Only part of my audio saved!! please help!!

I recorded an interview that I did with someone and went to edit it. in the middle of editing the audacity program would do “not responding”. But it would stop and then i would keep on editing. it was over 50 minutes of an interview, i listened to it and i saved the project as well as exported the audio. when i open it today it still says that its 50 mins long but only 4 mins of it is actually showing up on the waves. please tell me there is a way to restore it to the full 50 mins or atleast the original and i can re edit it again!

Both the WAV and the Project are 4 minutes?


I recorded an interview that I did with someone and went to edit it.

Right at that exact point you left out a step. I recorded an interview and exported a WAV and put it on a separate thumb drive in case something goes wrong.

Not Responding is pretty serious. That could mean pieces of Audacity went on vacation while you were cutting the work. We should wait for a Windows elf to drop in.

Were you Saving and Exporting with new filenames? Were you stepping on the old files as you went? If you were re-using the filenames, then you may have destroyed both the edit and the backup.


…Just some advice for the future. Export to WAV immediately after recording, and optionally save to an Audacity project. And if you are paranoid, backup the original WAV to a thumb drive or to a CD or another computer if you’re on a network, etc.

Remember, computers are the least reliable things we own, so for anything “critical” where there’s no chance for “take 2”, a solid state recorder is better (of course you can still edit on a computer). And if it’s super critical, use two recorders at the same time (one of those can be a computer).

I saved the project on WAV and exported it to audio to have both … when I was done editing the whole 50 minutes was there so I saved it with the name on both formats. I listened to it last night and woke up today and both files are only at 4 mins!

I saved the project on WAV and exported it to audio to have both

That’s not quite what we said. When you get done with the interview and before you pack up, File > Export the raw interview immediately as WAV and make a protection copy.

I still have original raw interviews on backup I shot years ago. I can recut an interview any time, but chances are I’m never going to get the performer back for another shot.


Have you been saving your edits over the same file again and again as you edit? That’s the second terrible idea. Save As and pick new names.


If nobody posted about a rescue yet, then there may not be one. Not Responding could mean anything. It could mean Skype picked that instant to wake up for a second and it killed the Audacity production process. No way to know.


I listened to it last night and woke up today and both files are only at 4 mins!

You opened up the exported file and then opened the saved project and they were 50 minutes? Did you put the computer to sleep or close the lid? Did you stop or shut down the computer?

There are systems where the virus protection can damage a show files, but in general that wouldn’t cause the same damage to both shows. The WAV file and the Audacity Project are very different. Since you have the same damage to both, I’m guessing Audacity just stopped working right after it said it was not responding. Anything you did from then on is probably trash.

I’m not a Windows elf, so we should wait for final comments from one of them.


What version of Audacity are you using? Please give us all three numbers from Help > About Audacity… .

Are there any error messages when you reopen the project? If so, please post the log from Help > Show Log… so we can see the errors.

Does the project show only four minutes length, or 50 minutes with most of it a flat line? Also please attach the AUP file. Please see here for how to attach files:

If you are really saying the WAV is in the same truncated state as the AUP then yes, probably the problem had already happened when you exported and you did not play all of the project to hear that.

Where did you save the project to? You should save to your own Music or Documents folder on the hard drive. Don’t save to small flash drives that may be short of space.