Error: Disk full or not writable

Win 10 Audacity 3.1.3

I was using Audacity to split a seven-hour MP3 file into seven parts of about one hour each.
I cut the leading hour from the track, pasted it into a new file, exported-as-MP3 as Part_01.mp3.
Repeated the process through to Part_05.

Exporting Part_06 came to a halt with the error message similar to “[url=]”.
I right-click on drive C and note that indeed, there is no free space.
My attempt to delete work-files failed because they were all hooked-up to the application.
Nothing for it but to abandon this instance of Audacity, which itself deleted the work files,
At this time drive C shows about 60 GB free.

I suppose that editing (repeated Ctrl-X on one-hour chunks) a 385 MB MP3 file uses scratch disk, but 60 GB?

A suggestion: Might Audacity be prepared, when it runs out of disk, to examine its scratch area (C:\Users\Chris075\AppData\Local\audacity\SessionData) and offer an opportunity to release and delete those huge files that are no longer in use?

Cheers, Chris

385 MB MP3 file uses scratch disk, but 60 GB?

The first thing Audacity does is uncompress the MP3 back up to its original size (but not sound quality). Then it converts the show to the Audacity super high-quality internal format so the sound quality doesn’t fall apart when you start editing.

That can give you two shocks. The sudden, unexpected data size explosion and the fact that Audacity can’t actually edit MP3.

Three surprises if you’re expecting the edited show sound quality not to degrade.

Never work in MP3.


Missed one.

Four shocks. Audacity creates UNDO in some cases by saving a copy of The Whole Show. When you Edit > UNDO, it just finds and opens the last show. That’s why you can’t UNDO effects out of order.


Koz, I apologize for this late reply; I missed the reply, and found it just now by a quick “Your Posts” search.
As usual, your reply(ies) hold much meat, and I would like to explore some of this in detail.

  1. I think your points about Audacity uncompressing MP3 refers to the internal format of data being 32-bit floating point.
    That certainly might cost me much hard disk space, but you are right: an explosion from 385 MB to 60 GB, or about 155-fold came as a surprise. And that that stopped only because we (me and Audacity) ran out of hard disk space, suggests that I could be in for an even bigger surprise down the road.

  2. I understand degradation of signal from my early days in FORTRAN II on the IBM 1620.

  3. That Audacity does not actually edit MP3 is not a surprise. I (wrongly) make use of the expression “editing an MP3 file” as a shorthand way of saying that this user was given an MP3 track and wanted to edit it using Audacity.

  4. I understand the slogan “never work in MP3” to mean, in my case, record speech audio in FLAC. save the FLAC, send the MP3 version to the client, but make corrections by editing my original FLAC and re-issuing an updated MP3 export of the edited FLAC.

  5. But (heh heh!) in this case I have been given the seven-hour MP3 file and I want/need to carve it up into smaller (one hour) chunks. I think that no matter what I do, Audacity is going to do its magic in 32-bit floating point, but should I fend off distortion as much as possible by:-
    (a) Opening the externally supplied MP3 file
    (b) Immediately saving it in FLAC format (with some unavoidable degradation)
    (c) Carving the FLAC into seven exported one-hour FLAC tracks and then
    (d) Converting each of the seven FLACs back to MP3 (with some unavoidable degradation)
    In short, how would you go about carving a seven-hour MP3 into seven one-hour MP3 files for the client.

Again, I offer my apologies for the one-month delay in replying to your helpful comments.
Cheers, Chris

Try [u]mp3DirectCut[/u]. It can do some basic editing and it doesn’t decompress the MP3.

DVDoug, thank you for this link.
I downloaded it a week ago and have taken it for the traditional spin.
Fast, easy to understand! Perfect!
Cheers, Chris