Not recording, only straight vertical line across screen

Hello everyone,

Well I hope this isn’t the second posting of this type because I wrote a post and submitted it and maybe it timed out, but it looked like it disappeared…sorry if second post for this.

Windows 7 Home Premium
Audacity 2.1.2

Been using Audacity for a long time. Posted 1 other question a couple years ago. I am not a Geek so I need more explanation at times.
I have been recording successfully most of the time up until just recently.

I tried the other day and have been trying ever since. When I play an MP3 from my computer and I hit the record button, it doesn’t record, it only shows a vertical line moving across the screen with no zig-zag movement like usual.

I went to the manual to check the settings the best I could and they seem ok, but can’t be 100% I am not missing something.
I am not use to going to the Manual but I made a big effort to try to figure it out and it is a good manual even for the NON-GEEK like me.

When I play an MP3 that is also stored on my computer and try to record, I hear it thru my 2 speakers and can change the volume, but can’t see it recording on audacity–just a straight up and down vertical line runs across the screen.

ALSO when I was checking on my settings, I must have changed something (but it didn’t record before this anyhow) I have a darker heavier med blue line at the top of the record screen and the bottom of the record screen and I know I saw an example of that somewhere but don’t know where to go to find it again to change it back with no blue lines like I am describing.

Any help would be appreciated.
I tried getting my computer tech that I use to help me and he logged onto me but couldn’t see where my settings were wrong for recording, but he doesn’t use Audacity and I would have to take it in to the shop.

I tried another tech place much farther away, the guys are younger but can’t diagnose over the phone, (even by logging on to my computer and taking a look) so that doesn’t help.

Thank you very much for any help (with pictures) if possible.


Posted 1 other question a couple years ago.

So that explains why the forum knows who you are.

When I play an MP3 from my computer

I think we need a goal statement: “I want to record audio from the internet,” for example.

Your statement doesn’t entirely make sense because if you already have an MP3, that means you already have a sound file and you don’t have to record it in Audacity (or anything else). You can just open it.

Internet sound isn’t automatically MP3. MP3 is just a method of saving sound. Granted most of the stuff on the internet is MP3 because the format is small, efficient and convenient, but it doesn’t have to be and telling us that is confusing.

Playing work on your computer is one, single pathway. Doesn’t matter where it comes from. You can play a movie, play a sound file or play Internet Explorer connections to YouTube or any other source. Full Stop. There is no automatic recording pathway. That’s different.

Recording a microphone (for example) means the computer connects it to the Audacity recording system and if you press Record, Audacity will make a recording of your voice or whatever the performance is. It’s possible Audacity is not going to make any sound while it’s doing that. Making sound is the playback side and they’re different.

In order to record a YouTube performance, again, for example, you have to set the machine to both play and record at the same time. That’s what recording Stereo-Mix, What-U-Hear or other software process does. It plays the work from the internet, and then it carefully turns it around and shoots it back town the recording system so Audacity can find it. That process has to be intentionally designed and set up and it’s not particularly easy.

It appears to me something in that process failed for you and this is where you tell us if I’m on the right track or not.



Yes, GOAL: I want to record audio from internet.

I have used Audacity for recording audio from the internet for a long time, but all of a sudden it won’t record. When I start the record process, it only shows a straight vertical line moving across the screen with no up and down movement.

I am not sure if it is my audacity settings or somehow my hardware.
I can hear what I am trying to record thru my speakers but don’t see it recording - just a straight vertical line.

Thank you

The setup for recording internet sound is brittle and computer makers aren’t particularly excited about telling you how to do it since it violates their copyright agreements, terms of service, etc. etc. Even Macs have no natural, convenient way to do this.

These are our publications on streaming recording.

I’m not a Windows elf, so if you’re still in trouble we need to wait until one of them comes along.


I want to thank all for trying to help me.

I have always used MME as my setting and it worked for a long time!!!

Changed it to WINDOWS WASAPI and it started recording. That is new to me because it was working with MME for a long long time.

Again thanks for coming to my aid so quickly…