My project consists of about 100 clipped tracks in playlist order with one aligned up to the end of the preceding track. My computer crashed and when I recovered the .aup everything looked ok and in the right order so I saved over the original file. When I later went to play one of the tracks it was silent. When I zoomed in, all the soundwaves disappeared showing every track still in the correct order but with a silenced flat line. As a result, all the tracks are silent. I assume that audacity did an incorrect recovery. After reading some forums I’m afraid that I’ve lost any way to recover the audio.
However, I’ve located the 6 second clip .au files in two locations: the temporary and _data folders, which gives me hope that they could be pieced together. They are working .au files because I’ve copied them into a blank project and the audio plays. What is the best and easiest way to attempt to piece together the .au files with the track order and track lengths that I spent so much time on in the .aup file?
version 2.2.1 on Windows 7
I think you have fallen victim to a nasty bug we had in 2.2.0 and 2.2.1 - but now thankfully fixed in 2.2.2 - whereby using Save As rather than just Save causes audio to be silenced.
Unless you have earlier backup copies of your project I suspect this may not be recoverable.
You really should upgrade to 2.2.2 immediately - see https://www.audacityteam.org/download/windows/
and watch out for the upcoming 2.3.0 release coming soon we hope,
But even without the bug, losing your AUP file is very serious. A raw-capture mono Project might be recovered without the AUP file using the time and date stamps and a little luck. A raw stereo show can be recovered if you don’t mind left and right sound swapping at random. A production edit can not be recovered.
A performance recording should be Exported as a WAV (Microsoft) 16-bit and moved to a safe place. If you have complex edits, you can Save Project As a different show name periodically. Continuously stepping on one project with corrections is not recommended. If the machine crashes, you should be able to go back to the last Save and keep going. If everything turns to peanut butter, go back to the WAV file.
Similarly, when you finish, Export a WAV of the show in addition to any Projects or MP3 files you may require. ACX requires MP3 audiobook submission, but your personal archive should be the WAV. You can make a WAV into anything else, but an MP3 cannot be edited without sound damage.
Archive should be in two different places. Cloud storage counts, separate drives, thumb drives, etc. The dog ate your laptop is not a good excuse for losing valuable work. I know people who save modest work by mailing it to themselves.
A word on that bug.
We should remember that Audacity is developed by four guys in a camper in Land’s End.
It’s not a large corporation. So pre-release software inspection is done from a list of known, expected behavior.
It is expected that a producer Save in order to apply corrections to the current show.
It is expected that a producer Save As a different show name than the current one.
It is not expected that a producer Save As to apply corrections to the current show. It turns out that process is common—and it was unstable in earlier Audacity versions.
Update to 2.2.2 (or later) as soon as possible.