Missing Audio Data Block File(s)

I have been using Audacity to edit my podcast for about a year now, most recently using it to also record directly into it. Haven’t had any issues until the last couple weeks. After recording, editing, and saving (to a new name) an episode as I have been doing for several prior to–via the Export as MP3 option–upon reopening the file, I receive the following message:

Warning–Missing Audio Data Block File(s)

None of the options given to recover actually does…to the state at which I edited it. I even went back to the original raw file and figured I would just re-edit. But that file gives me the same error message! I now have two corrupt files that I would like to recover to, ideally, the edited version, but at the very minimum the raw one I can reedit.

I am using Mac OS 10.13 (I realize the Forum Rule states 10.4 or later, but I don’t know where else to post this question.


But that file gives me the same error message!

Sound files such as WAV or MP3 don’t give that message. That only happens with Audacity Projects.

This is an Audacity Project. It’s a collection of files and folders.

It’s best if you File > Export a WAV (Microsoft) 16-bit sound file of your original recording. Audacity Projects and MP3 are not recommended for this. Projects because you can have instability and management problems (such as what you have) and MP3 because their sound quality gets worse as you edit them.

most recently using it to also record directly into it.

How were you doing it before? Using a separate, stand-alone, good quality sound recorder is recommended for a lot of jobs. Forcing a computer to do it puts your show at risk of failure from all the problems computers can have, plus the regular microphone and sound problems.

Haven’t had any issues until the last couple weeks.

Are you starting to run out of drive space? Audacity does everything in real time and a choking hard drive is not good. The phrase that pays is: “I’ve been doing this for a long time and now, suddenly, it stopped working.”

Go (top of the screen) > Computer. Right-click (or Control-Tap) Macintosh HD (or whatever you called it) > Get INFO. Read Capacity and Available. You can also get into trouble if you record a show with other apps open or running.


Thank you Koz. Apologies for the delay in responding to your response.

Okay, so I do have more clarity on how I got to where I am, but still need advice on how to recover. I had been until recently recording on another device as an MP3, then importing the file into Audacity. For these two corrupt files, I recorded directly into Audacity…and yes, failed to export first to MP3, so that looks to be the cause of the error/corruption. I have plenty of space on my hard drive.

So, now for one, I have the original raw recording .aup file (blue headphones with red/orange fire image) that, when I attempt to open and edit, I receive that error message and its associated _date folder (blue folder image). For the other one, I just have the _data folder with what looks to be the recording in hundreds of smaller files.

When I open the .aup file, the recording sounds fine, but has several flatline gaps of what appears to be lost bits of recording. The other one I am unable to simply open the recording.

Can you help?


My apologies if this isn’t allowed, but bumping this question…

It’s not clear what your question is now that your original question has been answered:

Projects have two parts, an “.AUP” file and a “_data” folder.

  1. The “_data” folder contains the audio data (lots of little “.AU” files organised in sub-folders - don’t mess with these or you will destroy the project).
  2. The “.AUP” file contains instructions that tell Audacity how to create the project from the audio data.

If either the AUP or _data folder are missing or damaged, then it’s game over unless you can restore them somehow (for example, from a backup).

Can I “stitch” the recording back together using all the little ._data files?

If you have the “.AUP” file (the Audacity Project file), then you don’t need to because Audacity does that automatically (by using the instructions in the .AUP file).

If you don’t have the .AUP file but you do have the complete “_data” folder, then you “could”, in theory, stitch the “.AU” files together manually. However, the BIG problem would be trying to sort the .AU files into the correct order (it would probably take you years).

For one of the recordings, I have both, but the .au file is corrupt, so I am turning to the ._data one to recover. And the other I just have the ._data file, so in both cases I was hoping to restitch back together.

That is unfortunate that there isn’t anything within the programming that knows what order those files are supposed to go in, so looks like I am screwed. I mean, I like jigsaw puzzles, but yikes!

Thank you for your help.