Audacity 2.0 in educational environment

I’m an IT admin at a school and one of our teachers is trying to work Audacity into their curriculum. I’ve installed Audacity 2.0 in the classroom, with the LAME codec, and now we’re running into a problem. When a student is logged in, Audacity opens fine, but if we try to open a file or choose any option under File > Import, we get the “Restrictions” dialog with the message:

This operation has been cancelled due to restrictions in effect on this computer. Please contact your system administrator.

First we tried turning off the antivirus services, and then we tried giving students full rights to the “C:Program FilesAudacity” directory. Neither of these steps resolved the problem.

I’ve been searching Google for hours.

Could someone please tell me what the Audacity program might be trying to access that might be restricted by our group policy?

Are there any other directories it needs to access other than “C:Users[username]AppDataLocalTemp” and “C:Users[username]AppDataRoamingAudacity” ?

Are there any detailed logs I can reference that might show me what exactly is happening when the student tries to open or import?

I presume that you are aware that it is Windows that is creating the “Error” message and not Audacity.

When you import a file or record, the audio data is (by default) saved in the Audacity temporary folder.
You can check the location of that folder by looking in “Edit > Preferences > Directories”
Check that the folder exists and that the user has read/write access to it.

The other place that Audacity needs to write on Vista/7 is (as you say) UsersAppDataRoamingAudacity

Thank you for making that presumption, because I am aware that this is a Windows error. :wink:

The first directory I checked was the temp folder listed in Preferences > Directories. The students have full read / write permissions to it, as well as the other directory. I’m stumped. Nothing shows in Event Viewer either.

Hmm, strange.
Something that you can try that may help to diagnose the problem:
It’s possible to make a “portable” version of Audacity that will run (albeit sluggishly) of a USB stick or other location.

  • Download the ZIP version of Audacity from here:
  • Unzip the file, either to a USB drive or to a writeable part of the local hard drive.
  • In the same folder as the audacity.exe file, create a new folder and name it “Portable Settings”.

The Audacity preferences (audacity.cfg), plugins.cfg, AutoSave folder and presets folder are then automatically written into the Portable Settings folder rather than elsewhere.

I tried the USB method, and the writable folder method, with the “Portable Settings” folder in the same directory as audacity.exe, but I’m still getting the error. Just for kicks, I copied the entire Audacity folder (zipped version) to the student user’s desktop. When I logged in as the student and tried to open it, I got the same error, even though the student has full read / write access to the folder. I even tried changing ownership of the folder to the student. Still couldn’t open it.

I probed a bit and found that the students were set up with the “Highly Managed” group policy template. We’re taking a look into this group policy template to find out what might be causing our headache. Thanks for the suggestion.

I don’t see how this relates to running Audacity, but this is what Microsoft has to say regarding that error message:
It may be worth trying that “fix” just in case it makes any difference.