Audacity 2.1.1 stops recording but not frozen

Hello there

I have been recording upto 10 hour long wavs without any issues using a USB microphone for 2 weeks now. Today I found when saving a 4 hour recording that it had stopped recording at 8:xx mins. Kindly note :

  • the record button was depressed
  • program had not frozen, I was able to save the tiny 8 min recording
  • the stop button was not depressed

So basically the red vertical recording line just decided to stop on its own…and it happened a second time at 17:xx mins and and a third time at 15:xx mins. I read somewhere that disabling play-through can help.

Has anyone experienced this? Kindly help.


I have been recording upto 10 hour long wavs without any issues using a USB microphone for 2 weeks now.

That’s impressive. I can’t perform for ten hours…

it happened a second time at 17:xx mins and and a third time at 15:xx mins.

How full is your hard drive? It’s a common problem on the video forums when somebody posts “For some reason it just stopped working. I didn’t change anything.”

Your computer filled up.

I’m surprised you didn’t run into the WAV problem. WAV (Microsoft) has small filesize limits: 2GB in some cases 4GB in others. Sometimes the system will let you Export (save) a WAV and not tell you that you’re only getting a fraction of the show. I believe FLAC format has little or no sound damage and has no 4GB size limit.

Audacity is not a published surveillance recorder. For one significant thing, there is no provision to “Loop/Erase,” automatically erase the beginning as you add to the end.

Nasty things can happen when you get into multi-hour recordings.


Thanks Koz I’m using it for recording my surroundings here for academic research.

Didn’t run into 4GB limits but no problems with over 2GB so far. I’ll give FLAC a try.

Computer is pretty empty. No RAM problems either.

Like I mentioned I have been using it for 2 weeks without any issues everyday. This issue cropped up today. Record button pressed and stop button unpressed. Here is a video :

It failed a 4th time, so it looks like this now:

-8:xx mins FAIL
-15:xx mins FAIL
-17:xx mins FAIL
-1h:48:xx mins WORKS
-4:xx mins FAIL

So unless it is divine intervention I cannot really explain what is going on here…it is totally random…Anyone have any clue?

While you’re recording, the extreme bottom of the window should report the number of minutes/hours you have left. Is it real? Does it say 4 minutes and then it stops at 4?

Mine says 218 hours with 65GB free space.

Computer is pretty empty. No RAM problems either

Real numbers?


No it does not say 4 minutes. It says 397 hours left 234 GB free space. I have 8GB RAM out of which 3.5GB RAM is taken by browser and other apps. Heres a snapshot.

What version of Windows? What is the make and model number of the mic? Does it support the version of Windows you are using?

If you want to record for 10 hours you should use a hardwired mic, not USB that run out of resources.

Try cold booting the computer. If you are on Windows 8 or later, that means hold SHIFT while pressing the Shut Down menu option.


Thanks Gale.
I do 2-4 hours mostly. Just gave 10 hours as an example.

Windows 8 and Samson Go Mic, a USB condenser mic.

Anyway nothing explains the totally random pattern of the error. It stops at anywhere between 5-24 mins and recorded for ~2 hours once in between.

Why does USB run out of resources? Like I mentioned it worked without issues for a fortnight for recordings in 2-10 hour periods.


just decided to stop on its own.

It can do that if Audacity stops getting data from the microphone. Laptop? Try recording from the built-in microphone just as a test. Even money says the system keeps recording.

If you are a vigorous user of a single USB port, you could have a worn connector. They do wear out. The data error could depend on humidity, time of day, temperature, altitude, etc.


Developers have a condition they call “moon phase errors.” Sometimes, one developer/programmer will report a portion of a process might fail…every 28 days. Or not.

That’s when you get good at laying traps. Divide the process into segments, etc.