Audacity loops. Recovery is offered, but Recovery loops.

Audacity loops. The task is ended via Windows Task Manager. Audacity is restarted, Audacity offers recovery, but recovery, too, loops.

This is Audacity 3.0.2 (apparently installed on 18th May 2021) under Windows 10.

I’ve used Audacity for six years, under Windows XP, 7, and 10. This is my first problem report. I find nothing relevant in the FAQs or elsewhere. My apologies if I have overlooked something.

My usual use of Audacity, including this case, is to produce a one-hour project containing one (occasionally two) stereo track and usually one mono track. Over the years I have produced some 650 such projects, almost invariably with no problems that were not self-inflicted. This failure, however, is the third of its type within the past few weeks.

I see no action that causes these loops. The actions to create the project are mostly quite repetitive, basically as follows: import a wav file to a new track; normalize; edit to eliminate leading and trailing silence; shift clip from new track to the end of the original track; delete new track; repeat until done.

In each case where the problem has occurred (albeit only for a limited period) Audacity offers the opportunity to recover; the wal and shm files continued to exist. Nonetheless, recovery is never successful (because Audacity loops again), and eventually the wal and shm files disappear for no apparent reason. (I myself certainly don’t delete them since I’d wanted them available for diagnosis.)

Please note that I’m not asking for assistance with these failed projects: I simply repeated the work. For at least this most recent failure, the aup3 file does exist, although opening it again causes Audacity to loop.

Please tell me what you suggest. Thank you.

“Looping” is a buzzword. Describe in plain words what you hear or see.

You move the last new edited and processed section of audio to the end of the show collection track and it starts playing by itself, repeatedly?

We have to be able to create your error or conditions in our heads to sort it.


Thank you for your response.

You have hit, in reverse, a problem I encounter when reading the truly excellent Audacity doc, that is, the use of the word “loop”. I’m a professional software developer, and I automatically use the term to describe something that repeats, in this case indefinitely. The use of “loop” in the sense of repeated audio never occurs to me, because I never have a use for repeated audio. There is no repetition of audio associated with this problem. My apologies for unintentionally giving the impression that there is.

The reason I say that Audacity is looping is because Windows suggests it that this is the case: (a) there’s a spinning blue circle; (b) the X box in the top right-hand corner turns red; and (c) Windows Task Manager shows c. 30% CPU usage attributable to Audacity. This situation does not resolve itself within a tolerable period of time (e.g., five minutes), so I use Task Manager to end Audacity. (I see no alternative. If I’m wrong, then please enlighten me.)

When I restart Audacity, I’m offered the choice to recover the project. If I accept, then the above situation simply recurs. (As the computer adage has it, “For ‘loop’, see ‘loop’.”) If I choose to skip recovery, then the next project (be it truly new or, more likely, repeating the problem project) proceeds as normal. When I next open Audacity, again I’m offered the choice to recover the failed project. This situation continues until at some time the wal and shm files disappear, and with them any chance to recover the project. I myself do not delete these files (reasoning that they might be useful for debugging), so I can only conjecture the cause.

I hope that this helps you to help me. Thank you.

Windows Task Manager shows c. 30% CPU usage attributable to Audacity.

I believe this is the Control Point bug. Audacity accumulates Filter Curve Control Points at a furious rate (whether or not they’re useful) and when a user gets to a large enough show, the machine just falls over from the high workload.

I believe later Audacity versions were designed to not do that, or as I understand it, don’t do it in a manner that kills the machine.


Yes 3.0.2 has a serious bug whereby it can propagate millions of unnecessary envelope points.

This was fixed for 3.0.4 and remains fixed in the latest Audacity 3.0.5.

These later Audacity versions will however not repair your damaged project - one of the Forum elves, Jademan, has developed a special tool for such repairs - he may be able to help you clean and recover the project.

This bug is known and is reported here: Audacity Recovery does NOT honor user’s selection to discard broken project. #1485

If, as waxcylinder suggests, you have the “envelope problem”, then I suggest that you run AudacityRescue one time to clean up the damage. See: 3.0.3 experiencing extreme slowdown and is Not Responding - #18 by jademan

Upgrading to 3.0.4/5 will keep this problem from recurring.

Thanks to all for pointing me in the right direction. Currently all seems well, as before.

First, I ran AudacityRescue against the aup3 file for a failed project. The project was recovered perfectly. As I stated originally, I no longer need that failed version of the project because (needing to deliver the finished product to a deadline) I “simply” did it a second time. Nonetheless, this was very reassuring. Kudos to jademan for having first the intiative and then both the ability and persistence to deliver this tool.

Second, I installed Audacity 3.0.5. Earlier today I used it to produce my next project. There were no problems.

Of course, one swallow doesn’t make a summer, but I expect that this is the end of the matter.

Again, thanks to all who helped.

You are welcome. Glad to hear you are back on track… :smiley:

Thanks for reporting back henwr - glad you got your projects sorted :smiley:

And good to hear that 3.0.5 is working well for you.

And yes that jademan is a cunning toolmaker :ugeek: :sunglasses: