Audacity re-creates samples when opening compressed data

I have started using Audacity’s “Save compressed copy of project” as a space-saving measure, as my audacity project data has grown quite large. My problem is that, if I open a compressed project, Audacity silently re-creates all the un-compressed sample data and changes the project file to point to them instead of the compressed .ogg file(s). This completely undermines my efforts to compress the projects in the first place, and confused me to no end until I figured out what was going on. Due to Audacity silently modifying the project file (even if all I do is open it) I have to again select “Save compressed copy of project” to remove the reference to the uncompressed samples.

I’m not sure if there is an option in the preferences to change this, but I do not want Audacity to re-create all of this sample data unless I specifically save the project normally. I would also be fine if it re-created the data while it was open, but removed it again after I closed Audacity.

“Save compressed copy of project” is designed to make projects more manageable when sending projects to others, it is not intended to be part of the normal working method.

Audacity projects always use uncompressed audio data - that’s the only way that Audacity is able to do all the cool things that it does - working with compressed audio data is not an option.

There are several reasons that saving a compressed copy is not as good as saving a normal (not compressed) Audacity project:
There is some sound quality loss because the data compression (ogg) is a lossy format.
Projects take longer to open because the ogg files need to be decoded before you can do anything.
and as you’ve discovered, it saves no space when working on the project.

Fortunately hard drives are cheap these days.