Audacity won't import mp3's anymore

Hello All:

Audacity stopped importing mp3s properly. I now just get a straight line on the y=0 position on x axis.

How can make Audacity import properly again?



P.S. here is what my log says:

10:45:30: Audacity 2.0.2
10:45:31: Trying to load FFmpeg libraries...
10:45:31: Trying to load FFmpeg libraries from default path, 'C:Program Files (x86)FFmpeg for Audacityavformat-52.dll'.
10:45:31: Looking up PATH environment variable...
10:45:31: PATH = 'C:Windowssystem32;C:Windows;C:Windowssystem32wbem;C:Program FilesCommon FilesMicrosoft SharedWindows Live;C:Program Files (x86)Common FilesMicrosoft SharedWindows Live;C:WindowsSystem32WindowsPowerShellv1.0;C:Program FilesWIDCOMMBluetooth Software;C:Program FilesWIDCOMMBluetooth Softwaresyswow64;C:Program Files (x86)Microsoft SQL Server100ToolsBinn;C:Program Files (x86)Microsoft SQL Server100DTSBinn;C:Program Files (x86)Common FilesRoxio Shared10.0DLLShared;C:Program Files (x86)Common FilesRoxio SharedDLLShared;C:Program Files (x86)Windows LiveShared;C:Program Files (x86)QuickTimeQTSystem;C:Program Files (x86)QuickTimeQTSystem'
10:45:31: Checking that 'C:Program Files (x86)FFmpeg for Audacity' is in PATH...
10:45:31: Warning: FFmpeg directory is not in PATH.
10:45:31: Temporarily appending ';C:Program Files (x86)FFmpeg for Audacity' to PATH...
10:45:31: Checking for monolithic avformat from 'C:Program Files (x86)FFmpeg for Audacityavformat-52.dll'.
10:45:31: Error: Couldn't find symbol 'avutil_version' in a dynamic library (error 127: the specified procedure could not be found.)
10:45:31: avformat not monolithic
10:45:31: Loading avutil from 'C:Program Files (x86)FFmpeg for Audacityavutil-50.dll'.
10:45:31: Loading avcodec from 'C:Program Files (x86)FFmpeg for Audacityavcodec-52.dll'.
10:45:31: Loading avformat from 'C:Program Files (x86)FFmpeg for Audacityavformat-52.dll'.
10:45:31: Returning PATH to previous setting...
10:45:31: Actual avutil path C:Program Files (x86)FFmpeg for Audacityavutil-50.dll
10:45:31: Actual avcodec path C:Program Files (x86)FFmpeg for Audacityavcodec-52.dll
10:45:31: Actual avformat path C:Program Files (x86)FFmpeg for Audacityavformat-52.dll
10:45:31: Importing symbols...
10:45:31: All symbols loaded successfully. Initializing the library.
10:45:31: Retrieving FFmpeg library version numbers:
10:45:31:    AVCodec version 0x342000 - 52.32.0 (built against 0x344802 - 52.72.2)
10:45:31:    AVFormat version 0x342400 - 52.36.0 (built against 0x344002 - 52.64.2)
10:45:31:    AVUtil version 0x320300 - 50.3.0 (built against 0x320f01 - 50.15.1)
10:45:31: FFmpeg libraries loaded successfully.

Here is an update:

  • I did some test recording of my voice. Audacity first would display a nice waveform of my voice and then after about 6 seconds the waveform would disappear!

  • I opened an existing project. Waveform did not disappear. I then imported the mp3 that I could not import earlier. It imported properly!

  • I checked the log file one more time. There were references to a --going from memory – “C:Usersuser1AppDataLocalTempaudacity_temp” directory that Audacity could not write.

I am suspecting that somehow Audacity is not able to create the files in that directory. When I open a project that has its files elsewhere, then Audacity is able to write to that directory and it works.

I need to find the root cause of this.

As a work around, I suppose I can change the settings and ask audacity write to a different directory. I think I saw a setting that would let me change where Audacity writes.

Any comments appreciated.

The first thing to check is that Audacity really is (not) doing what you think it is (not) doing.

Try opening this MP3 file - it’s a 3 sweeping second tone.

Your post arrived while I was typing my previous reply.

Go into preferences (from the Edit menu) and in the “Directories” section check the location of the Audacity temp folder.

Well, here is what I have there:


And when I look at the log I see a bunch of errors:

12:47:29: Error: can’t open file ‘’ (error 3: the system cannot find the path specified.)
12:47:29: Error: Directory ‘C:Usersuser1AppDataLocalTempaudacity_tempproject10637’ couldn’t be created (error 5: access is denied.)
12:47:29: Error: mkdir in DirManager::MakeBlockFilePath failed. (error 5: access is denied.)

12:47:29: Error: can’t open file ‘’ (error 3: the system cannot find the path specified.)

So, somehow that directory is no longer available to Audacity. I wonder why Windows all of a sudden decided to limit access to that directory…

I am wondering if it will affect other programs, since they have folders within the same general area…

In the meantime I will change the temp directory to a place in my “documents” folder and see what happens.


Is “user1” your Windows log-in name?

Yes, it is.


and you are logged in as “user1” ?
Have you checked that “C:Usersuser1AppDataLocalTemp” is writeable ?

Yes, I am logged in as user1 as I always do.

I did check it earlier and it said something to the effect that it was “readonly for the files under it”. I made it read-write, but that did not help.

I am not sure why windows is changing things on me…



I would suggest carrying out steps like these (with the appropriate changes for Vista/7 or whatever version of Windows you have): .

So, right-click over “C:UsersUser1”, choose Properties and give yourself sufficient permissions, or replace and reapply permissions.

For “Take Ownership”, these links may also help: .