Audacity 2.1.0 - Changing filenames

Win 7 Home Basic - Audacity 2.1.0 – After having played an audio file in Audacity, I close it in order to give it a new name through Windows Explorer, but this manager refuses to do it saying “Cannot perform task because file is opened (although I had just closed it through Audacity’s menu File)”. The only way I get to perform a change in that audio filename in Windows Explorer is closing Audacity and reopening it. Am I doing anything wrong? I thank you for any guidance.

Audacity doesn’t open files, rather it copies in their data. So you aren’t closing the file when you use File > Close in Audacity and Explorer should be able to rename, move or delete the file even while you have the Audacity track for the file open (see below about why you need to be careful if you rename, move or delete WAV or AIFF files).

However, if it’s a file format that FFmpeg imports, like M4A or WMA, it’s a known issue on Windows that the file becomes “locked” until you quit Audacity. It doesn’t happen on Mac OS X. “Zeranoe” supply the build of FFmpeg that we currently recommend for Audacity. I did ask on their forum a while ago but they don’t seem to know the cause of the problem.

If you import WAV or AIFF files you should not do renames, moves or file deletions in Explorer unless you choose the option to “copy in” the file in the dialogue that appears when you import the WAV or AIFF. If you choose the option to read the WAV or AIFF “directly” then Audacity does not copy in the complete data until you have edited its entire length. Renaming, moving or deleting the file in that case destroys the data Audacity was working with.