audacity sample files


Sample Rate and Sample Format of imported files

Audacity always imports files at their original sample rate, as displayed in the Track Information Area of the Track Control Panel.

When importing a file into an empty project window (as always happens when using File > Open… as described below), the Project Rate control in Selection Toolbar changes if necessary to reflect the rate of the file. The Project Rate determines the sample rate a file will be exported at, so no further adjustment is needed to export that file at its original rate. However, once there is already an audio track of any origin in the project (either an imported file, a recording or generated audio), importing an audio file will never change the project rate.

Generally, Audacity imports files at the sample format (bit depth) specified at Default Sample Format in Quality Preferences. This setting defaults to 32-bit float. Therefore by default an imported file will show in the Track Control Panel as 32-bit float, even if its original bit depth is lower. This is best for high-quality editing. Even if you choose a lower Default Sample Format than 32-bit float, Audacity will never downconvert a file that has a higher bit depth, as shown in the following table for WAV and AIFF imports using the standard uncompressed files importer.

Resolution of imported WAV and AIFF files using standard importer
Default Sample Format File bit depth Resolution imported at
16 16 16
16 24 32
16 32 32
24 16 24
24 24 32
24 32 32
32 (default) 16 32
32 (default) 24 32
32 (default) 32 32

OGG is unusual in that it will always import at 16-bit resolution using the standard OGG Vorbis importer, irrespective of Default Sample Format. This is due to the design of the OGG codec. However OGG can be imported at 32-bit resolution using FFmpeg, as described at Using the file type dropdown menu.

Four Ways to Import Audio

No matter which method you use to bring an audio file into Audacity, the file is always imported into a saved or unsaved Audacity project. The imported file always appears in a new track in that project.

1. File > Import > Audio…

If you select the File > Import > Audio… command, then choose one or more audio files, Audacity will import the selected file(s) into the existing project. This is useful to bring the content of one or more audio files into a project that already contains audio (for example, to mix several audio files together).
2. File > Open…

This command behaves differently according to whether the project window in which you use the Open command has ever contained tracks of any type.

  • If the project contains or has ever contained tracks at some point in its history (so that Edit > Undo and Edit > Redo are not empty), Open imports each file you select into its own new project window. For example, selecting three files would create three new project windows, each containing one of the files and each a separate project with its own history. This is handy if you want to apply different actions to different (or even the same) files and easily compare the results of each.
  • If the project is empty and has never contained any tracks (for example, you used File > New to create a new, empty project or used File > Close to close an existing project), Open imports the first file into the empty project window, then imports each subsequent file into its own new project window.

As with the other three import methods, Open does not directly open your selected file(s). The imported audio data is converted into a large number of small files in AU audio format, preserving the current quality of the data. Conversion occurs even if you never explicitly save your work as an Audacity project.So to save your edits to an audio file for the computer you always have to choose an Export command from the File Menu, even if you want to overwrite the exact same file that you imported.

3. File > Recent Files (Open Recent on Mac OS X)

This command imports a single file from a list of the 12 most recently imported files or recently saved projects. The file opens in a new window exactly as File > Open.
4. Drag and drop

  • On Windows and Mac OS X
    • Drag and drop one or more audio files into an open Audacity project window: this is equivalent to File > Import > Audio.
    • Drag and drop one or more audio files onto the Audacity icon: this is equivalent to File > Open.
  • On Linux:
    • Drag and drop files into an open Audacity Project window: this is equivalent to File > Import > Audio.
    • Drag and drop one or more audio files onto the Audacity icon: only the first file will open. More than one file dragged and dropped onto the icon will do the same as the File > Open command for the first file, but the other files will generate an error message saying that Audacity is already running.

Using the file type dropdown menu in the Open and Import Audio Dialogs

This menu (called “Format” on Mac OS X) contains a list of different file types.

File type drop-down menu W7 Basic.png

Choosing a particular file type in the menu performs two functions.

  • The file type choice filters the list of files in the window by restricting it to files of that type.
  • The file type choice determines which importer attempts the file first when using the Open or Import Audio dialogs. For example, a WAV file could be imported by Audacity’s native WAV importer or by the optional FFmpeg library if this was installed.

Additionally, rules for the order in which different importers attempt files of particular types can be created at Extended Import Preferences with an option to over-ride the Open and Import Audio file type choice. See Import Filtering and Importer Order for more details.

Name Modified Size Downloads / Week Status
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outdated 2010-01-15 0  
5.1_de.tar.gz 2010-10-02 2.0 MB 1919 weekly downloads i
5.0_de.tar.gz 2010-10-02 1.6 MB 0 i
4.1_de.tar.gz 2010-10-02 1.7 MB 0 i
4.0_de.tar.gz 2010-10-02 1.3 MB 0 i
3.0_de.tar.gz 2010-10-02 975.3 kB 0 i
2.1_de.tar.gz 2010-10-02 1.1 MB 0 i
2.0_de.tar.gz 2010-10-02 658.8 kB 0 i
1.0_de.tar.gz 2010-10-02 343.3 kB 0 i
Totals: 9 Items 9.6 MB 19


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