I could not open 71.4 MB WAV file with Audacity 5:12:05 long

Hi everbody,

I am new in town and need to listen a .wav format file for a very important issue. It is 71.4 MB and 5h 12min 05sec long but almost 1h30min includes voices after that there is just recording noises. But I could not open that file with audacity. I just installed the zip 2.1.2 version yesterday and I am using Windows 10. After installation I could open a 3,66 MB MP3 music file and I made some cuts and sth to try program but could not open my urgent .wav file. When I try to open it the program get locked and says system is not responding. It has been recorded by a MP3 player in .wav format. Please help me about that it is vital.

Thank you!

It is not a normal uncompressed WAV file then. Perhaps it is MP3 audio inside a WAV.

If it is for a legal case, you should contact a professional in audio forensics. Restoration you do yourself will not be legally admissible.

Again, it is not an uncompressed WAV. You could try renaming it as an MP3.

If that does not work, install FFmpeg. Then use File > Import > Audio… . In the “Files of type” box, choose “FFmpeg-compatible files” which makes FFmpeg take the file. That is probably more likely to work with the file named as WAV, because I suspect it is MP3 inside WAV.

Note that whatever compressed format the audio is in, you may need up to 6 GB of disk space even to import it into Audacity, because Audacity will decompress it to PCM. If you don’t have the space, that may account for the freeze up.

If you want to know what audio type is really in the file, download “MediaInfo” from http://mediainfo.sourceforge.net/en/Download/Windows. Get the version without installer, because the installer may have malware or adware.


A five hour stereo WAV file should have been about 3,300 MB, not 71MB.That exceeds a 2,000MB limit for some WAV files, but even if it’s a mono WAV file (one blue wave) like some voice recorders use, that’s still about 1650MB.

So you either have a damaged WAV file, or it’s not a WAV file.

You can install the FFMpeg add-on software and Audacity will open up many more unusual sound formats.


Neither Audacity nor Windows have reliable File Information. To find out what you really have, you can install the Media INFO program from here. Get the program not the installer.



It cannot be a damaged file, it is really basic record. I said it has been recorded by MP3 player not in MP3 format and the MP3 player is very simple brand also (i will ask the name and model). Why audacity makes error i could not figure it out if it supports big .wav files? Also to clarify one more thing it is 71.4 MB and 5h 12min 05sec long but i need just first 1h30min. People are talking in at section. After that there is just unrelated noises due to record continues. I do not need to analyze those part. Firstly I would like shorten the record then clear the background voices and also make louder the record because in very important sections voices are really low. Btw it is legal do not worry :slight_smile: It is for clarifying an issue. So please check the print screen view and inform me?

OK so it is compressed WAV. You get 4 times smaller file size due to 4-bit instead of 16-bit, and about another 5 times compression due to only 8000 Hz sample rate instead of standard 44100 Hz.

Have you installed FFmpeg and chosen “FFmpeg-compatible files” as suggested? It should not be necessary but it is possible it might be.

Audacity will decompress the file to PCM. If you don’t have sufficient space, you cannot import the file. You can open Edit > Preferences…, Directories section which shows you where the Audacity temporary directory is. Check you have at least 4 GB of space on that drive, which will let you do a maximum of five edits to the whole file.

Make sure the Audacity temporary directory is somewhere you have permission to write to.

If you want to export to the same low quality format, then in the Export dialogue, choose “Other Uncompressed files”, WAV (Microsoft) header and “IMA ADPCM” encoding.



I installed FFmpeg and in the directoy section it is written 73,1 GB. What you mean by “Make sure the Audacity temporary directory is somewhere you have permission to write to”? How I can the language, because the program which I use is not english? I would like to show you screen shots. When I try to file>import>audio (Control+Shift+I) it gets locked again and says system is not responding. I tried file>import>raw data (the last option, i think it is the translation) it could import the record but nothing can be heared just sizzle. It also asks some stuff there (file>import>raw data) i do not know exact technical english of it but i guess it ask those options: coding (signed 8-12-24-32 bit PCM etc.), byte order (little endian, etc.), channels and bla bla. Can it be imported by chosing the right options from those?


I changed the language and please see attached screen shot also.

Directories screen shot

Your Directories Preferences looks normal.

You can’t use Import Raw Data to import IMA (Intel) ADPCM, only VOX ADPCM.

Are you 100% sure when you did File > Import > Audio… that you selected “FFmpeg-compatible files”?

If it does not work and you are able to publish the file, I suggest you upload it to any of these

and give us the URL to download the file.


Thank you Gale i figure it out and did File > Import > Audio… “FFmpeg-compatible files” selection. I found after making English. I hope to analyze the record properly.

Bye :slight_smile: