Error Saving Project Message

Audacity 2.0.6 on Windows 7 HPE

I am processing some cassette tapes using Audacity to capture the project files and MP3 files (one of each for each entire cassette side; 2 each for both sides of the cassette tape). Everything has progressed beautifully until I came to this one cassette. I can capture the music but I cannot save the project file. I get this error:
error saving project.gif
I don’t know how to interpret the information given. I blurred out the pathname for privacy. I have placed all the other projects in a folder for Audacity Projects on the X: external HDD. Here is what File Explorer tells me about disk space:
x drive free space.gif
Is it possible that the folders allocated by Windows are too small and that the current project uses all the allocated space and Win 7 is not allocating more? I know that there is adequate free space on the disk drive, but I cannot determine if folder space allocations are being exceeded.

This error occurred after I had processed 13 cassettes. My procedure is to play the tape on the cassette deck which has its mini stereo plug in the Line In port on the PC while I listen to the music and have the sound wave displaying on the PC screen. After the tape finishes playing, I trim the excess track from the front and back (Edit>Select> etc then press Delete). Then I save the project (File>Save_Project_As) and Audacity places .aup file on the drive with the pathname I intend. After saving the Project File in the Audacity Projects folder on the drive, I create the MP3 file (File>Export_audio) and save it in the MP3 Files folder. This has worked successfully for the first 13 cassettes. I have the 14th cassette captured but cannot Save_Project_As without getting this error.

What should I be checking to determine the cause of the problem? What information have I not provided that might be needed to find the cause?


Does your chosen file name conform to the Windows file naming specification?

Easiest way to check, lower case letters and numbers are always valid. Try giving it a name that uses only a-z 0-9.

Note that opening projects from external drives is not recommended. While working on a project that has been saved, Audacity uses the saved “_data” folder for temporary data (rather than the default “temp” directory). That can be a problem, especially if recording, as data may be buffered and read/write speeds much slower than a local drive. It is generally best to copy the project from the external drive to a local drive before opening it in Audacity (not always absolutely necessary, but a good safe working practice).

Yes, my file names conform to naming conventions. I use the name of the artist, the album title and volume number (if present) and identify side 1 or 2 (or A or B, as appropriate). I do not use forbidden characters. The name chosen for this project file is formed like all the others, differing only in the specifics for album/volume.

I am not opening projects from an external drive but rather saving them to an external HDD. I am aware of the temporary directory but uncertain about your reference to the “_data” folder. Each time I have completed the capture on the PC and used the File>Save_Project_As instruction, Audacity has created the “_data” folders on the external drive and has created subfolders as needed and written the .au files in additon to writing a single “filename.aup” file in the same Audacity Projects Folder I created on the external HDD. I created a separate folder to hold the MP3 files and they have been written in that folder each time I executed the File>Export_Audio command. I have done nothing different.

Could you please give me more explicit information about the caution against using an external HDD as I’ve described using it? If by ‘recording’ you mean capturing the analog signal digitally on the PC, I am perhaps creating a problem; however, the resulting MP3s don’t seem to suffer from any buffering or read/write speeds. I am using an Core i5 Intel processor rated at 3.2 GHz with 16GB of installed RAM. I am not running other apps that have any appreciable I/O concurrently with Audacity. At most, I might check email or read a forum post or play a hand of solitaire while using Audacity.

Thank you very much for a prompt and informative response.

I don’t think it’s part of your problem, but it could be simpler to File > Save Project when the recording is finished, File > Close to close that project, then record (which will thus be recording into the new project instead of the old one).

To fix the problem (if the length of the file name or the characters used is not the issue), export the recording as WAV then shut down and restart the computer.


Thanks Gale!

I failed to report that I delete the track after Save_Project_As and Export Audio. I do not record the next side on that track but start a new track.

I have the track in suspense. I will export it as .wav. Will I be able to import the .wav file after restarting then save the project and create the MP3 file? I’ll give it a try. Nothing ventured nothing gained and the most I can lose is a 20 minute track of one side of the cassette.

Thanks again!

There is a small chance that your problem is that the file name is too long. The entire filename including the path:
X:folderfoldermore foldersa really really … really long filename.aup
has a maximum length allowed. Gale and I worked on this a few years ago but could never get anyone to review my proposed code (at a bare minimum it should give a more meaningful error message). I don’t recall what the exact length of the maximum string is but as I recall it is somewhere around 240 characters.

Remember that, whatever name you give your project (and don’t forget the 4 characters for the extension), Audacity will create a data folder whose name is 5 characters longer than the project name (without extension) and which has folders within it each containing files with names and extensions. If any of those file’s name is too long for the operating system you’ll see the error message that you are getting.

Yes of course. If choosing a shorter AUP name or saving it closer to the top of the file structure does not help, then export.

After exporting, play the file in Media Player to make sure it is OK, then quit Audacity and don’t save changes (assuming there is nothing else there to export). When you launch Audacity, just double-click Audacity and it will start an empty project window and you can then import the WAV.


Thanks, Gale!