Persistant crashing - I've tried everything...

(…everything I can think of anyway, I am not an expert).

I make podcasts with recorded interviews from zoom/skype and added audio files. I have always used Audacity to put it all together and it’s usually been great.

But with my current edit it keeps crashing.

I have tried deleting audacity and reinstalling it.

I have tried inputing entirely different audio files to the edit.

I have removed everything fro the Lacie drive I normally use to an alternative location.

I have tried using my desktop iMac instead of the MacBook Air I usually use.

I have updated Mac OS Catalina today to 10.15.6

But it continues to crash after just a few simple actions, always, as far as I can remember when I push the space bar (but after I’ve already pushed it a few times).

I am at my wits end. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

I make podcasts with recorded interviews from zoom/skype and added audio files

How are you capturing both sides of the interview? Typically, you can record your voice or sometimes the Skype voice, but very rarely both on one machine.

Are you using Skype/Zoom recording services? That does work, but it gives you honky Skype Voice on both sides.

I assume the other files are music, interstitials, stingers, etc.

Do you have a Fusion Drive in your machines?

the Lacie drive I normally use to an alternative location.

Such as iCloud? It’s usually a super bad idea to do live recording to external drives of any sort. They do OK most times, but they can get slower as they fill up and the already sloppy connection reliability goes straight into the mud. Can you shoot a test with all external drives disconnected?

If you can’t because your internal drive is jammed, we may have found the problem.


Yes I’m using Skype/zoom recordings.

I don’t think I have a fusion drive, just a flash SSD. Its a MacBook Air with only 8GB storage which is why I use the Lacie but I suspect that the Lacie connection is a bit dodgy so I am going to try and clear enough room on the in built memory.

Its a MacBook Air with only 8GB storage

That’s the system memory, not the drive. A Mac couldn’t get out of bed in the morning with an 8GB drive. My oldest, smallest Macbook (2009) still in active service as a sound recorder has a 115GB internal SSD.

Desktop > Go > Computer.

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Right-Click or Control+Tap Macintoch HD > Get INFO.

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That’s my newest office machine, a Mac Mini.

You don’t have to capture there forever, but a full internal system drive can just kill you even if you’re not using it for the actual show. If you clean it up even a little and everything starts working, then you have your answer.


A word on Solid State Drives. you can read from them until the sun cools off, but they only have a limited writing ability before the cells get “tired.” So they’re constantly shuffling cells around inside so you’re not constantly beating up one or one group of cells. That’s something else that starts failing with a full drive. It needs to shuffle data around for good health and it just can’t. No place to go.


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So what do you think I should do?

Does capturing to your internal drive work? Recording with none of your external drives connected and the network disabled?

Audacity > Preferences > Directories. Where does that point to?


I’m actually capturing to an SD card right now and it is much more stable. Must’ve been the Lacie I think.
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If you are capturing to an unsaved project (project window title bar reads “Audacity”) the data is being written to your internal SSD, according to the Directories Preferences you posted.

We don’t recommend capturing to, or editing a project stored on, a USB stick - they are notoriously slow.

When recording or editing, save your project on the SSD.

If you need to free up space on your SSD, keep the active projects there. Move archival projects to an external drive. If you need to edit them, copy them back to the SSD.

– Bill

There is a video on the ACX instruction web page that recommends without question to capture your work on an external drive (the orange thing).

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I recommend without question to not do that. Computer capture can cause a number of problems and an external drive just adds one more.