Can I recover? (AUP file is blank, .au files are silent)

Hello helpful people,

I was working on an AUP file and the program froze. I had to force-quit and when I opened the file again, the audio was gone. There were still edit lines in the audio track and labels in the label track, but no waveform and no sound.

I opened the AUP file in a text editor and it looks fine.

When I open any of the supporting .au files in Audacity, however, they are blank and silent. (There are over 600 au files, more than 300MB total.)


Am I just up a creek? Any options? Screenshots attached.

Thank you!

Audacity 2.3.1
Mac OS 10.14.4
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I was working on an AUP file and the program froze.

You were working on a Project and the program froze. The AUP is the program manager text file. It’s not sound.

All the AUP file is going to do is point to the little AU fragments at the right time as you play the show. If the au pieces are silent, that may be the end of the world.

Did you launch Audacity again? The newer Audacity versions have pretty good recovery.


Yes, to be accurate, that’s what happened.

I re-opened the project and went through the recovery process and this is where I ended up.

Then that’s the end of the world. Once the au files go silent…that’s it.

As your shows get longer and more complex, the more important that the machine shouldn’t be doing anything else and there should be tons of room. Depending on the edit, Audacity forms UNDO by making a copy of the whole show. So you don’t just have an hour presentation. Your drive has to deal with that size multiplied by each edit.

There’s a drive restriction, too. It should be internal. No fair using network connected drives or cloud storage. Audacity doesn’t understand network delays and negotiation.


Thanks for the tips. I guess I’ll just start over.

Just FYI, none of that should have been a problem. I had quit all other programs, and it was recording straight to the internal drive, which had plenty of room. My recording was under an hour (I believe – around 52 minutes) and I was saving often. I really don’t know why it mishandled the AU files.

Oh well…

Were the projects created in Audacity 2.3.1 or an earlier version of Audacity?

My recording was under an hour (I believe – around 52 minutes) and I was saving often.

So your show was 52 minutes, but you had stop and start events multiple times? So several individual recordings. Did you Save or Save-As with different names, times or dates?

If you routinely saved as different Projects, then if something failed, you could fall back to the last known good project and keep working. If you continuously save to one project, there is no back-up. If that single project goes into the dirt, that’s the end.

An earlier Audacity had troubles with Save-As if you tried to use one project. That was a case of people using the tools in an unexpected manner.


Yes, I did start and stop the recording a few times. Unfortunately I did not save to different projects, just to the one.

Thanks for your responses. I appreciate your time and attention!