Help Recovery!-Glitched save-no AUP-clear questions


Thanks for reading my post. I apologize for the length :unamused:, but I swear there are actual questions at the end of the explanation. And they are clearly marked.

I’m on OS X El Capitan 10.11.3 Audacity version 2.1.0 (I realize I need to upgrade) Not sure, but I’m fairly certain I obtained the .dmg

I’ve used Audacity for many years. Every day. I record my clients vocal lessons on it.

I have a pretty new Mac Book Pro 2.5 GHz with 500 GB Flash drive. Since I have so many client files and a small hard drive, several months ago I began saving the audacity files to an external hard drive connected by USB. Good solid Seagate drive. 2 TB. It has been working fantastically for months without a single hitch. Saves me tons of time not having to offload files constantly to make room on my laptop drive.

The other day I tried saving a project file of a client’s lesson, a process I’m extremely familiar and comfortable with, when I got some error message. I wish I had had the presence of mind at that moment to take a screen shot, but was so intent on getting back the recording that I moved on too quickly and next thing I saw was that all the wave forms had transformed into straight, flat horizontal lines. A number of tracks worth.

Ordinarily it wouldn’t be such a big deal, but just moments ago I had said to the client, “Wow I just dictated a complete ebook. All I have to do is get this transcribed.” It was like writing a novel and it going up in smoke. I am very intent on recovering it.

I read deep into the documentation and got quite an education. I tried Automatic Crash Recovery, but same thing. Straight lines. There is no AUP as I did not save the project before we recorded (an error I will not make again). I force quit Audacity in an attempt to preserve the audio data stored in the temporary directory as I believed were the instructions in case Automatic Recovery did not work.

After much searching, I found the audacity-Steven file, which contained the other folders that ultimately lead to the actual .au files. There are two folders - d00 containing 256 .au files and d01 containing 175 .au files.

I have copied both of those folders and their contents (the .au files) to my desktop. Of course I left all the originals where they are without changing a single thing. I actually made several copies up the chain, so I even have a copy of the audacity-Steven folder on through to the .au files just in case. I have also taken screenshots of all the .au files in order since I can’t yet tell if they are in correct sequence or not. A long explanation, I know. But I wanted to be thorough.

Now… I have two simple questions and one probably much more complex question.

  1. I have shut down Audacity, nor restarted my computer, nor allowed anyone to exhale strongly within 10 feet of it. :slight_smile:
    Am I correct that if I “force quit” the program I should be OK in preserving the current state of things?

  2. Are those files I saved to my desktop usable as replacements if for any reason the .au files in the temp directory get erased or messed up in some other way?

  3. If all is good & now it’s just a matter of reassembling things, I’m a bit foggy on how to do that. It seems that I’m supposed to drag all those .au files into a new project where each will be a separate track and then one by one stitch them together. But additionally that I have to determine if they are in correct numeric sequence and if not, rename them? That seems a bit extreme and well… nuts to have to do. LOL! Am I correct or is there an easier more time efficient way to GET MY BOOK BACK??? :astonished: :open_mouth: :laughing:

It is good to make copies of the data because if you did restart the computer the data in the temporary location would be wiped.

See for how to recover the AU files into new WAV files. That process only works for unedited recordings, not if you have been moving audio around and applying effects.

However given Audacity was showing you the Automatic Crash Recovery dialogue there is already a “temporary” project file called an AUTOSAVE file which (if it worked) would piece the project back together in the correct order. The AUTOSAVE file is at ~/Library/Application Support/audacity/AutoSave/. The problem to be solved is why the audio is flatlined when you recover it.

I assume if you launch Audacity again it will show you the Automatic Crash Recovery dialogue again. If so, post the contents of Help > Show Log… so we can see what errors are shown.

To see if a manual recovery is worthwhile, you could force quit Audacity again, then rename the AUTOSAVE file to some other extension. This will let you launch Audacity without seeing the Automatic Crash Recovery dialogue. Then drag in some of the AU files from the copy you made to your Desktop. Are they silence or the audio you expect? If they are silence, show us the log after importing the AU files.

To be even safer in future, export a WAV as soon as you have recorded. WAV is less fragile than project formats and can be played in any app.


Thanks Gale! I’ll try all that and let you know how it works out.

Really appreciate the fast help.

Results soon!