In July 2020 I recorded a 30+ hour live stream (which obviously isn’t available anymore) and I’ve been working on it on and off for the past year. I always let Audacity just be killed every time I need to reboot or log out because I could always recover the project the next time I start Audacity and continue where I left off. I didn’t save the project it because it’s too big.
While editing, I removed about 90% of the audio, spliced, merged, and reordered a ton, and fixed hundreds of recording glitches (short silence) and have a quite filled Labels track. I was in the last stretch, re-listening everything to make sure everything’s fine before exporting the few tracks that remained of the original 30 hours.
This morning when I unlocked my computer, I was presented with “Hard disk almost full” (as I was downloading stuff in the background). I went to look how much was still free with df -h and found it was about 18/825 filled. Less than the 10% I use as a target, but not too serious yet. So lets quickly finish that audacity project to make more space. I fired up Audacity and to my surprise it didn’t pop up the automatic recovery dialog. I later found out I misinterpreted the df output and it was actually 18M of 825G.
Let me retrace the steps I did exactly, because they may be important. Bear with me. I went to File→Open and navigated to the temp folder where the recovery files are. I didn’t see any file Audacity recognized until I went into “eff/d00” and clicked the first AU file. To my dismay it was only about 12 seconds of audio. I killed Audacity with signal -9 and went into the directory itself. There’s a few folders like “project1313829843”, one of which contains all 36GB of AU files (almost 35,000 of them), and three separate files:
project358334934 (dir) project1313829843 (dir) project1780778675 (dir) New Project 2021-08-03 10-43-59 N-1.aup3unsaved (1.4 MB) New Project 2021-08-03 10-43-59 N-1.aup3unsaved-wal (1.2 MB) .audacity.sock (0 bytes)
Judging by the timestamp in the filename, the aup3unsaved is obviously from the 12-second fragment in the new empty project from just now. I verified this as Audacity now does show the recovery dialog upon launch. I deleted these and did the same three times over (the last time in order to gather data for this post)
I suspect there would have been another aup3unsaved file, but either it was missing since the last time I ran Audacity (a couple of weeks ago) or during the launch of Audacity it got removed because of lack of disk space. (although 18M doesn’t seem too tight). I immediately looked into the log window and found only 4 lines; nothing suspicious or related to recovery in any way.
I looked into ‘manual recovery’ on the Wiki and it requires me to order all the AU files by accurate timestamp. I looked at the timestamps, and they’re not even in chronological order, probably because I edited so much. But it would only end up with raw audio anyway, which isn’t good enough.
Is there any way to recover this project — as I edited it (this is important) and including the Labels track?
Linux 18.04 LTS
Audacity 3.0.2 from PPA