playback is jumpy, spastic

At my school, on the computers in my room and on the laptops, when you record, the play back is jumpy, like in throbbing spurts. This is not all the time and usually doesn’t start until about 5 seconds into the recording. Because it doesn’t happen consitantly, I can’t peg it.

Every time somebody from a school posts with odd playback problems, we dig and find out they’re trying to run Audacity over a network. Are you? Is the music stored on a machine other than the one trying to play it?


I thought that each computer had audacity downloaded on it and not accessing over the network…I am sending a notice to tech right now to see.

We are doing voice recordings with the students just talking into a microphone. I have tried a variety of microphones and it doesn’t seem to make a difference. When the student plays it back it has the problem. But sometimes doesn’t.

If you export the performance as a WAV file and play it back on a Very Different Computer (not in the school), does it still play funny?


Both audio and video productions stress computers. Audio Doesn’t Wait. You can use an underpowered computer to compute huge spreadsheets and gaussian blur very large Photoshop pictures because the computer will just crank along, do dee do, until it finishes.

Not so audio. If the computer isn’t ready the exact time the next spoken word comes along, you will experience damage in the show. If you have computers right on the edge, you may get this on again, off again problem.

You can gain significantly by speeding up the computers and it doesn’t have to be crazy. How full are the hard drives? My machines notice very slight speed problems when the 40GB to 80GB drives go over half full. The general idea is that a drive over 90% full is useless for live performance, video or audio and can actually cause other damage.

Do you ever defragment your drives manually? Audacity will not work into a highly fragmented hard drive.

Let us know.