Audio files scrambled; project missing

I recently recorded and hour-long podcast and was nearly done editing when Audacity crashed. Unfortunately, it was hung up so long (over an hour) that I needed to do a manual exit. When I re-logged into Audacity, it was as though the project was no longer there – didn’t show up under recent files, or under the “open” option. I was able to find the file in my documents using the search files option, and underneath the project name are tons of little snippet files from the project, but they are scrambled like a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle that somebody dropped. Is there a way to get to any metadata about these snippets so that they can be re-ordered back into an intelligent interview? I tried opening and piecing the snippets manually, but this is really daunting because there are multiple versions of the snippets because of editing.

I am using Audacity 2.03 and running Windows 7.

Is there anything that can be done? Here is a link to the “project” (no longer a project), and the little
.au files contained within it:

Any insights? This happened a few days ago, so the Audacity Log isn’t really useful. Thanks!

When you next started Audacity it should have offered you a Recovery - did that not happen?

The Manual has material on repairing damaged projects like yours but the process is not exactly easy.

The big lesson that you should learn from this is to Save your project periodically at known definable stages of your editing process.


Thanks for your reply. No, it did not give me a recovery option.

I did read this forum and the manual – I downloaded the recovery utility, but it just says there is no audio file when I click on the folder. That shouldn’t be right, because I can access the individual .au audio snippets. The rest of the post you linked didn’t make sense to me – if I could easily re-order all the inidivual .au files, I would, but they appear to be random, and are numbered randomly. It would take untold hours to try to piece all the snippets together in the correct order. Is there no metadata within each of these .au files that could tell me the order in which they were created? It certainly did not seem as though the files when I accessed them sequentially were in any sort of order.

Can anyone explain the manual link more clearly as to how I might re-assemble an hour’s worth of .au snippets?

I did repeatedly save the project file, but in the future, I will also make copies and export to mp3 frequently, but that doesn’t help me with this project.

I would export the intermediates as WAV not MP3 as MP3 is a compressed final production format and is lossy.


If there is no recovery that means there is no AUTOSAVE file or it is corrupted. You could look in UsersAppDataRoamingAudacityAutoSave to check. You may have to show hidden files and folders.

Have you tried opening that AUP file? It may show some “missing” and “orphan” files but it should get you somewhere close to the state of the project when you last saved it.

Because you edited the project, you can’t use the manual recovery methods to reassemble the AU files. The timestamp order of the files no longer relates to the timeline order of the files in the project. You need the AUP file, or the AUTOSAVE file, or possibly a TMP file in case there happens to be one in the AutoSave folder. If there is a TMP file, rename it to say AUTOSAVE (after the dot in the name) then Audacity will try to recover from that.

There is no metadata stored in the AU files that lets them be pieced together correctly, sorry.