Proposal: Import Appended

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Revision as of 14:57, 11 October 2020 by PeterSampson (talk | contribs) (The Problem: cruft removal)
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Proposal pages help us get from feature requests into actual plans. This page is a proposal to Import multiple audio files end-to-end in a single track.
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.

The Problem

Many users, especially new users and infrequent users, get confused when making multiple imports that they stack on top of each other and play all together simultaneously.

This also leads to an extra load on Forum, having to explain to users how to string out their imports.

Now that we have record-beside (appended recording) as the default recording mode for 2.2.0 tjis shortcoming becomes a lot more noticeable

Proposed Feature

Import multiple audio files end-to-end in a single track. Would allow re-assembly/re-processing of LP/tape recordings for which no Audacity project exists. Also allows to import multiple tracks for CD assembly

Developer/QA Backing

  • Peter +1.
  • James +1.

Gale: Are enough options available yet? The need for these was shown by Steve's append import plugin. I think we want options for labels, import at the cursor point, gap between clips and a rearrange order of imports feature (what still defeats some users is that Audacity imports the files in file name order regardless of the order the user might want). Given we can't customise the file open dialog easily, this seems a problem. All I can imagine is that it might be File > Import > Import Audio Options... .

Use Cases

  • Many posts in the Forum where users are confused by stacked audio imports.
  • Now looks inconsistent compared to the new record-beside (appended recording) as the new default recording mode on 2.2.0


  • Make the File > Import > Audio... import each audio file appended one after the other in the Timeline, with each audio file labelled or marked as a separate clip. But labelling is the optimal choice.
  • Add a new entry to the File > Import submenu for Audio on New Tracks
We could, of course, leave the current Import>Audio as it is with stacked tracks and add a new menu item for "Import>Appended Audio...", but doing as described above is far more consistent with our changed behaviors for Record in 2.2.0

Possible Enhancements (from the Feature Requests page):
  • with labels containing their file names
      If not labeled, it will be important for many use cases that the imported files remain as separate audio clips.
  • ability to import the multiple files (or even a single file) at cursor position
      You can always Project > Import Audio and SHIFT + click or CTRL + click to select and import multiple files into a project as separate tracks. There is no automated process beyond that. No players can read the labels in the joined track other than Audacity - they aren't bookmarks in that sense, as there is no agreed standard for reading divisions within files. The labels can be exported to form the basis of a cue sheet.

      A Nyquist plug-in is available to test which can import multiple WAV or AIFF files end-to-end from a directory or from a list of files, starting from either time zero or from the cursor position.

GUI Examples


Previous Feature Requests relating to this proposal