ACX-Check stopped working

I’m a newbie recording my first audiobook.
First up, congratulations and thank you for this software: Audacity is terrific.
And so to the problem. I recorded a bunch of chapters, using a laptop with Windows 10.
I downloaded the ACX-Check plugin and got it running fine. I had to re-record some chapters because I hadn’t read the ACX instructions properly beforehand. Duh!
But now ACX-Check has stopped working.
Usually, it shows the green progress bar, and then its box disappears without showing the results box. Sometimes it still works on very small files (two minutes or so), but never on larger files. And sometimes it doesn’t respond at all.
I have uninstalled the plugin and downloaded it again. I have upgraded my Audacity software to the latest version.
I’ve looked in the FAQs and can’t find anyone reporting a similar problem.
I’m hoping this is a simple user error!

Sometimes it still works on very small files (two minutes or so), but never on larger files.

That may be the hint right there. ACX Check has to load your work into free memory to do the analysis. If there is no memory left because your machine is too busy, that’s a problem. Side note: Do you use any of the Cloud Storage Solutions: Google Cloud, One Drive, etc? That’s been known to cause problems. Audacity has trouble with those.

Anyway, do a clean shutdown. Shift+Shutdown. Wait. Start. Not Restart and not regular Shutdown. Look for error messages or other distress calls as the machine goes down. It’s a huge problem if the machine won’t go down.

When was the last time you did your Serious Virus Scan? The one that runs all night? Not the little one that runs in the background tripping along the tops of files, but the serious one that rips everything apart looking for evil.


I recorded a bunch of chapters

It’s possible to submit a short voice test to ACX to make sure you’re not burning permanent, fatal errors into your chapters.

It’s not obvious you can do that from the published instructions.

That can save a lot of work. “I spent months reading my book…”

Your readings have to pass the technical specifications, but they also have to pass Human Quality Control where a real person evaluates you for voice quality, mouth noises, lip smacks, slurring, and other theatrical damage. You have to pass everything.

Did you submit one of those?


OK, thanks, I’ll do a shift+shutdown, and also tell my virus hunter to get busy. I’ll let you know what happens.

No, I don’t use Google Cloud.

I didn’t know that you could run a test segment past ACX. I’ll look into that - thanks.


Also Known as ACX Test Clip and ACX Sample.

An Audition is a short reading you can submit to ACX to prove your performance quality before you submit a whole book. ACX will review your work and post comments. The work does not have to be produced using Adobe Audition.

Works must be perfect and ‘Retail-Ready’. ACX will not change any work once you submit.

Auditions should be between three and five minutes long.

Auditions should have 0.5 to 1 second of Room Tone at the beginning and 1 to 5 seconds of Room Tone at the end.

Auditions must be in MP3 sound format with constant bitrate of 192, minimum.

Auditions must have sound peaks no louder than -3dB.

Auditions must have a voice RMS (loudness) value between -18dB and -23dB.

Auditions must have Room Tone (natural background room sound without you performing-or moving-or breathing) quieter than -60dB.

You can submit this audition to ACX after filling out a questionnaire.

Audacity has tools to help you meet the technical requirements.

Audacity Forum has a section for Audiobooks. You have to register to post. New Posters may have a delay before posts become visible.

Audiobook Mastering.

Audiobook Testing - ACX Check.


Thank you.

I’ve done the “Shift+Shutdown. Wait. Start” that you recommended, and also the Deep Scan with AVG.

Sadly it hasn’t enabled ACX-Check to work.

I think my laptop may be the problem, though. It takes ages to boot up, and while doing so, Task Manager says Disk is at 100% capacity for quite a long time. It’s a 2016 machine with 12GB RAM. Very last season, I suppose.

Great tip about ACX being willing to preview a section - I’ll send them one. Thanks again.

How much stuff is on your drive? Isn’t there a way to view the technical specifications? You need multiple GB of free space to do either sound or video production. Both are space and speed sensitive.

