audacity won't playback what I am taping

I am having the same problem, it won’t playback what I am taping. Now it records just fine, I just can’t listen to what it is recording as it is doing it. I have it on my speakers and have tried some of the other options. I also tried to reinstall it to see if that would help, sadly nothing works.

Do you see a waveform after recording? …You may not be recording anything.

Windows has separate recording & playback “mixers”, so you don’t always record what you are hearing.

Have you tried exporting your recording to a WAV file? If you can play the exported WAV in another application, that will be a clue.

To save confusing the other user whose topic you posted in, I started a new topic for you.

If you are using a USB tape player to record from, set Audacity and Windows to use the computer speakers as the playback device, not the tape player (which may also be called “speakers”). See this link Why have I lost sound after connecting a USB device on Windows?.

If you still have a problem with playback after that, please give us the requested information for version of Audacity and version of Windows as per the pink panel at the top of the page. Also tell us exactly how you are recording the tapes.

Sometimes, restarting the computer can help with other types of playback problem in Audacity.


I am using Audacity 2.1.1 and windows 10 and I got the .exe installer when I downloaded it.

It played for a few seconds and then silent again. It did that before when I reset the preferences and I lost it while it was recording. I am recording from an ION tape to pc tape player. The recordings are turning out great its just I have no playback during recordings.

Where do you want to play the recordings - on your computer speakers? If so, open Device Toolbar in Audacity and choose your computer speakers as playback device (last box on the right).

To hear sounds everywhere else on your computer, follow Why have I lost sound after connecting a USB device on Windows? to make sure you set the computer speakers as default playback device in Windows Sound. Those instructions apply to Windows 10 too. Or simply disconnect the Ion tape player then Windows cannot try to play to it.

Hold Win key + X and choose “Restart” (I mean restart, not Shut Down).

If sound comes and goes then there may be a loose connection somewhere.