Help with upgrade method for audacity 2.x.x

I apologize in advance if this is an overly basic question or my explanation is unclear. Here goes.

Is there is a way to upgrade to the latest version of audacity without losing access old projects? And is there a specific way to upgrade (i.e. install the new audacity program in a certain way, or do something else I have not thought of) to accomplish this?

My situation: I’m now running El Capitan, and am long overdue in upgrading obsolete audacity (1.2.5) that is buggy in El Capitan OS but still works well enough to open old projects. Most old projects are personal live recordings with 2 or 3 tracks, or digitizing out of print LPs etc.
Some transferred to iTunes but not all, and of course, you can’t edit in iTunes once they are in there.

Was about to upgrade audacity before moving to High Sierra (due to specter and meltdown security mess) and saw that old audacity projects from the 1.2.5 era are not compatible with the current audacity.

  1. Does this mean the projects won’t open at all, or would I be able to access them well enough to convert once I upgrade to the new program?
  2. Is there an optimal order of operations to upgrade to the newest audacity in my situation (i.e should I try to save the new upgraded version somewhere else on the hard drive rather than assuming the new version will overwrite the old)? Some other trick?
  3. Alternatively, what steps are recommended before pushing the audacity upgrade button (as well as High Sierra upgrade)?

Suggestions appreciated. A lot of sentimental value in those old projects.

Audacity 2.2.1 can open projects created in version 1.2.5. You will get a warning that if you save it (with the same name) then version 1.2.5 will no longer be able to open it. So save it to a new location with a new name.
– Bill

Thanks. That is good to hear. When I upgrade audacity, will it replace old version? Should I try to keep the old version/move it elsewhere for any reason?

It depends.
Is Audacity 1.2.5 “loose” in your Applications folder, or is it in its own folder?
If it is loose, then installing in the standard manner (dragging the Audacity icon into the Applications folder) will over-write the old version.
If it is loose, and you want to move it somewhere before installing 2.1.1, you need to find three folders it needs: “Languages”, “nyquist” and “plug-ins”. If you move Audacity 1.2.5 and those three folders into a folder then 1.2.5 should continue to work.
If it is already in its own folder, then go ahead and install the new Audacity by dragging it into the Applications folder.
Alternatively, you could create an “Audacity 211” folder (or some such name) in the Applications folder and install the new Audacity there.
Personally, I see no need to retain version 1.2.5 since version 2.1.1 will open the projects. However, you may want to test this yourself before getting rid of 1.2.5. The simplest way to do this is to create the “Audacity 211” folder to hold the latest version (since then you don’t need to track down those three folders). In this case you would drag the “Audacity” icon from the DMG window into the “Audacity 211” folder instead of directly into the Applications folder.

Finally, I think you’ll want to have a look at the manual (which is installed with the new version): there have been a lot of changes in the past 12 years.
– Bill