Error: reference to invalid character number at line 3

Ok, so this is a very very serious issue for me and I hope that someone has some advice they can shed. I am a music journalist who uses audacity to record interviews for latter transcription. After finishing up my first project of the day, I clicked the save as tab and named the .aup. Immediately after clicking “ok” audacity froze up. This has happened once of twice before and I was comforted by the knowledge that audacity keeps autosaves just incase of issues like this.

I closed down the program re-opened and saw that I could recover the file, I hit recover and was greeted by an error that I do not seem to have any way of fixing or even researching for that matter.

“Error: reference to invalid character number at line 3”

I have gone through the troubleshooting steps that I can find online and have looked in the “Temp” folder of audacity under the normal appdata/temp directory, and there are no file folders with data at all. I then went to appdata/roaming/temp and found the autosave file.

The problem that I am having is that I cannot seem to decipher what the code means and where if there is at all any of the data is stored.

Conventional trouble shooting does not work here as I said, there is no numbered backup files at all, and all that can be found is the autosave file, which is not an .aup.

I am assuming that this is not recoverable, but I hope that someone can still shed some light on why this happened in the first place and what we can do in the future.


Audacity should not be freezing regularly on saving a project - where do you save projects to? Are you saving to a slow network drive?

Line 3 should be the project xmlns line and the “datadir” in that line would be where that autosave file is looking for the data. Assuming you had not saved this window as a project before now, Audacity would move the data from the Audacity temp folder specified in Directories Preferences to the folder you specified for the project, then write the AUP file, then delete the autosave file.

I suggest you attach the autosave file. Please see here for how to attach files: .