Audacity can't load its own saved projects. .aup3 fail. ffMpeg library fail. How to save a project?

Once again Audacity saves its projects as *.aup3 files, and then says it can’t read that format.
Supposedly I’m to download an FFMPEG file, and link to it in edit>preferences. Which then sometimes makes Audacity able to load *aup3 files… for a while… until it forgets, and once again is unable to do it.
It sounds like there’s a patent issue, and FFMPEG can’t be included as part of Audacity. Is there another way to save a project? Software that can’t load its own data files is kind of a total fail.
Alternatively is there a reliable way to install the FFMPEG? One that Audacity won’t randomly forget? Also the download is weird, the Audacity help page has these rambling vague instructions but doesn’t have a link to the darn download itself. Like where is it then?

There’s an FFMPEG download (recommended in the Audacity help) that installs a AVFORMAT59.dll, but Audacity wants AVFORMAT55.dll, and rejects the file named 59.

edit>Preferences>libraries now says LAME 3.100 is built in, and FFmpeg is version F(55.33.100), C(55.52.102), U(52.66.100)

But Audacity still can’t open a *.aup3 file that was created and saved in Audacity four days ago.

The log says
Couldn’t find symbol avutil_version’ in a a dynamic library
Couldn’t find symbol ‘avcodec_version’ in a dynamic library

I just re-installed Audacity and now it works… today anyway.

Any way to make sure it will be able to load Aup3 files in the future?

Or another way to save an Audacity project, like in a more reliable format?

FFmpeg is only needed for the Export and Import of some audio file types (not all, many are supported natively in Audacity).

It is NOT needed for Saving or Opening AUP3 projects - Audacity does that by itself (the AUP3 project is actually a SQLite database)

There indeed is a patent issue which is why Audacity cannot bundle FFmpeg in the app (well not without paying a hefty license fee) and instead rely on it being delivered from an external site which is linked to from the instructions. The external site is a bit messy and confusing I agree - but Muse/Audacity has little to no control over that.


I saw the message
- - - - “Cannot load Myproject.aup3. Check on your ffmpeg library”
and jumped to the conclusion that the ffmpeg library was related to the failure to load the .aup3 file.
So… I guess all the time fighting to install ffmpeg was a waste
… and … I guess I still don’t know how to fix the problem
- - - - “Cannot load Myproject.aup3”
except this time I fixed it by reinstalling Audacity. I don’t know what I’ll try next time it fails.

I thought of a possibility while I was typing this. Are you doing live production from Cloud or Internet Drives? Audacity doesn’t like that very much. Do all your production on internal drives. Shuffle files around with the computer’s file system, not Audacity.

A note from up the thread. You are trying to “Open” your project right, not “Import?”

For unstable conditions like this, I would try a test condition.

Generate a minute long 400Hz test tone. Export it as a WAV file and Save it as an Audacity Project with a similar name. Make sure both open OK.

If you start having problems with your show, see if that simple tone performance still works.


Always using local drive
File > open recent > myfile.aup3

When Audacity has experienced the problem in question, it has always been 100% unable to open all Audacity project files.

In the past I thought I fixed it by (re)downloading the ffmpeg, but the previous commenter asserts that this is irrelevant. So maybe the “fix” was something I didn’t notice doing, like stopping and restarting Audacity 50 times, or accidentally hitting some button in Edit/Preferences.

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