Large sections of audio missing

I’m using Windows 10 w/Audacity 2.0.5

I’m recording an audio book, and save each chapter separately. When going back in to edit, I’ve discovered that in one chapter, there are huge gaps in the audio. It will just cut off in mid-sentence, have maybe a 20 or 30 second gap, then pick back up. Best I can tell, the gaps are roughly the length of the missing audio. So it’s like you just went in there and generated 20 or 30 seconds of silence. I save my files to an external USB drive, not that it should matter. I downloaded an Audacity recovery utility program, but when pointing it to the file in question, I get the message, “[file path…] does not contain any audio files that could be recovered.” This is maddening. It has happened from time to time, but not usually to this extent. Lots of time down the drain if I can’t recover, and no telling how many of my other chapters may be affected. Do other program (e.g. Adobe Audition) have issues like this? Yes, I know, Audacity is free, but this just really shouldn’t happen…right?

It sounds like a hard drive problem. Do you use that USB drive for anything else, and has it been reliable? Maybe you’ve got a flaky USB cable?

Did you save-as an audacity project or export to WAV (or other standard audio format)? The Audacity recovery is for Audacity project files. But, my gut feeling is that it’s safer to export to WAV (and optionally to an Audacity project if you wish) and of course, it’s always a good idea to make backups of anything critical.

Do you normally listen after recording but before saving and there are no gaps?

Do other program (e.g. Adobe Audition) have issues like this? Yes, I know, Audacity is free, but this just really shouldn’t happen…right?

Well… Computers are the least reliable gadgets we own. You should get good enough reliability for audio book recording, especially if you can dedicate a computer for audio use and don’t “mess with” it. But, once in awhile you’re going to have a problem.

If you are recording something super-critical where there’s no chance for “take two”, I recommend a 2nd back-up system recording in parallel (and one of the recorders can be a solid state recorder or something other than a computer). But, that’s really not practical if you’ve got a one-man studio recording an audio book.

Audacity recovery is for both already saved and never saved projects, if Audacity crashes or is force quit.


Is there a reason you are using such an old version of Audacity? If 2.0.5 sees your audio devices on Windows 10 then the current 2.1.2 release would do so:

USB drives are slower than hard drives and so ideally they should not be used for recording.

As Doug asked, have you saved an Audacity project? If not, what is the temp directory at Edit > Preferences…, Libraries section? Cleanup tools can target the default Audacity temp directory used by 2.0.5 and they will then delete the recording. In 2.1.2 the default Audacity temporary directory should be safe from cleanup tools.

What does Help > Show Log… top right of Audacity say?