Export to WAV doesn't save complete recording

I’m using Audacity 2.0.5 on Windows 8.

I use VLC media player 2.1.5 to stream the on-line versions of various radio broadcasts. I use Audacity to record these streams. For the most part these are one or two hour recordings and when I export to WAV (Microsoft WAV / 16 bit PCM) the exported file is fine - it shows the correct timing and plays the correct audio when played back in VLC.

However, when I try to make a longer recording (up to seven hours) sometimes (not always) the resulting WAV file, although it will be large enough to suggest that it has the whole recording (4-6 gigabytes), when played in VLC, will have a shorter timing (usually about 20 minutes) and I won’t get any audio, or audio for the first few minutes only.

I don’t get any error messages when exporting.

Is there any setting that I am not using correctly that is causing this? Or is it a known problem etc. I haven’t noticed if this always happens with the same on-line radio station, if there is the possibility that it is stream-specific I can double check that.

Although I have gotten Audacity to work mostly correctly, I am not a PC export, if there is any information that I am leaving out please let me know and I will try to provide it.

Thanks in advance.

Microsoft WAV files are not open-ended. They have a filesize limit of 4GB or in some cases only 2GB. When the size limit is reached, the show will become unstable or unpredictable. In some cases, it will just reset to beginning at where ever in the show the limit was reached.

Audacity Projects have a much higher show limit, but, of course, they’re not simple sound files. You can cut the show up into 1.9GB segments.


If you want to stick with a lossless format, try FLAC. The compression will make create a smaller file, and as far as I know, there are no size limits.

FLAC exports on Windows are limited to 2 GB in Audacity 2.0.5.

2.0.6 uses a later version of libflac and doesn’t have that limitation.


Thanks for the replies. I had saved a few projects and was able to go back and export them into two-hour chunks as good WAV files.

I have downloaded 2.0.6 and will give FLAC a try.

Thanks again.