Audacity Frozen stiff

Windows 10
Audacity 2.3.0 (2.3.1)
I have been happily using Audacity for years, until today. When I got my most recent project just right, I exported to mp3 as I always do, but instead of the next screen appearing, nothing at all happened. Absolutely nothing worked; I had to shut it off by restarting my computer. After several attempts, I uninstalled 2.3.0 and installed the brand new edition, which I was sure would solve my problem. But no. Even 2.3.1 crashes as soon as I export. I have never experienced this; I’ve never even heard of it. Can anyone tell me how to get working again?
Thank you very much!

Please attach the project “.AUP” file to your reply. I’ve got a hunch of what it might be, but I need to see the AUP file to check.

The file, as requested.
It happened with all three files that I tested in different configurations.
05 Track 05.aup (11.4 KB)

Does the freeze happen if you do this:

  1. Launch Audacity.
  2. “File menu > Open” and select the “05 Track 05.aup” file.
  3. “Edit menu > Metadata”.

    Second question:
    Are all of the problem files encoded by iTunes?

Yes, it did freeze after following steps 1-3.
It seems to happen no matter what format I export to.

From your AUP file, it looks like you imported a track from iTunes. Is that the case? Is that the case with all projects that have this problem?

That’s the most likely scenario, one which I have done successfully many times. Is there something inherently wrong with that?
I also did a test of a .wav file not from iTunes, which looked like it was going to work, but it froze, too, when I tried to export it to mp3.
thanks, again!

The problem you described has been reported a couple of times very recently, and coincides with a recent iTunes update. Perhaps that’s a coincidence, or perhaps not - that’s what I’m trying to establish. If the two things are unrelated, then we will need to look elsewhere.

Which version of iTunes do you have?

According to Specifications, the version of iTunes is:

Also called: Version

12.9.4.x is the latest version, and it has recently been found to have a problem (“possibly” unrelated) with M4A files.

Did you close (shut down) Audacity before doing that test?
In fact, could you redo that test but reboot your computer first, do NOT open iTunes, and only use WAV or MP3 files that have not been touched by iTunes.

Do you have a reasonably small Audacity project that has this problem? If so, could you “ZIP” it into an archive and make it available via either dropbox, Google Drive or If we can reproduce the problem then that will be a big help in solving the problem.

I nearly forgot:

The problem appears to be related to metadata, so a probable workaround:

“Edit menu > Preferences > Import / Export”
Un-check (de-select) the option: “Show Metadata Tags editor before export”

You should now be able to export without freezing, but note:

  1. If you manually open the Metadata editor, you will get the freeze (as in your previous test).

  2. If you Export as “M4A (AAC)”, the exported file will not play in iTunes 12.9.4. (this is currently believed to be an iTunes bug rather than an Audacity bug, but we’re still investigating).

Thank you so much for the workaround. Works like a charm.
Regarding your request for a test sample: because I have worked previously on a Mac for a very long time, I cannot think of any audio project that was untouched by iTunes at some point. Nonetheless, I will go back through time to see if there are any possibilities. Truly sorry for not being able to help you track this all down right now.

Truly sorry for not being able to help you track this all down right now.

You can understand how this would get our attention. “What do you mean you can’t open your work in iTunes?” Or, “What do you mean I can’t open iTunes work?”


I realized that I could create a “virgin” .wav file that could be tested, but since I’ve already established the workaround, it worked fine when converting to mp3 in Audacity. Did you want me to try without the workaround? Hoping to help.
Many thanks

Thanks for the offer :slight_smile:

What I’d like you to try (Exit Audacity before each test):

Test 1:

  1. Launch Audacity
  2. Import a “virgin” WAV file
  3. From the “Edit” menu, open “Metadata Editor”, and click OK.
    Hopefully Audacity will not be frozen.

Test 2:

  1. Launch Audacity
  2. Import a file from your iTunes library (“Track 05” from “Sleep, Holy Babe”?)
  3. From the “Edit” menu, open “Metadata Editor”, and click OK.
    Does Audacity freeze?

If Test 2 passes without freezing, try again a few times with different files - see if you can find a file that causes a freeze.

Test 1 always freezes Audacity.


With Audacity closed (not running), take a look in the hidden folder:
and find the file “audacity.cfg

Attach that file to your reply, then rename the file on your computer as “audacity.cfg.bak
Then restart Audacity - When Audacity launches, you should see the “Welcome” screen.
Then try “Test 1” again.

Any difference?

Another thing to try, preferably before changing the name of “audacity.cfg” (but if you’ve done that already please run this test anyway):

  1. Launch Audacity - if it’s already open, Quit and then relaunch Audacity.
  2. While the project is empty, open the Metadata Editor from the menu.
    Does Audacity freeze?

I tried the second test first, as you wrote. Opening Metadata freezes Audacity without any project open.
Will it make any difference to run the first test now?