If it’s an older machine, chances are good you have a spinning metal hard drive and not a Solid State Drive. If you do have Spinning Metal, you should stop for a while and defragment it. As your drive fills up it’s less and less likely that the machine can store one file in one place. So it breaks up your work and stuffs it wherever it can find room.

Picture getting book out of the public library and instead of picking the book up and heading for checkout, you get the list of all the different shelves where some of the pages are kept. It could take you a week to get out of there.

If defragmentation claims it’s going to take forever to clean up your drive, see > How much stuff do you have on there? The system can’t defragment a full drive. Offload to thumb drives, external hard drives, or cloud storage. Then defragment.


The disk has 315GB free out of a total of 886GB, apparently.

There’s a fan in the thing, so yes, I guess it’s spinning metal.

I’m backing up all my files onto an external disk and then I’m going to get busy with disk cleaner and defragmenter…


There’s a fan in the thing

We all have fans.

You can usually hear it ticking and scritching in there. I know how to make a Mac tell me what it is, but I don’t know how to do that in Windows.

Screen Shot 2020-05-21 at 13.44.46.png
Screen Shot 2020-05-21 at 13.47.38.png
It’s good to find that out because you don’t defragment SSDs. They’re really different.

There’s other reasons to slow the machine down. Do you leave Skype, Chat, Twitter, Facebook or other applications running in the background? Can you shut down the network or WiFi connection?

There’s much more evil reasons, too. You’re not the only user on your machine. When was the last time you did a thorough virus check.


I bet you have more fans than most, Koz.

OK, I think I’ve gone as far with cleaning up the disk. I’ve swatted viruses, decluttered and defragged it, and chkdsk seems to think it’s in OK condition now.

Sadly it hasn’t made any difference to ACX-Check. As the attachment which I hope is reproduced below shows, ACX-Check is not happy with me.
Audacity Log.JPG
Would it be a good idea to do the SND-SET-MAX-AUDIO-MEM thing? And if so, how?

Also, I upgraded to the latest version of Audacity in order to get and use the RMS-Normalise plugin. I had no problems with ACX-Check when using the older version of Audacity. (I don’t remember which version it was, and it uninstalled during the process of installing the updated version.)

Might an older version be less sensitive about the number of samples in memory?

I have no idea what’s happening. We should remember I’m not a Windows elf.

The only ACX Check failures I know of are noise oddities and an inability to check an hour show in one go.

This is where we wait for a forum senior elf to swoop in.


We should also remember that the Audacity Team is struggling under the stress of not one but two Audacity revision upgrades.


That and typing with rubber gloves and seeing the screen through foggy glasses.


And lo, it came to pass, that uninstalling the newest version of Audacity and installing an older version made ACX-Check work again.

Maybe this is just a Wintel thing?

This leaves one more teensy-weensy problem. RMS-Normalise only works with the latest version of Audacity.

Which leads me to ask what is probably a dumb question:

Is it possible to have both old and new versions of Audacity available to use on the same computer?

Not a dumb question at all …

Yes you can, but you can only run one version at a time.

For QA regression testing I have versions of Audacity on my PC stretching all the way back to 1.0


It’s probably more accurate to say that you “should” only run one version at a time.

It is “possible” to run certain combinations of old and new versions at the same time, but strongly discouraged.
The purpose of the limitation of only running one instance of Audacity, is to prevent one instance interfering with another (possibly overwriting data and / or damaging your work). If you look for, and find ways to run multiple versions at the same time, you risk “bad things™” happening :wink:

As waxcylinder wrote, yes you can.
If you want to do that, I would highly recommend using “Portable Settings” so that each version has it’s own settings. Some settings are not completely compatible across versions. See:

Many thanks!

I updated to the latest version of Audacity 3.13 and have downloaded the ACX Check plug in but it isn’t showing in the drop down Analyze menu.
I’m not sure how to proceed.

Nevermind. I figured it out FINALLY!

What was the problem?