(Not Responding) while importing .WAV file

Hello all. So I have been using Audacity for quite a few years. I’ve been creating a podcast and importing around 4 hours (sometimes a few 4-hour files into one project) and it takes some time but never freezes. This particular file just won’t import. I’ve tried it on multiple computers, I’ve loaded it from the computer itself and from an external hard drive. I’ve left it and come back hours later and its still frozen. And its only this file. But I can open this file in a music player and listen all the way through so I know it isn’t corrupted.

I am using Audacity 2.1.0 (was gonna try updating it to a newer version and see if that helps?) and Windows 10 (on both desktop and laptop).

I know it isn’t corrupted.

No, but it may not be a WAV file. Windows has this thing about hiding filename extensions which is handy, clean and convenient until something goes wrong.

Media Info will tell you what kind of file it is.

If the reading is confusing, compare it to one of the files that works.

What’s the file size?


How big is the file (in GB)? There is a 4GB file size limit for WAV files due the 32-bit file-size field in the WAV header. …But usually, an oversize WAV won’t fail to load, but usually the whole file won’t load/play and it’s not just the first 4GB… The file can “appear” much smaller due to the way the header data “rolls over”.

MediaInfo will probably give you the best information but you can also quickly check the file size compared to the playing time as long as you know the format details and as long as you know there are 8-bits in a byte:
File size (in bytes) = Sample rate x (Bit depth/8) x Number of channels x Playing time in seconds.
For example, a 60 second, 44.1kHz, 16-bit, stereo file should be: 44,100 x (16/8) x 2 x 60 = 10.6MB. (About 10MB per minute for that particular format.)

If the file is much smaller than that, it may be compressed data in a WAV container (but that shouldn’t happen accidentally).

Regular uncompressed WAV files are fairly straightforward and foolproof. If it’s really a wave file you can import it as “Raw data” regardless if it exceeds the 4GB maximum or if the header wrong/incorrect. You will have to know (or guess) the number of channels, bit-depth and sample rate. The offset for a WAV standard WAV file is 44 bytes (the header is 44 bytes) but since something is unusual, you can try a few different sequential values if necessary. The byte-pattern repeats, so depending on the bit-depth (and number of channels) so you’ll only have to make a few guesses until you find an offset that works.