Help! audio file will not play back

So, I was interviewing someone for a project (I’m a college student) and I think the app crashed when I updated my computer. and I thought it was recording because I have gotten that flat line before and was able to get the file to play back. this time it will not. I’ve tried everything to get the file to play back.

please help!

Select the interview with the Select button on the left. Effect > Amplify > OK. That will automatically apply the maximum volume boost up to the Audacity limit. If you have nothing after that, then you have no interview.

I have gotten that flat line before and was able to get the file to play back.

You got insanely lucky. If you have a flat line or fail to get a bouncing sound meter during recording, that’s almost always full stop.

It’s a terrific idea to make a simple, quick recording to make sure everything is working before an important interview. It’s really important to check everything after you make any changes to your computer. The update to Catalina (10.15) was particularly troublesome and it’s not unusual for microphones and recording services to vanish after you do that.

Was this an in-person interview, face-to-face? If it was a Skype or Zoom interview, there are a lot of tricks to get those to work. Those fail more often they they succeed. Recording the far side is really hard.


I have done workable interviews with a smartphone parked on the table between us and a recording app. That’s your Plan B if the computer won’t do it. That’s also assuming a flesh and blood interview, not a Zoom.

If you are doing a free-air Zoom recording—no headphones—you might be able to get a passable recording by setting the phone between the laptop and you.