help needed! data recording seems to be missing

hello all,

i need help urgently. i made voice recordings this afternoon with two people, saved the data, saved a second copy of the project, listened to the recordings and then put my laptop on stand by without closing audacity. as i wanted to listen to the recordings, all the tracks were empty!

when analysing the project folder, finder (osx) tells me it is 550 MB big and contains 570 elements. when I look at them they all are very small files (1,1 MB). but even when i close and reopen audacity they are not to be seen.

these recordings are very important. can anything be done or are they completely lost???

please help, this is awful, but somehow i feel something can be done. i’d appreciate any kind of help greatly!


How? With what commands?

How, exactly?

Did you File > Close the project containing the recording, so the problem occurred when reopening the project? Did you see error messages? Or did the blue recorded waveform become silent while it was open?

Attach one or both .aup files (according to how many projects you saved). See here for how to attach files .

Also attach the log from both projects when you try to reopen them (Help > Show Log). This should list errors that are occurring.

Of course if you exported a WAV or AIFF file straight after recording, which you should have done for a valuable recording, import the WAV or AIFF.


Did you “clean up” or otherwise manage the files on your computer? The AUP file and the _DATA folder of the same name need to be in the same place or folder. You can’t split them. Double click the AUP file and it will open the _DATA folder and piece together all the little snippets back into your show.

For example:




no i didn’t manage anything, i just saved the project and put my computer on stand by.

i’ll try to send you the aup files. thanks for your quick help!

here are 3 files:

the ‘aufnahmen steffen barbara’ = ‘aufnahmen steffen barbara 2’ are the projects i thought were safe

the ‘SFSB Werbung Recovery’ is my attempt to recover the files using the import audio function for the au files found in the data folder. i only used it on one folder, there are three of them. audacity imported all the sound chunks of roughly 10 seconds into a new project, but when i want to listen to the chunks to check if those are the recordings, the program crashes, repeatedly.

so i guess all the date is stored in the data folder of the second saving of the project, but i don’t know how to get them out.

Aufnahmen Barbara Steffen 2.aup (2 KB)
SFSB 2 Werbung Recovery.aup (115 KB)
Aufnahmen Barbara Steffen.aup (2 KB)

You should probably make safety copies of all your original files and place them in a separate folder while we hash this out.

All the little .au files past about the fourth one should open up and play in Audacity. As you said, they’re tiny files and each one has a snippet of the show. Don’t mess with the first two, three, or four. Those may not be sound.

Do any of them play as a stand-alone, tiny “show?” Control-Click on one of them > Open With > Audacity.


You’re causing a bit of concern with the elves. This is a first-ever failure of this kind.


Which OS-X are you running?

Apple > About This Mac.

Which Mac? I’m watching my 15" MacBook Pro from across the room.


hi there,

i’ve saved the folder somewhere else for safety…

yes i can play the snippets, but they play at half the sample rate. but that is a minor problem, the good news is that they play.

what do i do now? do i have to reassemble them manually? i hope not… automator was mentioned in the handbook for my version (1.3.12) if using audacity with osx which is the case.

thanks for the help up to now!


sorry about the elves, i didn’t want to cause anxiety… :wink:

i’m using a macbook pro 13" with os x 10.6.3

ready to hear the rest of your advice…


they play at half the sample rate.

What does that mean?

it means that they play at half the speed as recorded. recording was done at 96000 hertz, it plays at 44100 when opening the au file with audacity…


The crucial information lies in the questions that Gale asked.
Much of the behaviour that you describe sounds like it is probably normal, but we don’t know exactly what you have done or are doing.

thanks for your answer, steve. it is helpful.

however my question is how do i retrieve the au files from the data folder of the project? and how do I reassemble them to make one continuous file instead of many little 10 sec chunks?

thanks for helping me.


The two “Aufnahmen Barbara Steffen” .aup files just reference a number of empty tracks without audio data, just as if you had done Tracks > Add New > Audio Track several times. What does Help > Show Log show after opening these projects?

Are you sure you did not accidentally delete the tracks then save the project like that? It is easily done just by pressing Delete on the keyboard. If you did not close the project cleanly by using File > Close or Audacity > Quit Audacity, the .aup will remain with empty tracks, but the .au files in the _data folder will remain. You will then see “orphan block file” warnings when you reopen the project. Did you see that warning?

Did you make the “second copy” of the project by copying the .aup and _data folder in Finder, or how?

As it is now, with no further information to go on, you will have to sort the .au files into timestamp order, rename them to an alphanumerical sequence, then use the Audacity 1.2 recovery tool to make a continuous WAV file. As this was a mono recording you should get a correct recovery, if you did not edit it. Here are the instructions to resort, rename and make the recovery: .

When you import the recovered WAV file, use the Track Drop-Down Menu to set the rate to 96000 Hz thereby correcting the playback speed.

AND… Before doing anything else, please update to 2.0.2 from . 1.3.12 is an obsolete Beta version and it is not impossible some bug has created this problem. 2.0.2 should be much safer in this regard.


thanks again gale. i will certainly install audacity 2 once this thing is over, as I’m new to recording and am not exactly a computer buff, i wasn’t aware there was a new version.

to make the copy i used ‘save as’ and added a 2 to the project name. no meddling in finder.

is there a way to automatise the alphanumerical renaming of the files? there are 570 of them. as i have to finish the project until tomorrow 9 am, it’s 3:50 am wher i am now, i could use some time saving routine. there is a mention of automator in the user guide, but i wouldn’t know how to tell automator how to rename in a sequence all the files.

maybe this is going too far but do you think skyping me is possible? my nick is adrian garcia-landa there. i know it’s asking way too much and you can’t nurse every one of your posters here. it’s just a try out of desperation.

meanwhile i’ll try to see if i can get automator to rename the files automatically.

thanks again for all your help and patience so far!

camembert aka adrian

ok no need for skyping automator is fool proof, even tired ones, i’ll try the audacity recovery program now.


ok i’ve renamed sequentially the files thanks to automator, put all of them in a folder. unfortunately audacity recovery tool does not see any sound files in that folder he could recover. a message appears:

the given path xxxx does not contain any audio files that couls be recovered…

any help? is the tool not made for my audacity version (1.3.12) ?



It would be a good idea to subscribe to our announcements list, then you will receive an e-mail when we release a new Audacity version. You can subscribe here .

Have you got the correct crash recovery tool from ?

If you are on an Intel Mac you need the Intel version and if you are on PPC Mac you will need the PPC version. If you have OS X 10.6 or later then you need the Intel version.

Do you have the files numbered from to

If the renaming has not succeeded, Mac is Unix-based so you could try the command line, it might work. Open Applications > Utilities > Terminal, and type “cd” (without quotes) then the path to the folder that has the .au files. I assume you have all 570 files in one folder now.

Then try the Linux command given on the crash recovery page:

mkdir "renamed" | find -type f -name "*.au" -printf "cp %h/%f renamed/%h/%TY%Tm%Td-%TH%TM%TS_%fn"|sh

If you have multiple folders containing .au files, repeat for the other _data folders. You will have one recovery WAV file for each _data folder, but you can join those end-to-end in Audacity.


i must have the right audacity recovery tool because i downloaded it from the same place. i did pay attention to the intel version.

i did not however name the file ‘e(number).au’, but with another name followed by a hyphen and a number. does that make a difference?

i hope not…

i’m subscibing to the emails right now…


ok it works! the name makes a difference, thanks. i skipped the timestamping however. the result is interesting but unusable. how do i sort the files by date/time? i.e. how does timestamping work?

thanks, after that it should be ok…