Exported MP3 podcast file restarting after 3 minutes

I’ve been using Audacity for podcasting for years. Recently, several listeners complained that, after playing the latest episode for 3 minutes, the podcast rewound to the start. The same cycle repeated for them after another 3 minutes. In another case, the listener skipped past the 3 minute mark, listened successfully for a while, and then paused. When he unpaused, the file rewound to the beginning.

I also tried exporting to WAV, then using iTunes to generate the MP3 file. The same result occurred.

Nothing has changed in my set-up for a long time (in fact, I’m using an older version of Audacity), so I’m very confused what might be happening. Here are the specifics:

Audacity version: 2.0.5
MP3 encoder: Lame
Windows version: 7

Many thanks in advance for whatever help you can provide.

Download the file to your computer, then try playing the downloaded copy. If the problem disappears, then the fault is probably with either their internet connection, the Internet route from their location to the server, or a problem on the server itself.

What happens if you import the exported file back into Audacity?

If the imported file looks wrong, can you CTRL + F and CTRL + SHIFT + F to fit your project horizontally and vertically to the screen, then post a screenshot of that. Please see here for how to attach files: https://forum.audacityteam.org/t/how-to-attach-files-to-forum-posts/24026/1


Thanks to you both for the speedy replies! I’m attaching the screenshot you requested.

So is that screenshot after you reimported the file that you had exported? Does it play correctly?

Or did you have a complex project with multiple tracks and clips? And if so do you have that project still that you can show a picture of?

The only likely explanation if the content of a single-track project was wrong is that you recorded it without enough disk space, which might lead to repeated pieces of the beginning.

Otherwise then as Steve said probably the file got corrupted at the time you uploaded it to the server, which you can check by downloading that file yourself.


Yes, I did download the file, and it played fine. I checked it through both Windows Media Player and a Google Chrome-based playback tool.

There were not any complexities to the Audacity file. There’s only one track in the original, which is a sequence of clips pasted into it (sound effect, my voice-over, music clip, long interview with someone over Skype, audio clip, my voice-over). Enclosed is the screenshot from the original Audacity project file.

Any ideas? I’m concerned that multiple people have reported the issue. If it were just one, I might say it’s a problem with the Internet connection. Since I’ve created the same file twice, I’m a bit skeptical that it’s a corruption issue. (Unless Audacity is corrupting the file the same way each time I generate it.)

What about you? Have you tried playing the podcast? Do you get the same problem?

No, I did not.

If I understand it, the project plays fine in Audacity.

The exported file plays fine when you import it into Audacity or play it on your computer.

The downloaded file from the server plays fine on your computer.

So the problem is with the server not being able to play the file properly. Have you changed the bit rate mode or quality of the MP3 you normally export? Have you added metadata to the MP3 that you do not normally add?

File streaming usually requires constant bit rate (CBR) MP3, but iTunes default is CBR, and the Audacity default is CBR too in the version you are using.

Perhaps you could upload one of your previous podcasts to the server that was known good and see if that plays properly on the server. If it does, examine its file properties in “MediaInfo” from http://mediainfo.sourceforge.net/en/Download/Windows. Get the MediaInfo version without installer, because the installer may have malware or adware.


Thanks for the pointer to the bit rate mode. That’s the only aspect of the files that has changed between an earlier episode (128 Kbps) and the newest file (64 Kbps). In both cases, the bitrate mode is constant. I’ll re-export to 128 Kbps and see if it makes a difference.