Audacity files seemed to be corrupted

Have had this happen twice and not sure the cause or if there is a repair.

I recorded 14 chapters of my book and then set about editing. Saved a raw file, and edit file, edit and effects file, and a Final Cut file. Once I reached the final cut stage, thankfully, I exported just the MP3 file to my computer, a flash drive, and then downloaded from the flash to another computer as back up. All going great through nine chapters.

As I finished Chapter 10 and saved the Final Cut Audacity file in Audacity, the file ended up with a red “x” to the right of it, istead of the green “check” mark. Worse, now any Audacity file I open (I have 40+) ends up with the red “x” and I can’t do anything with them.

Has anyone had this happen to them? Is there a fix to salvage at least my four remaining Raw files of Chapters 11-14? Just wondering how to avoid this in the future. Thinking I will record and edit to final cut one chapter at at a time just in case, exporting the Final Cut Mp3 file before I close. Thanks for any feedback.

Final Cut is a video editor. What is its connection to your work?

Never do production in MP3. Yes, I understand that ACX wants chapter submissions in MP3, but they want super high quality 192-Constant. Not regular MP3s.

Do your production, saving, and backups in WAV. Once you get your Perfect Edit-Master WAV chapters, Then make the MP3s for submission.

You can’t edit an MP3 without damaging the quality. If you export your work as 192 quality MP3 and then decide to edit it to correct any mistakes and then export it as 192, it’s not 192 any more. MP3 gets its tiny files by throwing away sound fragments. The damage is permanent and it gets worse as you edit.

Are you in Audacity 3.5.1 by any chance? It’s not good to stack up large productions in 3.5.1. It doesn’t deal with that well.

Get to a good stopping place with your backup files, close Audacity, and restart the machine. If you’re in Windows, do a clean shutdown. Ctrl-Alt-Del and then Shift+Shutdown.

Start and then launch Audacity and continue on.


Thanks! I am producing in Audacity files. Just naming my completely edited file Final Cut. Once I have the file completely edited with effects done, I save Audacity Final Cut file and then export as MP3. Is the Audacity MP3 file not high enough quality?

I am in Audacity 3.5.1. Will backup Audacity files outside of Audacity now and just take one chapter at a time, rather than piling them up. Thanks for yor help!


Are you exporting them as 192-Constant Quality?

Screen Shot 2024-06-19 at 18.37.22

Then yes, they’re good to go. Remember you can’t open them up and change anything.

Are you submitting to ACX? Do your files pass Audacity ACX-Check and did you include the blank “Room Tone” areas in each chapter?

Did you pass any theatrical quality tests? That’s what I failed. I had perfect files but my voice sucked. ACX doesn’t have any short sample voice evaluations any more. Your choices are submit the whole book or not.

Want to post a voice test on the forum?

We can do a quick evaluation before you get done with all million chapters.

Oh, one more. Don’t try to make Audacity directly save or open anything on an external drive. It doesn’t like that very much. Keep active production on the local drives.

Copy stuff around with Audacity off.



Turns out my issue for lack of storage on my OneDrive on my PC. Deleted all unecssary files and now is working again. Do appreciate your help and trhe tips above. A lot to learn! Thanks for sharing with this inexperinced old-timer!


OneDrive is not on your PC. OneDrive is a Microsoft cloud-based service which provides internet storage. Microsoft runs a program on your machine that makes it “look like” a local drive.

Audacity doesn’t always get along very well with cloud drives. Audacity assumes that any drive it can see can be used for any job no matter how delicate or difficult.

You got lucky. If you were doing music production you may find the system routinely crashing, delivering errors, or bad results.

You experience what happens when Microsoft error messages don’t match your computer’s error system.

It is recommended that you do all your production, editing, and saving on the local drives (C:) and copying the work to the cloud (or any other) drive to make more room as needed.


Though one drive has a sync option which keeps selected local drive contents backed up to your cloud. Who know what happens if cloud side fills up!?

They start billing you? That should be in your Terms of Service.

Nobody wins if their service starts destroying work. However, spilling over your account is a golden opportunity to sell you something.

All the cloud services I’ve seen so far work that way. “If you exceed your 1GB free limit, you will be automatically upgraded to the 10GB or higher service at the following rates…”


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