Checkpointing? What is it? Can it be disabled?

Win10/1.3.1Corrected: Win 10, Audacity 3.1.3
I respect Audacity enough to have faith that Checkpointing has a use, but from time I am puzzled about the time it takes, as well as the reason for its existence.

Today, as a listener of an audiobook (82 MP3 files in a Zip file) I am using (Tools, Apply macros, Palette, …) a one-line macro to remove a persistent hum from all 82 tracks.

NoiseReduction:Use_Preset="<Factory Defaults>"

As each track of the 82 tracks is processed, a little window pops up announcing a delay:-
Untitled.png
I say to myself, if the checkpoint is to secure the integrity of each track, then I care about that, but if the checkpoint is there to secure the integrity of the project, then I could do without it, because once all 82 tracks are NoiseReduced, I shall close Audacity and discard the project.

I see this pop up too when I am completing a recording, but after a two- or three-hour session of reading text and editing my audio, five seconds is not a big deal.
Thanks
Chris

First I’ve heard of that. Do you have up to date virus protection and when was the last time you ran the thorough machine test that runs all night?

Does it still do that if you disconnect your WiFi or network? Are you connected to an external, network, or cloud drive?

Koz

Checkpoint is a security and integrity program or service.

https://www.checkpoint.com/

It’s not part of the regular Audacity system.

Can you find it as a running application in your Windows? Did you install it? Is that your virus protection software?

Koz

Audacity 1.3.1 does not have “Checkpointing”. Perhaps you mean Audacity 3.1.3?

In Audacity 3.x, projects are saved in a single database “.AUP3” file. While the project is open, the project can grow very large due to temporary “Undo” data. On Windows, the database also uses a “.WAL” file as temporary data storage. When the project is properly closed, Audacity removes any unused “Undo” data, and consolidates required temporary data into the project “.AUP3” file so that the file is a complete, self contained project. Space in the “.AUP3” database that was previously occupied by data that is no longer required by the project, is recovered to avoid wasting disk space.

“Checkpointing” is a major part of the processes of consolidating the project data. On large projects, or projects with a lot of “Undo” states, it can take a significant amount of time for this process to complete.

remove a persistent hum from all 82 tracks.

Might this be a terrific time to find out why your sound system is humming? Was it humming on the first chapter?

While it is possible to fix minor errors later in post production processing, it’s never perfect and the repairs always cause some damage to the show. That in addition to taking extra time and the repairs sometimes causing other problems. It’s far better to record your work with a clean microphone and recording system.

There’s another layer of this, too. Sometimes in specific conditions, there is a fix designed for that problem which works better than the generic repair tools. The “Yeti Curse” is one of those.

Are you done reading that book? ACX wants all your chapters to match, so fix the microphone before you start the next one.

Koz

Hi Koz. Me too. Only in Audacity (3.1.3 :blush: ) And only about 1/2 of the single-track projects that are opened (but see upcoming post)

Do you have up to date virus protection and

Yes. Windows 10 Defender.

when was the last time you ran the thorough machine test that runs all night?

Never/not known.

Does it still do that if you disconnect your WiFi or network?

Don’t know. Haven’t tried.

Are you connected to an external, network, or cloud drive?

Not at all. Single laptop with WiFi to router fifteen feet away.

I think it is a "large project with many edits, hence please see a post a little further down (in a few minutes time!)
Thanks
Chris

No doubt about that (although i did not know that when I posted my question).
The term “check-point” and common variations is common enough to apply to many business concerns. (There’s almost certainly an oil-change garage in Texas with that name !)

It’s not part of the regular Audacity system.

It seems to be, although when I searched the Wiki and these forums I found little data about it, so I assumed that it was, a best, an esoteric feature.

Can you find it as a running application in your Windows? Did you install it? Is that your virus protection software?

No, No, and No.

More thanks for thinking up these, er, checkpoints, Koz.
Over the past four weeks I have been rattled about the apparently random occurrences of the pop-ups.
That they lasted only five seconds or so at the end of a long session didn’t annoy me that much, but as time went on my worrying grew, if only because I had no explanation for it.
Cheers
Chris

I did, Steve, I did; it was the end of a loooong day of editing audio, with windstorms apparently degrading the Internet service alarmingly.

… “Checkpointing” is a major part of the processes of consolidating the project data. On large projects, or projects with a lot of “Undo” states, it can take a significant amount of time for this process to complete.

Bingo!
I am recording audiobooks, and the current Chapter is 25,834 words long, split into three chunks. The first two chunks are 0:53:06 and 0:55:42 of recorded spoken text. Today’s chunk is 9,148 words and will go over sixty minutes. I have split that text into three 3,000 word chunks and will take a rest between each chunk.

Some of the text is in Greek, Italian etc. John Stuart Mill, when he was alive, knew a lot of lomg archaic polysyllabic words. He used over 70,000 of them to discuss what he was going to use in the form of words in the remaining 400,000+ words of his six-book opus.

