I have begun recording several Audio books onto audacity on a PC LAPTOP. I am considering switching to MAC. . .will those files transfer? Or. Will I need to begin again because I’m using a MAC?

How did you save the work? The Audacity default high quality sound Export format is Microsoft WAV. Everybody can open those. MP3 will open up everywhere (not recommended for archive). I believe Projects will open up cross platform.

How did you save the work and on which Audacity? You can get in trouble if you’re using an ancient and no longer supported version of Audacity. The current version is 2.0.5.

You can get into very serious trouble if you’re using Audacity in its “reference” mode, where it doesn’t make personal copies of the sound files it uses. See Attached picture. The older Audacity versions used to default to the second option. The newer one uses option one as in the picture.

How long can you keep the old computer around with the new one?

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I don’t know what version because the screen on my laptop has stopped working, but I use the save project button and it saves as an .aud file and then when I’m done I export it to an .mp3.

I downloaded audacity last year . . Does it automatically update or do I need to check and download new versions?

it saves as an .aud file

It saves as an .AUP project manager text file and a _DATA folder of the same name with the actual audio in it. You need both to get your show back. The MP3 is nice to listen to, but can’t be easily recut into another show or re-edited.

What’s the possibility of putting an external monitor on your computer to see what you’re doing?

There was a very early iBook Mac laptop that had a surface mount video manager chip. The internal temperature of the case would get high enough to melt the solder and release the chip which was mounted, conveniently enough, upside down. The chip was fine; it was designed to run in heat like that, but it took out the screen and the external monitor connection. You knew you were in trouble when the screen would only work if you bent the case a certain way.

“I can get it to work if I put a rolled-up sock just here.”

How are you planning on getting your work back if you can’t see what you’re doing?


I am going to take it to a techie geeky person and have them remove it from the hard drive and put it onto my new computer. Fingers crossed.

I would probably take all the files off the old laptop and put them on their own USB external hard drive. See if you can get one that plugs into the wall rather than soaking up multiple USB ports.

That should be a lot less work for the techie. I believe it’s still true that OS-X will mount and open (but not write to) a Windows extended partition on an external drive and many new external USB hard drives come formatted that way. I’m in a gray area because I haven’t actually done that in a long time. That will give you a clean Mac without all the baggage of a thousand windows files, most of which are going to be of no use to you.

Anybody doing desperation backups assumes that everything is valuable and will try to back up The Whole World and let you figure it out later. There’s a stunning amount of stuff going on behind the scenes on a Windows machine and it’s all suddenly going to be revealed to you.


Thank you Koz!

There’s one more touchy-feely problem with having even a talented tech mess with your Mac. If you’re new to Macs and have a problem, you will never know if you have a normal, ordinary problem or it was something caused by the surgery. Much better idea to put everything on an external drive, and even then keep the old machine around for a while.