Audacity 2.3.3: Using the spacebar to play ALWAYS crashes

macOS Mojave 10.14.6 (18G1012)
Audacity 2.3.3

Steps to reproduce:

  1. Open an Audacity project
  2. Click anywhere in the waveform
  3. Press the spacebar to begin playback
  4. CRASH!

Any ideas what I can do to fix this?

Hitting the spacebar to play is muscle memory for me; it has been for years. It is very frustrating that something I do many times without even thinking as I edit now suddenly doesn’t work, and even crashes the program.

On that note, I’ve tried earlier versions of Audacity 2.3.x for macOS. I kept going back to v2.2.2 because every version after that would crash when doing the most mundane things. I anybody else seeing the same behavior on Macs, or am I an outlier here?

Does your spacebar work normally in other apps? I have one keyboard where the spacebar works only when it’s convenient and the time seems right.


Audacity freezes and stops responding to controls, or it vanishes taking the work with it?

Next time it does that, don’t just immediately relaunch Audacity. Instead Apple (upper left) > Shut Down… Keep watching the screen as it goes down. Do you get an extended period of spinning daisy? Don’t Restart. Actually Shut Down…

Any time a program crashes, it leaves trash behind that makes another crash more likely. Shutdown… clears all that trash. If you can’t shut down, or shutdown is an act of Parliament/Congress, then we may have a crowded machine. Macs like you to think apps have closed when they’re really napping in the dock taking up resources. Pay attention to the dock indicators.

Start. Listen for the Chong! Log in and then go make tea. When it seems happy (two or three minutes), Shutdown… again. Shutdown… should be much snappier with little or no spinning daisy. Start.

Launch Audacity, Generate > Something. Noise. Park the cursor somewhere in the middle and see if Spacebar play works.


Audacity > Preferences > Keyboard. Make sure Space key is mapped to Play/Stop.

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