can u help - trying to read corruption Zoom h2 MP3


I’m sorry I am a luddite and completely new to audacity but have followed the rabbit hole from Google to here trying to find out if I can recover a corrupted mp3 file from my zoom h2.

I was recording this morning and didn’t realise the batteries had died - now that I’ve subsequently gone back to listen and write out the piece, the machine shows it as ‘invalid file’ and it won’t play on it or the mac. It also comes up as having zero bytes.

Ive downloaded audacity especially and have tried to import said file, but it just comes up as ‘error opening file or project: made be invalid or corrupted.’

If anyone can help me, id be eternally grateful as it was very precious.

Many thanks x


I think that’s the end of the road. Zero bytes means there is no data.

The one, very slim chance that remains is that a data recovery application (such as Download Recuva | Recover deleted files, free!) ‘may’ be able to find some data that belongs to the recording on the flash card. The chances of recovering anything are very slim.
Even if you do manage to recover some of the MP3 data, it is very unlikely that Audacity will be able to open it. There would have been a slightly (but not much) better chance if it had been a WAV recording.

PhotoRec is better at data recovery than Recuva. Despite the name it recovers all file types, not just photos.
PhotoRec is multi-platform, Recuva is Windows only.

I know this is an old thread but I came across it when I had the same issue with losing a file when losing power to the H2 recorder. It shows up as zero bytes, I was able to use PhotoRec on the Mac. It is a terminal app but not too hard to use. It was able to recover the one hour file. I am very grateful!

Note: the recovered file is not going to be named the same as the original.

The H2 is a legacy machine. I wonder if the newer machines (H2n) “know” when the system is about to go down and closes the file. The system should be able to figure this out. The declining battery charge is pretty clear—something has to put that message on the screen—and just before the system goes to the happy hunting ground, it gracefully closes all the work.

If it’s a choice between that and a pretty paint job or extra “features”, I’ll take that in heartbeat. I should look in my H1n instructions.

This isn’t quite the same thing, but I recently ran off the end of available memory on a different portable sound recorder. The recorder suddenly made a screaming, anguished sound and stopped recording. It kept the file. I cranked up the backup recorder and kept going, but it’s good to know it’s going to do that.


IF the machine is running from batteries.
On the other hand, if the machine is running off a wallwart which gets switched off / unplugged, then the machine’s dying breath is probably too short to do anything useful.