How to Properly Save Orphan Files to Prevent Crash?

Recording novice here - please forgive my ignorance for the finer operations of Audacity.

I’m running Audacity 2.3.3 on MacOS Catalina 10.15.5 – not exactly a winning combination to begin with.

I’ve been having a series of problems with crashes that I believe stems from an excessive number of orphan files in my audacity project. My project will be running fine for about 15 seconds - about a single edit’s worth of adding an additional track or importing some more audio before crashing. When it re-opens, if I attempt to recover the file, the tracks all go silent and all my work is deleted. As a result, I’ve been unable to recover any unsaved changes thanks to this loop. Each time I open the document, it reports an incredibly high number of orphan block files (presently at 452, but I’ve seen it go up to 1762). I tried to “continue without deleting” and save the project, but it still reports all of the files as orphaned once I do that. What do I need to do?

block files

I believe those are the little 6-second AU sound files in the _DATA folder. Someone will correct me, but each time you get a new report, it doesn’t mean you have 452 orphan files. It means you have 452 more than the last time. The show is gone. It will just keep eating itself.

Do you have original sound files or backups of everything in your show? You can just scrap this project and start the edit over again. If you have no backups, then that’s the end of the world. You need to shoot or download fresh.

You can try to export WAV files of everything that will still play before it completely dies. Select each track still alive and File > Export > Export Selected > WAV. Then go on to the next one.


The orphan block files are caused by the crash, not the other way around.

Don’t try to re-open the project. Start over with a new one.

And take kozikowski’s advice and back up your project track-by-track to WAV files on a regular basis.

If the crashes continue then the problem goes beyond that one project and we’ll need to figure out what’s wrong.

– Bill

Thanks for the advice on the back-ups. I’m going to try and take the edits I’ve polished and put them into a WAV file and see if the errors persist once I restart.

OK, a crash has just occurred.

I added an audio track, applied a low-pass filter and an amplification to that track, and then added an additional piece of audio. As I zoomed in on the track to place the new audio selection, a debug report preview popped up. Stating that a debug report has been generated in the directory “/var/folders/7d/5k4l4x3d407f1kwwkv2mztgh0000gn/T/Audacity_dbgrpt-18559-20200622T154202.” The problem is that the debug report causes Audacity to stop working, as I cannot say “OK” or “Cancel” the report. My only recourse is to Force Quit the program.

What should I do in this instance to stop the debug report from triggering?

Which version of Audacity are you using?

No, it’s the other way round. If Audacity stops working, it may generate a debug report.

I added an audio track, applied a low-pass filter

Eventually, if it hasn’t happened already, the show will just stop opening. The only pieces you will have left are the original sound files and clips when you started and whatever backups and exports you could make during this forum exchange.


Was that with the project that was causing the problems, or a new project?

– Bill