Audacity Loop Bug?

Hi everyone!

Issue: Audacity will not loop tracks to the needed amount of time.
What I need: I need to loop multiple tracks for 10 hours, each track is a different length although averaging 30 seconds in length. I have already done the work needed, all I need is to loop them so that each track repeats continuously for 10 hours.
Details: I am using the ‘Repeat’ effect whilst selecting an entire track, I can set the first track to around 12 hours in length utilizing the repeat function, although after that I cannot repeat any other track even once.

Post Script I have done my research, and have spent the last 4 hours trying to think of a way out of this issue but alas I have failed in that regard. I am posting this hoping a more experienced user may assist me. Thank you.

Repeat won’t work if using it would create 2 ^31 samples or more of total audio in the project, so about 13.5 hours at 44100 Hz project rate, about 12 hours 25 minutes at 48000 Hz, about 27 hours at 22050 Hz and so on. You must not save the project with that length of audio or more, or the project will not open again. You can export the project if the file format supports such a length.

To solve the problem , you can copy a section of the loop then paste it at the end of the track to give you the required length. Clicking in the track then pressing K takes you to the end of the track.

Also I’ve just noticed you can defeat the restriction by using CTRL + R which will repeat the selection the same number of times that it did before :astonished: . Should we close that loophole, Steve?


Thank you sincerely.

Most forums would not of been so eloquent, nor so assisting. I expected someone to scream “Why would you even need that? INB4LOCK LOL”

Thank you, I’m now exporting my completed mp3.

I only hope my future questions are answered so awe inspiringly.

Thanks for the feedback Zoe.

We work hard to make this forum a sane and family-friendly corner of cyberspace - and for us this forum is an important cornerstone of the open-source Audacity project. It’s good to hear that folk appreciate it.


I’d be strongly tempted to keep that “loophole” open, specifically for unusual cases such as this. Hopefully the 2^31 sample issues will be solved eventually, but until such time it may be worth considering a pop-up warning if the project length exceeds 2^31 samples (however the extreme length has been created).

If we want the restriction it doesn’t strike me as very useful to keep it open in the CTRL + R case, given you cannot adjust the number of repeats, and you may not easily be able to figure out how many repeats it is making unless you know that you can see it in View > History… .

Perhaps though if you were copy/pasting to work around it as in this case the warning would get tiresome.

Can’t the warning be given just on save project, or better, simply refuse to save a project containing > 2^31 - 1 samples? Audacity knows the sample count so is this more than a few minutes programming? If we did that, would we need the warning in Repeat at all?


It probably isn’t very useful, but it’s not the only “loophole” so I’m looking more at the question of whether it’s worth closing the loopholes. It hardly seems worth closing one loophole if we leave others open.

I think that the case of preventing > 2^31 in “Repeat” is slightly different than other cases in that (1) it is much easier to inadvertently exceed 2^31 using “Repeat” than other ways and (2) the block on doing so is already in the code - we’re not adding new road blocks.

What I had in mind was a pop-up warning when the length exceeds 2^31 samples (or 2^31 - 1). If a project longer than this is created the warning would only pop up once - as the length changes from less than 2^31 to more than 2^31. After that, the user has been warned and if they want to continue then that is their decision.

I’ve not checked, but from what I’ve heard about this issue I’d guess that would be possible, and would seem to be a very sensible thing to do.

I think that a warning would still be useful because, as you pointed out recently, the “Save Project” problem is not the only issue. Other things also break beyond this point.

That seems unexpected and non-standard to me. The naive user would think when doing another paste after the first warning that the problem had gone away, and would not be able to distinguish that from the case where they had removed a lot of audio then made a short repeat.

It would need very careful wording, ideally coupled with something like a static text message (in the Status Bar?) that the project exceeds the maximum samples for saving as a project.

I think we should look into this.


It depends how we word the warning.
Currently we don’t warn at all. One warning would be better than no warning, but repeatedly warning would, as you say, soon become very tiresome.

If we also disable saving projects that are too long to be reopened, then they will be reminded of the problem if they try to save.