Lost audio after upload

I’m using a Mac, OS 10.4.11, PowerPC G4. Am relatively new to Audacity. Yesterday, using a Zoom H2 digital recorder I recorded a live concert. I successfully uploaded the recording to my Mac, then successfully (I thought) edited out the live chatter between selections and saved it all as an .AUP file. This morning I came back to the computer to import the .AUP file into iTunes (v. 8.0.2). To check out my work from the previous night I tried to play the .AUP file. It looks fine on the screen, but it plays only the first 7-8 seconds of the 45-minute concert (as edited) and then the sound disappears. The graphic (Is that called a wave form?) display is still visible and the cursor moves through it . . . but no sound. I exported the .AUP file as a .WAV and an .MP3 file. They seemed to export fine, but I get the same deal with those–the graphic display is there and the cursor moves through it, but no sound after the first 7-8 seconds. Any help welcome.

The AUP file is not audio. It is part of an Audacity Project - the rest of the project is made up of data files.

In order to create an audio file that can be imported into iTunes (or burned to CD, or played in a media player…) you need to Export from Audacity to create an audio file (for example a WAV file or an MP3).

See here for more information: http://audacityteam.org/wiki/index.php?title=File_Management_Tips

Thanks for the reply, Steve. But . . . I did indeed export from the .AUP to both the .WAV and the .MP3 format. And the same thing occurred: the file looks normal, but the sound cuts out after the first 5-8 seconds. The cursor continues to move across the wave graphic, but without sound.

And here’s another strange thing: After posting my first note to start this thread I did a new upload from scratch and re-did my editing. Then I immediately (rather than waiting overnight) exported the resulting project to a .WAV format file, which I then uploaded to iTunes. I was able this time to make an audio CD (my ultimate aim all along) from there.

But I don’t know why it worked the second time and not the first. All my procedures seemed to be the same, the only difference being that the second time I did the whole thing in one sitting, never closing out of Audacity once I’d started. Could it really have been that?

I await further enlightenment.

Audacity Projects are seriously magic which is why some of us think it should be a little harder to make one by accident.

As you found out, a Project is not an audio file, it’s an Editorial Production Environment. An AUP file is a laundry list of where everything is in your show, and there could be thousands of listings in a complicated show. Every time you add a sound file or a clip to the show it becomes part of that list and in it’s original location. That’s important. People kill off projects all the time by “cleaning up” or “organizing” all those sound clips and fragments. Change a sound clip or its location and your show turns to dust. That is almost certainly what happened to your first show. You moved or changed something and the AUP file went looking for it unsuccessfully.

Much more seriously is you didn’t change anything and your machine is slightly unstable and created damaged clips. It’s one of the reasons Projects are brittle and easily damaged.

I admit I’m not typical at all, but I don’t use Projects. I capture live performances and immediately Export As WAV. Then I collect the WAV files and produce a show which I immediately Export As a final WAV. If I have a very important show, I make backup copies of each WAV as I produce it. My shows never go beyond two channel stereo, but if yours do, then you’re stuck with Projects because WAV files will only handle two channels at a time.


That’s the way to go. If you read the information in the page that I posted the link for, you will see that Audacity projects depend on all of the little bits of data being present and correct. If any of those data files are not available, then there will be parts of the audio missing. It will not necessarily show up in the waveform display because the display is in just a couple of the data files, and there can be hundreds of data files that are used in the whole project.

There are a couple of very common causes for bits disappearing, one is that people can be too tidy and delete what they think are unused files. The other common one is if audio has been used from an external drive or a CD which is then removed.

Once the file has been exported as a WAV, then you have solid and reliable audio file that you can come back to the following day.

In Audacity 1.3.6 if you go into Preferences (from the Edit menu) and look in the “Import/Export” tab, you will see two options that say “safer”. By selecting these “safe” options it becomes more difficult to loose parts of your project.


If you want to experiment, create a really short project, close it, and find the _DATA folder. Delete or move the first .au file. The next time you open that project, the left blue waveform on the screen will vanish, even though the show is OK.


That never happens to me.