ANNOUNCE: compress and archive an audacity project


If you have (like me) several large audacity projects you know they take a decent amount of disk space.

I wrote two small Python scripts to “properly” archive/restore an audacity project. “Proper” here means the project can be restored “almost” exactly - that is sans the effects of encoding to ogg and back. Unless you insist on accuracy to the last bit I find it extremely useful. You can compress loosely via wv, but your savings will be around a factor of 2. ogg is about a factor of 10. Going down from 2G to 200M can make saving to the cloud feasible.

It works only on Linux. You will need Python, tar and sox installed. All one (command) line away if they are not installed already.

The project can be found here:


How does this differ from / improve on Audacity’s “Save Compressed Copy of Project” ?

Audacity “Save Compressed Copy of Project” is unfortunately somewhat broken. It does not preserve envelopes and concatenates segments in the same track. This might be fine for some people but if you want to come back to a big project and make changes this is highly annoying. I would not have bothered otherwise.


Do you mean “losslessly”, therefore not the hybrid lossy compression with .wvc correction file for lossless?


No it’s not broken, though I agree that it won’t suit everyone. “Saved Compressed Copy” is intended to make projects more easily shared. By applying envelopes when rendering tracks to OGG, the recipient does not even have to be using Audacity.

Yes I meant “without loss”, i.e. restore is bit exact. Sorry about my English.


I agree that the “Audacity compress” is sufficient for some people. I disagree about “the recipient does not even have to be using Audacity”. In that case it is better to send an exported mp3/ogg. Without Audacity the track placement is lost, which is the main thing preserved by the “compress”.


My point was that “Save Compressed Copy of Project” is not (as you say in your script and repeated in your post) “broken”, it behaves as intended and as described in the manual:

The script appears to fail if the Audacity project contains 24-bit tracks or dependencies (

Perhaps it would be useful if there was an option in “Save Compressed Copy of Project” to compress the .AU files individually so as to retain individual clips and envelopes, and for Audacity to be able to open projects made as such?