Initial import is taking too long to save.

OS 10.13.6
I just installed version 2.2.2. After importing a 60mb mp3 file, the initial save takes more than three minutes. Version 2.1.0 was only taking 10 or 12 seconds. The Quality and Import/Export preferences are the same. What could be causing this?

You seem to be right here, Paul. :sunglasses:

I tested on Windows 10 using a generated 5 hour mono chirp
a) on 2.1.0 the save tool 5 seconds
b) on 2.2.2 (and the 2.3.- alpha test) it takes 30 seconds

I will log this on our bug-tracker for further investigation - extremely unlikely to be fixed for the upcoming 2.3.0 as we are currently in code-freeze pending an upcoming release - but we may be able to get someone to take a look at it for the subsequent release.

Top tip :bulb: When you first open your project in 2.2.2 Save the empty project immediately - then import your 60mb mp3 file - and then Save the project. You should find that subsequent Save much quicker

This is because if you a re working with an unsaved project Audacity works with its temporary files. If you then generate a lot of audio data and only then Save the project Audacity has to copy all the temporary files to your chosen project location. If you pre-save the project Audacity uses your desired location from the start, so no temporary files involved and no copying of such temporary files.

Logged on Bugzilla:

It would seem to be an issue introduced with version 2.2.0, it got 50% worse for 2.2.1, and then improved for 2.2.2 (but only to 2.2.0 levels).


In 2.2.0 we made some changes to improve the safety of Saving a project.


  1. we check that there is sufficient disk space - dynamically as the Save progresses (this takes a little more time than previously)

  2. For the initial Save of an existing project all the blockfiles of the existing audio data are now copied to the new Save location - rather than as previously achieved by a quick, but unsafe, rename.
    To quote from the developer involved: “The slow copy, followed by deletions of the originals only after all is successful, is the price of general safety.”

We have, however, logged this as an issue in our bugtracker and once 2.3.0 is released we will be looking again at this to see what, if anything, we can do to speed it up.

Thanks for flagging this issue up for us, Paul - good catch - much appreciated :slight_smile: :sunglasses:

But the advice remains: Save your empty project before you strat any work on it - it’s much quicker saving than and all subsequent Saves of the project.

Thanks for the confirmation – and the work-around.