File upload limits

Split from

There is a little problem and I write this with all due respect and appreciation for the folks who run this site.

Back in another incarnation I was a system administrator, when disk storage was very expensive. It seems that the software on which this forum is based was written in that date and age. As a result, the size limits are absurd. Needless to say, hard disk storage is dirt cheap these days. The forum software may be recompiled with higher upload size limits.

Related: When I first tried, naively, to upload my clips, I was informed by the site: “Maximum size is 2 MB”. I kept on trimming my clip. Next, the system changed its mind! “The Maximum size is 1 MB”. I ended up uploading it to DropBox.

If disk storage is really an issue, I would institute a policy of removing the older audioclips.


Have you read How to post an audio sample? There is guidance there on places to upload to. A lot of people use Dropbox, OneDrive or similar these days.

Space isn’t limitless, correct. WAV files are very large.

If you are familiar with phpBB software you will know that we can disable the attachment limit then there is a limit determined by our PHP configuration. I don’t know what that limit is.

I am confident we could raise the upload limit, but to what value? The main use case for uploading files is to demonstrate a problem. People should be uploading exported small parts of a project to demonstrate the problem. They should not be uploading an entire song saying “here it is, please fix it” which I think high limits would encourage.

Also we are not a company. Volunteers pay for their bandwidth out of their own pockets.


It would also encourage abusing the forum by using it as a “free” (paid for by people that have donated to Audacity) file sharing service and for illegally distributing copyrighted material.

That aside, just considering the numbers. There are currently about 100,000 registered forum users. Let’s say that represents 10% of forum visitors (there are actually more visitors than that). Let’s say that we increased the limit to 50 MB (enough for a 5 minute track in CD quality, or about 1 min 30 seconds in 96 kHz 24 bit. If each member uploaded just ONE 50 MB file, that’s 5 Terabytes of data. Then let each visitor download ONE 50 MB file, and that is 50 TB of downloads, (paid for by RamonFHerrera?) But of course people do not post just ONE audio file or download just ONE audio file, so the actual numbers could be very much larger.

As an Audacity support volunteer, I am quite happy to download short audio samples in the course of helping fellow Audacity users. I am less keen to download large files on a regular basis because I have my own bandwidth usage to consider.

Even if we had a 50 MB limit, I’m certain that would not satisfy everyone. Some users produce recordings that are many hours in length, and of course some users want to post Audacity projects, which can be many 10s of GB in size.

In the vast majority of cases, 4 or 5 seconds of uncompressed audio is all that is required to diagnose a problem. In the rare cases where longer samples are needed users may post links to their files hosted elsewhere (and not at the expense of those that donate to Audacity).

Average price: about $100 US per month per 1TB on a dedicated server.
(and let’s not forget about regular backups.)

I think if we substantially raised the upload limit we would have to deny downloads to “guests” (those who were logged out). I don’t see that as a big restriction though, it’s fairly normal online these days.