Audacity 2x not working well on 12 year old PC

I know that 12 years is quite old for a PC, but 1GB of RAM still comes well within the XP reccomended specs for the latest version of Audacity. But for some reason, the newest version doesn’t run well on my Dimension 4500, which isn’t my main computer, however it’s the one I use to do all my music mixing on due to the location being near my instruments. When I first start my PC up, it will work fine (if started immediately after booting the PC), yet if I enter it, or come back to it past about an hour of being switched on, I begin experiencing issues. Typically, it refuses to play, and the green moving line just stays in one place and “jitters”. In addition, when I switch the microphone line, or press confirm to any of the preferences, it will become unresponsive for 30 seconds or so before finally doing the action, along with taking a long time to start up and hanging on the Audacity logo when there’s an issue (I usually know when there will be trouble because of this). I also have these issues for 1.3, yet to a lesser extent, however not 1.2. Until the problems are fixed, I feel the need to use an old version which will run fine, except that I couldn’t locate where to install the package which allows you to import videos and WMV files for 1.2. If the problem is a hardware issue, not a software glitch, do you know if the WMA/video audio importer plugin is available for 1.2? I struggled to find it before.

FFmpeg is not available for Audacity 1.2. You would have to extract the audio from the WMV files to WAV before Audacity 1.2 can import them.

Please be careful with XP. See All of your issues could potentially be caused by viruses eating your computer resources. Your machine might not be able to handle more than about a pop song length if you have many tracks, so you have no margin for other problems.

I would suggest you verify you have a clean machine by ensuring you have Service Pack 3 if you don’t have it already, then do an overnight virus scan.

Otherwise, the issues you mention mainly sound as though they could be related to your audio devices. After the virus check, please use Help > Audio Device Info… in 2.0.6 (or at least a late 1.3 version) and attach that information here. Please see How to attach files to forum posts.

Be aware that if you are using USB playback or recording devices, they must be connected to an empty USB port on the computer - connecting them to a USB hub could cause stalled playback or recording after a while.

If you are using the motherboard (built-in) audio or a PCI sound card, correct drivers (as up-to-date as possible for XP) are especially important. Please see Managing Computer Resources and Drivers - Audacity Wiki.


I think I’ve found a link - Once I’ve opened Hydrogen Drum Machine, Audacity will not function properly until the PC is restarted. So it may be a corrupt Hydrogen installation. Let me try and reinstall to see if that helps…

If I boot the PC up without running Hydrogen, or if I uninstall Hydrogen, Audacity will work fine, however as soon as I load Hydrogen (even after a reinstall), it will get very slow and unresponsive, even after I exit Hydrogen. The last bit is what confuses me most, since there is no process for the drum machine software, yet it worked fine right up to when I opened it… So maybe reverting to an older version of Hydrogen, or simply not using them together, will fix the problem.

Have you looked at what happens in Task Manger? Perhaps Hydrogen doesn’t relinquish memory after you quit it?