So you can imagine that i spend a LOT of time editing after a 90-minute recording session. My Proof Listener insists that no “gap” be more than two seconds, so there is a great deal of (macro) activity in trimming gaps, also the regular business of deleting a bad “take” and using the following take.

That suggests to me a HUGE chain of “Undo” transactions, which would require processing at the end of a project.

Too that may explain the apparent randomness of the CheckPoint - if it occurs at the end of a “production” session, but never when I am trimming the applause at the start and end of a music tracks I’ve just listened too.

I shall keep an eye over the next few days on when this checkpoint message occurs.
Thanks Steve.

Hi Koz. It is not my track(s), the work is from LibriVox, and I became aware of the hum while listening to the audio book.
Since I have a flagging interest in Noise Reduction I thought to use all 82 tracks as a testbed for my NR project of six? weeks ago.

While it is possible to fix minor errors later in post production processing, it’s never perfect and the repairs always cause some damage to the show. That in addition to taking extra time and the repairs sometimes causing other problems. It’s far better to record your work with a clean microphone and recording system.

Agreed! That said, I got the feeling that the hum came from the recorder, possibly a palm-sized device sitting on a desk. I noted too that the work is in stereo, whereas nowadays LibriVox insists on Mono, so there’s a chance it was recorded before rigorous checks came into being. Or perhaps it was a lenient Proof Listener.

There’s another layer of this, too. Sometimes in specific conditions, there is a fix designed for that problem which works better than the generic repair tools. The “Yeti Curse” is one of those.

Again, I don’t know the origin/source of the noise; which is in part why I thought that my generic NR might be effective. Blindfolded, as it were.

The leading and trailing track-silences seem to be Ctrl-L silences; the hum cuts out abruptly for those; I took that as another clue that the hum is a local machine hum.

Are you done reading that book? ACX wants all your chapters to match, so fix the microphone before you start the next one.

Koz, I am up to chapter 35 and still enjoying it. It is not ACX, but Librivox.
I take your point about microphones, and read with continued interest discussion on purchased microphones.
When I started recording two months ago I fell back on Campbell’s Law on problem-solving computer hardware: “Eighty three percent of the time, it’s the cable”, and thought that I could avoid a great many problems by using the built-in microphone. So far I have had no complaints.
But I do understand that ACS standards are stricter than LibriVox’s.

Cheers
Chris

2007, which was soon after Librivox started.
Cheers
Chris

As I believe you know, Audacity uses an underlying sqlite3 database engine to manage audio data. From the sqlite documentation:

SQLite will automatically checkpoint whenever a COMMIT occurs that causes the WAL file to be 1000 pages or more in size

see: Write-Ahead Logging.

Should this feature(?) post a significant problem to me and my projects, I would perhaps consider running these edits under 2.4.2.

I got the feeling that the hum came from the recorder, possibly a palm-sized device sitting on a desk.

Portable recorders on batteries don’t hum. They are the go-to recording method to get yourself around USB microphone problems.

However, they can pick up existing hum in the environment. Most of the ceiling lights in my house dim and they all cause the lights to make power-line noises when set in the middle.

I used to have a listing of which tungsten replacement bulbs made noises just by existing and being powered on.

I’ve demonstrated you can pick up noises from phone and pad screens.

The above give you my silly joke of recording from paper by candlelight.

I live under neighborhood power distribution lines and blamed them on many noise problems in my studio. It got so bad that I set a recorder to be directional-portable and wandered around intentionally searching for noise. And I found it. The bass cabinet for my musical keyboard didn’t go off when I switched it off. It continuously injected low volume power hum into the room. I pulled the plug and all my environment noises vanished.

I noted too that the work is in stereo

All of my good or reasonable quality “sound recorders” are stereo. They also provide for perfect quality WAV files. “Voice recorders” tend to be mono and are stuck with MP3 export.

Koz

"By default, SQLite will automatically checkpoint whenever a COMMIT occurs that causes the WAL file to be 1000 pages or more in size, or when the last database connection on a database file closes. "
Thank you jademan.
It is probably the close that is triggering the checkpoint call, and in my large 45-minute tracks I see the popup; probably the 00:03:42 music tracks from which I have trimmed front and back of applause (evil grin) have too little housekeeping for the pop-up to get out of bed.

Hence I see it at the end of an audio-book track, but never (as I recall) at the end of any minor task.

I am not harmed by the popup delay - mostly I see it as I push back from the desk to get a fresh mug of tea - but I was puzzled by its apparent random appearance.
Cheers
Chris

Hi Koz. I was guessing at the portable recorder, because while, to my old ears, the noise sounded similar in each track, it needed a different noise profile for two tracks that I tested. (Hence the use of a DOS Batch file to process 82 tracks)

All of my good or reasonable quality “sound recorders” are stereo. They also provide for perfect quality WAV files. “Voice recorders” tend to be mono and are stuck with MP3 export.

Quite so, LibriVox leaves the recording device to the individual, but insists on Mono for its delivered product.

This insistence could work in their favour once they realize that blind people listen to audiobooks, because with non-fiction, a second track could be used to record page, chapter numbers and the like.
Cheers
Chris