New crackling on playback (??) :-(

Spec. used for recording:
MacOS12.6; Audacity 3.2.1; MacBook Air2020; 1.1 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5; Firefox Browser 106.0.3.

I’m recording internet radio via Internet browser + Audacity, then exporting to save as MP3 file. I’ve done this before months ago and don’t seem to remember having any problems. The audio sounds fine online when recording but on playback there are crackling noises which occur at different places in the recording each time I play back the audio. I’ve read in forums that the recording may be fine but it may be something to do with the playback settings in Audacity and the limitations of my audio card? I’m unsure of what settings to change and what impacts they will have - I’m no expert Audacity user with in-depth knowledge, I simply use it to record online stuff for future reference. Hoping you can help with a quick simple fix (obvious to you folks probably) :smiley:
I’m hoping all the recordings I’ve done are OK and that it’s just a playback issue ??

I tried playing an older MP3 file (I’d recorded through Audacity and exported as an MP3 file), through VLC MediaPlayer. It played fine. I then tried the same file in Audacity and it would hardly play - it was skipping, crackling and not getting past a certain point. This is a problem as I use Audacity to edit tracks but if it isn’t playing correctly then I can’t scan, cut, edit.
Hoping you can help - thank you !

Other info’ that may be of use:
recording using Soundflower, sampling 44100Hz 32bit-float, real time conversion Medium Quality, high quality conversion Best Quality (slowest), latency buffer length 100 ms compensation -130ms, playback - vari-speed play and always scrub underpinned both selected (I don’t know what that means :slight_smile: )

A couple of things to try:

  1. Try changing the project rate to 48000.
  2. Try closing your browser
  3. Try swapping USB ports.

I will have a look later thank you, but I think this seems to be a playback of MP3 issue not a recording issue.

  • I’m not using USB ports to record or playback.
  • I’m not using browser when playing back. (I’m recording from the browser capturing streaming audio).

I closed the internet browser and changed the rate to 48000. I then tried playback of the MP3 file from the computer drive (not USB). However, it still had random popping/crackling.
Any other ideas or solutions would be welcome.
Thank you.

So I have nothing else to offer at this time. :frowning:

Try playing one of your new recordings in VLC. That will tell us if the problem is only on playback or recording as well.

Yes, I did try that, mentioned in first post. Yes, it plays fine in VLC.

No. In your first post you said:

I’m asking you to try playing a new recording through VLC. We know that Audacity was previously working for you, but I’d like to know whether the problem now is with only with playback, or with recording and playback.

Hi all,
OK, I’ve revisited this. And also gone back to the initial suggestion, regards project rate. I’ve made a new recording. It played back fine in VLC but it popped playing back in Audacity. I tried again, changing the project rate, when playing back, to 48000Hz. It then played OK in Audacity and crackling had gone. I’m guessing that’s the solution? It’s funny, I’d never come across this problem before when playing back and editing.
I guess my questions now are:

  • What impact does the project rate have ?
    What project rate settings should I use for recording and playing ?
    Is there anything else I should be considering?

Thanks all for the help :slight_smile:

This could be helpful:
my crackling problem was solved not by deleting and reinstalling,
but by COMPLETELY removing audacity then reinstalling.
(I used Parallels “Uninstall apps” tool; you can also follow instructions at

So the “Open recent” list was gone, kb shortcuts wiped,
plugins rescanned and a few favorite nyquist programs to reinstall.
But the crackling is gone, and the occasionally super-sluggish paste is gone.

I also had a potential problem with sampling rate.
Making everything 48000 works for me (because video).
This might be unrelated to the problems I was having.