Completed: Proposal Unitary Project

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Revision as of 00:26, 28 April 2011 by Stevethefiddle (talk | contribs) (Proposal to create New Projects in a "Project Folder")
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Proposal pages help us get from feature requests into actual plans. This proposal page is about managing Audacity Projects.
Proposal pages are used on an ongoing basis by the Audacity development team and are open to edits from visitors to the wiki. They are a good way to get community feedback on a proposal.

  • Note: Proposals for Google Summer of Code projects are significantly different in structure, are submitted via Google's web app and may or may not have a corresponding proposal page.

Proposed Feature

When a new project is started, a folder is created, containing the AUP file and associated _data folder. Many other multi-track audio programs successfully use this approach to project management, though few make the project data as accessible as it is in Audacity Projects.

Developer/QA Backing



  • When a new project is created the user would be prompted to name the project and set the location where it will be saved. At that point a "Project Folder" will be created containing an AUP file and a _data folder.
  • There will also be a File menu option to "Close and Delete" the project in case the user decides that they do not want a saved Project. "Close and Delete" would automatically produce a warning.
  • For users that do not want to save the Audacity Project, there will still be the facility of creating a "Temporary Project" which will be exactly the same as how projects currently work.


  • New users will frequently move or delete the _data folder without realizing that it is part of the Project. By creating a "Project Folder" it will be obvious that the "Project" is everything in the folder and not just the AUP file.
  • When a user wants to move a Project, as long as the Project does not have dependencies, it becomes trivially easy to move the project safely.
  • It would help new users to learn the important distinction between Projects and Audio files.
  • If a user wants to send the project to someone else, as long as there are no dependencies the Project Folder can simply be moved, or ZIP'd and sent to the other person.
  • Loosing the data folder for a project becomes difficult. This is particularly relevant if the user saves all of their projects in the same directory. Rather than having dozens of AUP files and dozens of _data folders, they will have each project neatly packaged in its own sub-folder.
  • Power users will often use this method of Project management already, but need to manually go through the steps of creating a folder and saving the new project into that folder.
  • In the event of a system crash, all of the data files are already safely written into the Project Folder and not at risk of being deleted if the Temp folder is emptied. This is particularly important on Linux as the Temp folder is automatically emptied when the system is rebooted.
  • Accidentally closing Audacity will not delete the data files.
  • Dependent files could also be kept in the "Project Folder", allowing easy re-connection to the project if/when there is a feature to find missing dependencies.

User Cases

Recording a vinyl album:

Method 1:

  • File menu > New Project
  • Navigate to the location where you want the project and give it a name
  • Press Record - record the album and press stop
  • Edit the recording if required
  • Export the project if required
  • "Save Project" (does not require naming or browsing to save folder)
  • or "Close and Delete" the Project Folder (contains the .AUP and data files) if no longer required.

Method 2:

  • File menu > New Temporary Project
  • Press Record - record the album and press stop
  • Edit the recording if required
  • Export the project if required
  • "Close" the project - the project is not saved and the temporary files are deleted (as now).
  • or "Save Project" (requires naming and browsing to save folder as now)

Moving an Audacity Project to another machine:

  • Copy the Project Folder to the new machine
  • That's all - no more searching around to find the _data folder that goes with the .AUP file.

Clean-up old unused files:

No more mistakes of accidentally deleting the _data folder (of course there is still a danger of deleting dependencies)

Changes to File Menu:

Two new options would be added to the File menu:

  1. New Temporary Project
  2. Close and Delete Project

Additional File menu items