Audacity 2.1.1 fails to import/export projects and wav/mp3 f

Hello everybody,

I installed Audacity yesterday after a long period of not using it.
My system is an up-to-date Windows 10 64bit system.
I have Audacity 2.1.1 installed, plus lame 3.99.3 and ffmpeg 55.33.100/55.52.102/52.66.100

I observe some bugs (?) that drive me crazy.
This is what I do:
attach a microphone to the computer and record my voice in Audacity.
So far everything seems to work fine. I can playback the sound I just recorded, as long as I do not close the project.

Then I do a “Save project” as well as “Export WAV” and “Export MP3”.

  1. The project never can be opened again in Audacity. The SW tells me everytime that “XYZ.aup is an Audacity Project file. Use the File > Open command…” (which is exactly what I do!!!)
  2. Of the exported WAV and MP3 files some can be opened in Windows MEdia Player (or VLC), others cannot. I am not aware of doing anything different between various exports, so to me this seems to depend on pure luck, if the export succeeds.
  3. When I use “mediainfo” on the generated files that can neither be played by the above mentioned players nor can they be imported to Audacity, they seem to not contain any known audio format.

Since everyone is so positve about Audacity and what IU try to achieve is so very basic, I am under the strong assumption that I am doing something totally wrong.
I only someone could point me to the cause of the error…
Any help greatly appreciated!

The menus in Audacity have been rearranged over the years. Please double check that you are using “File menu > Open” and not one of the “Import” commands.
If the project still gives that same message, then it may be that the AUP file is corrupt, in which case please attach the AUP file to your reply. See here for how to attach files:

Do you really have three ffmpeg versions installed?

I could never get two versions to work reliably (on my Mac), let alone three.

I don’t know if it has to do with your problem, but I’ve had some very weird problems too, with two different ffmpeg versions. I never understood why, as these should be able to live peacefully together.

No, they don’t, because dynamic library loading only recognises one version of FFmpeg at a time.

What the poster is quoting are the correct F, C and U numbers for the recommended FFmpeg 2.2.2.


This may not be the answer for all cases, but make sure the files actually have WAV or MP3 extension:

Be sure to choose “WAV (Microsoft) signed 16-bit PCM” when you export WAV.


This may not be the answer for all cases, but make sure the files actually have WAV or MP3 extension:

Does MediaInfo tell you the correct filename? Windows is openly hostile toward revealing filename extensions. There used to be a way to “trick” Windows into telling you the correct filename, but I think that’s been stamped out.

With Audacity closed, double clicking the AUP file should open a Project. Are you keeping the AUP file and the associated _DATA folder in the same location or folder? That’s required for a Project to open.

I think you can still run into problems by putting punctuation marks in a filename. Some work, some don’t.


Some virus protection systems can be hostile to Audacity shows. There’s no mention of Virus Protection in the post.


Yes, and it usually gives you the audio data information even if the extension is wrong (as long as you drag the file into it).

But I don’t know if we can assume the poster checked every file in MediaInfo.

The problem files could be zero bytes for some reason.

If the extension is correct but Windows is set to hide extensions, you can hover your mouse over the file to see the extension.

If not, the error would be about the missing _data folder, not the cited error message.


you can hover your mouse over the file to see the extension.

This is me writing that down.

The problem files could be zero bytes for some reason

Zero bytes gives you terrible sound quality.

Thanks everybody for the great number of thoughtful replies.

I have nailed the problem down myself in the meantime.

The problem was that I stored all files in a directory that contains a german umlaut in its name (“Märchen”).
Once I changed that to “Maerchen” projects can be saved and loaded, audio files can be generated as one would expect.
Sure this is a bug of Audacity, isn’t it?

Cheers, have a merry christmas

The playing of files in other players is not an Audacity bug, assuming the export is correct.

What region format is Windows running in? Type “intl.cpl” (without quotes) in the Windows Taskbar search box, then press ENTER on your keyboard.

What language is Audacity running in? See Edit > Preferences…, “Interface”.

I cannot reproduce these problems on Windows 10 64-bit, Windows set to English (UK) and Audacity set to “System” language.

Can you give exact steps that reproduce the problem for you. Exact names, exact commands and actions.