Overwritten files with no warning

I’ve been using Audacity for a while now, but mostly the Windows version. I’ve been using Linux for maybe a little over a year now. I use OpenSuse 11.4 and the KDE desktop.

Today I recorded a cover of a song which I could not find a backing track for by pasting in the original song as a guide. It took a little over an hour to get it to sound how I wanted it. Then later in the day I decided to try making my own backing track from the original by using the voice removal tool. It didn’t really work very well, but I saved it anyway to work on later, or to use as a reference for recording the different parts myself. Everything seemed normal.

And then about thirty minutes ago I tried to open my version of the song to begin mastering it. But neither the aup file nor the folder were there. I did a whole-computer search for many variations of the file name, abbreviations I might have used etc., just in case I did randomly call it something else. I also did a search for all aup files and ordered them by date. I would have used the recent file list but Audacity after the last update decided to reset everything and clear the list every time it restarts, which is rather irritating in itself. The only file I could find was the one containing the half-finished backing track and I did not recall seeing an alert asking me if I wanted to overwrite anything.

Just now, after saving a copy elsewhere of the same files, I opened the original song in audacity again to double check which folder it was saving in as default and also to see if I got any kind of warning if I tried to save it again with the same file name in the same directory. It saved it in the same directory by default, and no warning came up. I closed it and reopened the backing track file. And it was gone. Replaced with my test file.

Every time I made the mistake of using the same file name twice in Windows and also in previous Linux versions, I was given a warning and was able to change the file name and to keep all of my files. Something has obviously gone wrong with this version and I have lost over an hour of irreplaceable work. I will also be unable to record again for quite some time, as my family is rather loud and the house is very rarely empty. This was also a track for a competition, and the deadline will probably have passed by the time I am able to attempt another recording. After examining the _data folders I see that the size of the overwritten one is very much smaller too so I can’t even piece it all back together again. I do backup either every day or every other day depending on how much I’ve done, but this was only recorded a few hours ago and I hadn’t yet had a chance to back it up.

I bought Sony Acid a couple of years ago and never really learned how to use it properly. But I think I will be doing that now and considering switching over entirely. I understand that programs are occasionally going to have bugs, but something that deletes this much work if that is what happened is, in my opinion, inexcusable. Is there at least something that I can try to undo the overwriting or to recover previous versions of the file?

It doesn’t sound to me if you are using Audacity supplied by us (by which I mean, you are compiling our 2.0.2 tarball or the HEAD development sources). There is no bug that Recent Files is cleared out on restart (I just tested HEAD on Ubuntu). Obviously that will happen though if you have some program set to delete the audacity.cfg config file - maybe a file cleanup application?

We cannot speak for any OpenSUSE Audacity package that you may be using, as they are free to modify Audacity as they wish and the packaging routines may be flawed. Packaged versions of Audacity may thus have bugs that are introduced by the packager, for which you must address the packager to resolve them.

Please can you explain a little more what you are doing here step by step, with the precise menu commands used. Audacity does not save any files at all except .aup project files. It exports audio files like WAV. What exactly is the “original song” - a WAV file, or your one hour recorded and edited Audacity project? I have tested that HEAD checks when overwriting a WAV file on Ubuntu.

If you open an .aup project file, make an edit which allows you to FIle > Save Project (or make no edit which forces you to File > Save Project As), there is no warning when saving to the same file name and directory. You have the project open in front of you and can Edit > Undo if you removed a track in error.

There is a block if you try to save to the name of another existing project - unfortunately this is not allowed, but when fixed, it will be allowed (with a prompt).

Also note if you file Save Project As to a different (non-existent) project name, the original project that was open is closed and you end up looking at the project you just saved. I find that unintuitive, though I don’t think any data loss is involved.

Again, please provide exact steps that can be followed (1, 2, 3, 4 …) so we can identify where the confusion or problem lies.