2 second delay on first playback


I’m recording an audio book. But I have a 2 second silence (not a dealy) whenever I playback a chapter to edit it. The 2 second silence is also there when I ship the file to Chirbit and then onto facebook. However, when I play the chapter a second time I get the full audio with no 2 second silence. I recently upgraded to Audacity 2.3.2 and got a new HP Pavilion pc. I’s using a Sontronics mic fed into the PC via an Audient iD4 interface. I had no such issue using this set up on my old Toshiba.

(When I changed PCs I thought it wise to sync things up to save on One Drive. I soon learnt that this was not ideal as it seemed to want to take over. I subsequently delinked the PC from One Drive. I don’t know it this may have contributed to the problem. I also have McAfee on the PC.)


Ron Askew

I’m just going to repeat a couple things here so you can see where my process is behind this.

You have an audio file. You hit play, and there is a two second silence before it plays. The track ends, and you press play again. The two second silence is missing.

You take the audio file out of audacity and you send it to two different websites. On each of these websites is the same behavior. Two seconds of silence, audio. On second play, there is no issue.

This has to be an issue with your computer itself. The problem extends outside Audacity and into other things. The problem is less that there is a silence, and more that there’s a silence only the first time you play something. This sounds like your computer is having a momentary issue loading the file. It gets it loaded, then lets you hear it. After it’s loaded, it doesn’t have to keep loading it any more so it plays instantly the second time on.

When you hit play, does the current position indicator say the video is playing? Is it displaying 0:00, then 0:01, then O:02, then giving you audio? Does it then have a different track length on the second play? Or is it just on 0:00 until it starts, and it just takes time to get to that point before the numbers progress? The second is definitely a hardware or software issue with your computer. The first one would be way beyond me, but the second would definitely be an issue with the hardware in your computer, or maybe the software in it.

If it’s the second one, the best thing I could offer right away is trying to update your drivers.

One Drive. I soon learnt that this was not ideal

Audacity doesn’t always get along so well with cloud drives. Everything should be local.

does the current position indicator say the video is playing?

What’s the timeline cursor doing during that two seconds?


I subsequently delinked the PC from One Drive.

Does it still do that if you delink the computer from the internet?


Hi Koz … apols delay replying. I just tried to delink the PC from the net and yes, the 2 second delay is still there on the first play. It is driving me nuts when it comes to editing a piece of spoken word, which could require scores of changes in a 20 minute piece. I just do not know if the problem is a hardware deficiency, a bug in audacity, a settings issue or what. I have no idea how to solve the issue. I wonder if the PC is underpowered somehow. I wonder if there is a latency setting I’ve got wrong. There was no issue with my ancient noisy-fan PC which had an older version of audacity running. I briefly synced things to one drive when I upgraded the hardware, but rapidly disabled that as it seemed to want to take over. For now all my work is stymied because of this tech hitch. Ron Askew

What hardware are you using for playback?

Curiously I was getting just this earlier this morning (and for me it was 2 seconds too) on my W10 laptop running the latest alpha test build for the upcoming 2.3.3 - but I cannot reproduce this reliably - and I can’t make it happen again now - nor on the release 2.3.32 (the audio was a 1h20m show I recorder last night).

I will keep an eye on this situation - and if I can make it happen with a reliable set of steps I will log it as a bug - if it keeps happening, but only occasionally I will log it as what we call a “moonphase bug” - i.e. we don’t know what causes it or how reliably reproduce it - that makes it very hard for the developers to fix.

I have neve encountered this before on any version of Audacity from 1.2.4 onwards - it’s just odd that Oblequante and I have both seen this recently.


That’s probably just about big enough for RAM to play a significant role.

If it is “occasionally repeatable”, I’d suspect that some part of the system is temporarily busy, and would be opening a Task Manager or System Monitor to log CPU, Disk access and RAM use to see if one or more is high when the problem occurs.

For a fault that is as repeatable as the op describes, the problem could be to do with power saving.

I can now reproduce this on 2.3.2 and 2.3.3

If I leave Audacity and switch to another application for a short time (no powersaving involved) when I go back to Audity and either
a) place the cursor in the waveform and press the spacebar for play, or
b) click in the Timeline for TQP
then I experience the two second delay - the play cursor moves, so it’s missing two seconds of audio

But this is only on first play after returning to Audacity, sunsequent Plays and TQPs start immediately.

Most puzzling …


Not using a USB audio device? If you are, you need to check: How to keep charging your USB devices past your PC's bedtime | PCWorld

Nope, not using one - and the one I have is air-gapped. not plugged in.

And I note just now that this same problem afflicts playing previews in effects - but as before only after returning to Audacity and only for first use.


I don’t see the problem on Linux, so perhaps it’s specific to Windows.
Does the choice of “host” (in the Device Toolbar) make any difference?

Nope, same with all three hosts.


Try testing with an older version of Audacity. I assume this issue is relatively new, but it could be due to changes in Windows rather than changes in Audacity.

I get the same with 2.2.2


On further testing (on Linux), I notice there is a delay when first playing after changing the selection, but the delay is only about half a second, not 2 seconds.

On my w10 HP Envy SSD I can now reproduce this more simply

  1. Import some audio
  2. Ctr+2 for normal zoom
  3. set cursor at 2 secs
  4. press Play (usually plays but sometimes get 2 seconds of silence)
  5. Press Stop befor waveform needs to reapint
  6. wait 15+ seconds
  7. Press play
  8. Obsreve: Audacity plays 2-4 seconds as silence the adio trips in at 4 seconds

It’s the 15 seconds that’s critical - below that the Play starts properly at 2 seconds

BUT testing on my new HP Probook SSD - I can’t make this happen - nor can I get it to happen on Mac - which suggests it nmay be a problem with my HP Envy PC rather than a problem with Audacity.

But I’ve never noticed this before, ever and I’ve been using this PC for a fair while now. And note that I’ve been getting Windows updates from Microsoft recently - so I’m not willing to rule that out as the culprit.


I’ve had a good look at my Sound settings and I can’t seem to see anything there that would affect or cause this - no delay, no buffering :confused:


But recently I’ve been testing with 3 and 5 minute stereo songs - And I still het this on the HP Envy


And today I can’t reproduce this on the older HP Envy either :confused: