How long do temp files last and do they go anywhere before permanent deletion

Sorry for what may seem like a basic question but here’s my dilemma.

Last night I interviewed a subject over the phone and right after, exported the file, keeping the audacity window open.

Subject called me back because they wanted to “redo” the answer to a question. So I called them back and added a 5-minute piece to the recording, but didn’t export the recording, figured I’d just do it in the morning.

Overnight, my laptop lost power (power went out due to a storm), so when I turned it on, Audacity was gone and so too was the 5 minute extension piece I had recorded. Upon startup I wasn’t asked to recover any lost files.

I went into my temp SessionData folder and there was nothing in it that I did yesterday, so I figured maybe they are permanently deleted? Do they “go” anywhere else to die? How long are they typically permanently deleted? I mean, the recording I did was less that 24 hours ago so I figured the temp file would still be there.

I’m guessing it’s lost for good. I did not save the original project (just the EXPORTED mp3). Still though, on a hard crash I figured it should save as untitled.



Overnight, my laptop lost power

I think that’s your kiss of death right there. You entered the “eyes rolled up and blowing spit bubbles” mode. If you hadn’t lost power, you would be able to Edit > UNDO and go back to just about anything you did until that point.

I believe Audacity keeps as much stuff as possible in memory, not the drive. That’s the cache system (somebody will correct me). That gives you the ability to rapidly flip forward and backward in performance versions and edits. You know when you run out of memory because Audacity has to start pushing stuff off to the drive and editing response goes straight into the mud.

“I’m editing my 9 hour podcast and Audacity response suddenly got terrible.”

didn’t export the recording, figured I’d just do it in the morning.

There is an up side to this experience. You will never do that again.

I would, without question, do a graceful, clean shutdown to let Windows clean itself after the disaster. Shift+Shutdown > Yes > Wait > Start. Not regular Shutdown and not Restart. If you haven’t done that yet, you are running the machine with the debris, shards, fragments, and damage from the emergency power off.

I interviewed a subject over the phone

How did you do that? I have favorite ways and hardware, but I’m always up for finding new ways.


Koz -

Thanks so much - and you’re right…never again. I was just in a weekend rush and should have exported right away. That said, I remembered with my previous laptop when things unexpectedly shut down I was always able to recover, just not this time. Guess it was the perfect “storm.” Guess I should be thankful that right after the initial interview I exported. If not, I’d be in a world of pain…lol.

To do my podcast/interviews I basically have an external sound board that reports into the cpu (audacity). I have a headset as one input into the soundboard, and the phone as the other. They communicate through the board and I can adjust levels that report into the computer. If you need specifics I can get you info on equipment I use.


If you need specifics I can get you info on equipment I use.

A few more words. The phone connection is bi-directional. Is that a cable or adapter? You need your voice to go to the guest and the guest voice to get captured. Capturing your voice is no great shakes as it doesn’t have to go through any directional management. It’s usually capturing the guest voice that creates problems.

You’re recording it on the computer as a mix?

Alternately, how did you design that technique? Copy from a web page or instructional podcast?