Majority of Recording is Silent After MP3 Export

Sometimes when I export a recording to MP3 the first 20-30 minutes of a 40 minute recording will be silent. If I try to save the project as an Audacity project, I get an error message saying that ‘the project cannot be saved, perhaps the C: drive is not writable or the disk is full’. The worst part is that after all of that, the original file still open on Audacity also becomes silent for 20-30 minutes. Is there any way to salvage the project? I still have a project open on Audacity but the first 30 minutes are now silent after trying to export to MP3 then save as an Audacity project. The MP3 file is also silent for the first 30 minutes out of 40.

The puzzling thing is that it doesn’t always happen. I’ve been using various versions of Audacity for 3-4 years now on the same computer and this has only started happening in the past 6 months or so. I’m currently using Audacity 2.1.0 on Windows 7 on a laptop with over 200 G of free space. This happened on the previous version of Audacity as well. I’m using a Blue Snowball mic.

The puzzling thing is that it doesn’t always happen.

Do you have aggressive virus protection? Sometimes a protection program will decide that Audacity files are hazardous and try to eat them. Also do you like to put dates in your filenames? Many machines don’t much like punctuation marks in the filenames, so 5/8/15 may drive the system nuts. Use the ISO version of dates 2015-05-08. Dashes are OK.

You can also get into trouble if you don’t have permission to use the disk area that’s trying to manage the Audacity temporary files.

I’m not a Windows elf, so we need to wait for someone who is.


I’m running Norton with the standard settings, not sure it that’s considered aggressive or not.

I don’t use dates in file names, they’re usually named something like Joe S1. The recordings are just of me talking, nothing fancy or complicated.

Not sure about my permissions or how to check them but I’ll look into that.

Thanks for the suggestions, it does make me suspicious of Norton. I keep up with the updates and perhaps one of them now doesn’t like Audacity. I don’t use the laptop much for the internet, just to make my recordings for clients so I can try turning Norton off.

Turn off Norton’s “Windows temporary file cleaner” or File > Save Project As… before recording. Make sure you save to a folder that does not have “temp” or “tmp” in its name.

Alternatively open Edit > Preferences… from the Audacity menus, go to the Directories section, and type a folder name in the box that does not have “temp” or “tmp” in its name.


Thanks for the suggestions, I’ll give them all a try.