are mixed down to a mono file, but if you pan any mono tracks to left or right or if there are any stereo tracks, the tracks are mixed to a stereo file. See Mixing for details.
  • File > Export Selection... exports only the selected audio, mixing it down as above.

Alternatively, you may export multiple audio files in a single process. This is useful when making a long recording or group of recordings that you want to export as separate songs. Selected tracks or regions are ignored when exporting multiple.

Warning icon

For either Export or Export Multiple, muted tracks are not exported. There will be a warning if you export with all audio tracks muted.

Export and Export Selection Dialog

The Export File dialog for both Export and Export Selection enables you to select the file name, folder location, audio format (such as WAV or MP3) and any options for that format (such as file size compression or bit depth).

  1. Choose your folder location.
  2. Type the name of your audio file in the File name box.
    Warning icon Help with choosing the file name:
    • Avoid dots in the file name, or you will have to add the extension such as .wav or .mp3 at the end of the name.
    • Some characters cannot be used on all operating systems or for e-mail or internet use. Use A to Z or a to z characters, whole numbers (0 to 9) and underscores ( _ ) for maximum compatibility.
  3. Choose your file type (export format) from the Save as type drop-down.
  4. Press the Options... button.to check if the format has additional settings that control its quality.
  5. Press Save to export the audio.

See File Export Dialog for more detailed information on this dialog.

Export Multiple Dialog

The Export Multiple dialog has extra choices for whether exported files are split based on labels or audio tracks and whether numerical prefixes or suffixes are added to the name.

  1. Choose your export format from the drop-down (press the Options... button.to check if the format has additional settings that control its quality).
  2. Choose the export location - either over-type in the text box (use Create... to create the directory named in the box if needed) or browse for the folder to export to using Choose....
  3. Select whether splits are based on labels or tracks using the radio buttons in the Split files based on: box.
    • If exporting based on labels, put a check mark in CheckboxChecked.png Include audio before first label and choose a file name if you require an exported file for any audio to left of the first label.
  4. Select a numbering scheme for file names (none, numbering before or numbering after) using the radio buttons in the Name files: box.
    Warning icon Some characters cannot be used on all operating systems or for e-mail or internet use.

    When typing a folder name or file name (including Audacity track names, names in labels or the Export Multiple "file name" boxes) use A to Z or a to z characters, whole numbers (0 to 9) and underscores ( _ ) for maximum compatibility.

  5. Use CheckboxChecked.png Overwrite existing files to enable overwriting of existing files with the same name if desired.
  6. Click on Export to export the audio.

See Export Multiple for more information on this dialog.

Export Formats

There are a number of audio formats that Audacity, as shipped, can export to. Other formats can be added by installing extra software libraries.

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