Lost all audio after converting to MP3

Hoping someone can help me restore the audio to the file I just worked an entire day on. Converted to MP3 but no sound on playback. File is still massive so I feel like the audio must be there somewhere even if it’s flatlined on the screen. All audio playback settings are fine.

Did you Export WAV sound files of all the original recordings (if any).

Did you Export a WAV sound file of the show before you exported the MP3?

Did you Save an Audacity Project before you exported the MP3?

Did you close Audacity before you found out the MP3 failed?

How long was the show? What was the show?


File is still massive

How massive? Audacity works in super high quality internally so that effects and filters don’t damage the sound, but that only works inside Audacity. Your machine has to be able to handle the export size, plus the uncompressed size inside Audacity plus many multiple copies of the internal size as Audacity makes wholesale copies of the show as each and every UNDO.

Maybe you just ran out of machine. I think the earlier Audacity versions had a 13-hour file limit. Audacity doesn’t make a good surveillance machine.


How massive?

Medium MP3 compression for a 3-minute stereo song is about 3MB. How big is the file?

There is a Force Mono option in the MP3 export. If you have a damaged original where the Left and Right sound are out of phase (you can easily get that with a bad microphone connection), then a mix-down to mono will kill the sound but leave a flat line, silent sound file.


The file was 7 min. Size is 6 MB. I saved the project file and the mp3. All connections good. Machine is brand new Alienware (which I highly recommend with the ssd, it makes zero fan noise.)
Is there a way to fix it? It absolutely will not play on audacity, adobe audition, or windows media player.
Thank you for all the feedback!

Did you have blue waves when you were editing the show? If you have an Audacity Project, it should be possible to open it and see the original waves. Can you do that—does that work?

Even better if you haven’t closed Audacity from the edit, you can Edit > UNDO and get your original show back. Projects will save all your original clips and edit configurations, etc, but not UNDO.

I’m guessing the MP3 is a lost cause. Once you burn an MP3, you can’t “back up” and make it into anything else. That’s why you avoid MP3 until the very last step where you make the clip for your Personal Music Device or posting on-line. And then only after you make the WAV (Microsoft) 16-bit backup file.

Describe how you got the sound for the show. For example, there are no easy, cheap crosses between XLR microphone cables…

…and the Mic-In or Headset on a laptop.

There is always a thing, device or adapter in the middle.

That’s the black thing in front of the coffee cup.