bug in 2.1.2 error in attached screenshot

I’m working with Audacity 2 .1 .2 on a Dell Inspiron 15 7000 series laptop with 1 TB of storage (mostly unfilled) and 16 gigs of RAM – and of course Windows 8.1.

This has to do with the screenshot attached to this posting. This seems to be an intermittent problem with both the recording and playback device software within Audacity. For weeks it’ll work fine, and then one day I get this message on the attached screenshot. I know it’s false, because the program works fine with everything hooked up the way it is. There have been no changes to the playback and recording device set–ups to cause audacity to present a message like this. On occasion a simple restart of the computer will fix the problem – but then sometimes not. I found that out today and I have no idea what’s wrong.

I have one other question that has to do with the menu command on “View” for fitting tracks “vertically”. This collapsed all my tracks into little lines I can hardly read and there doesn’t seem to be any way to get out of it once I put it in. I tried all the other commands on all the menus that could possibly relate to this and nothing changes it back to the way it was. How do I get back to normal size tracks that I have to scroll to read and work with? Saving my work and closing Audacity and reopening it does not work to get the old view back, neither does restarting the computer.
Screenshot (42).png

How do I get back to normal size tracks

I know this isn’t the answer you want, but the desperation method is click on the barrier between tracks and pull down.


An alternate question: How do I glowing border focus more than one track?


It does not do that. However many tracks you have, Fit Vertically never makes tracks less tall than showing Mono or Stereo and sample rate, unless you have already used View > Collapse All Tracks. If you did that, use View > Expand All Tracks which makes them the height they were before the collapse.

See http://alphamanual.audacityteam.org/man/View_Menu#vertical.


See Why do I get “Error while opening sound device”?. Note that other applications such as Skype may interfere with your settings or may take exclusive control of the sound device. If an application takes exclusive control, Audacity won’t be able to use the device and will show you the “error opening” message.

You might also want to go to the Dell site and make sure you have the correct audio drivers for your system. Let Dell autodetect the system if you are not sure. Even if Windows Media Player plays audio correctly, you still need correct drivers for recording.


I set up a multi-track show as an experiment and I too, got a screen full of horizontal lines apparently stuck that way.

I and I suspect the poster would have sacrificed several family members to find a tool called Zoom Vertical.

Neither of us experienced Expand All Tracks in spite of diligent searching. Just between us chickens, that gives the tool a 30% success rate.


View > Fit Vertically does as a one-off what “Automatically fit tracks vertically zoomed” in Tracks Preferences does automatically all the time.

Edward1 showed a stereo track in his screenshot. So (before I replied) I recorded a stereo snippet and duplicated if five times for a total of 32 tracks. Then View > Fit Vertically. Every track shows me “stereo” and the bit depth.

But if I repeat the above experiment with a mono track, then I agree View > Fit Vertically has the same result as View > Collapse All Tracks, except because you haven’t used the Collapse All Tracks command, Expand All Tracks does nothing.

I can’t see much point in that Fit Vertically behaviour for mono tracks, but it looks like it’s been that way for years.

A vertical zoom feature would be nice anyway, so start a topic in “Adding Features” and suggest how it would work. But I rather think “Fit Vertically” should have a minimum track height that is the same for mono or stereo tracks.

It’s a misnomer. All it does is expand tracks that were collapsed using the Collapse button or “Collapse All Tracks” menu item to the height the tracks had before their last collapse. I’ve changed the wording to “Expand Collapsed Tracks”.


Thanks to all of you who replied. Your answers have solved my problems. As far as the screenshot error I posted, it seems as if I had been using Dragon Speaking sometime in that session and it grabbed and wouldn’t share the mic. I’ll know not to activate that program just before a recording session.