Please help! 2 Separate chapters of audiobook have merged into one after a bug/system crash...

Hi there,
I hope someone can help me! I am using Mac OS Mojave with Audacity version 2.3.2

I am working on editing an audiobook for ACX and suddenly had a huge debug/sorry for the inconvenience message. I lost one small chapter entirely so have redone, however it would seem two larger chapters have merged into one. So the chapter 6 file is empty, and chapter 7 has both files in it so when i press play I can hear both recordings simultaneously :frowning:((

How do I separate them back out into two separate files? Please tell me there is a way… I was meant to deliver this book tonight… aaaaaagh!!! :neutral_face: :astonished:

Many Thanks in advance… I feel there must be a solution that someone much wiser than I may know!!


Are you using Audacity Projects? Do you have a collection of AUP files and _DATA folders?

There is a recommendation that you Export WAV sound files of each raw reading before you edit it. Can you go back to the WAV files and re-edit?

Is there any indication why it crashed? Are you using iCloud services or other on-line storage? Are you running out of Memory/Drivespace?


If you have either of the 2 chapters, you can invert it against the mixed recording and it’ll isolate the one which you are missing. If you don’t have either of them, then it can’t be done.

So the chapter 6 file is empty

What does that mean? You opened up the AUP file in Audacity and it was flat-line silent? or you opened up the AUP file in Apple Textedit and there was nothing in it, the file was zero bytes?

Given the troubles you have been having, you are a candidate for having somebody computer savvy working with you. I have a successful artist friend who was completely lost until he hired a neighborhood guru to step him through simple, basic computer hygiene.

I’ve never heard of a problem like this and I can’t imagine how it would happen. Are you close to an Apple Genius Bar?


Ahhhh oh man no I only have the mixed recording… the chapter 6 file is empty :frowning: Thanks for your response… so i guess i have to re record?

hey Koz,
Thanks for getting back to me… I am using Audacity projects and yes have a collection of AUP and _DATA files.I still have 275GB of 500GB remaining so while I have a few projects stored on my computer at the moment that should be enough room i would think?

I did not know I should be Exporting WAV sound files first … but can certainly do this ongoing. It sounds like you can edit from WAV? I am not sure why it crashed… i didn’t read the message it was long and said there was a bug and the color wheel kept spinning. I forced audacity to quit as the files were saved. Before i reopened the problem file I had opened chapter 6 thinking i would work on it first. Audacity said project could be recovered however as it tried to recover somehow it scrambled the two together leaving chapter 6 empty of sound waves… sounds like I have to redo both? OMG. Thank you for getting back to me so quickly … Fiona

Yes sorry opened the AUP file and it was flat line silent. Everything has been ok so far… i can work in audacity but for sure don’t know anything about fixing problems uuuuugh

i guess i have to re record?

I think it’s worse than that. Do you know why it happened? Audacity crashed or the Mac crashed?

I think if you don’t find something to fix, it’s going to happen again.

You didn’t say if you were close to an Apple Genius Bar.

Do you keep putting your Mac to sleep, or do you occasionally Shut Down?

If you do shut down and Audacity will not start, you have have to fix the Audacity files.


HI… OMG ok I have no idea why it crashed but it was Audacity not my Mac. I was editing when suddenly the debug message and spinning wheel came up. It went on for ages before i finally forced audacity to quit.

Yes I am quite close to an Apple Genius Bar… i could definitely get to one today or tomorrow.

All I ever do is just my laptop… guess that’s just putting it to sleep so i haven’t been shutting it down… should i do that sometimes?

I will try now and check different file?

Thank you!

AUP is not a sound file. It’s a project manager. It tells Audacity what to do with all that stuff in the _DATA folder of the same name. That’s where the pieces of sound are.

You can have an unstable Mac if you never shut it down. I used to regularly get one of the managers at work out of trouble by closing all the apps he left running. Apps you leave running take up a little memory—each—and some of the Audacity effects take a lot of memory. That could be the spinning Beach Ball.

Try it now. Close everything you have running and Apple > Shut Down…

Start and wait a while for it to settle down. Try to launch Audacity. If it fails (and it probably will) go to the posting and follow the instructions.


There’s another trick to this. As you shut down, pay attention to the tiny spinning daisy. That’s the mac cleaning up all the odds and ends in the system, trash and old coffee cups. The first time you do it, it may hang there for a good long while.

Start and let the Mac settle down. The second time you shut down, after a couple of minutes, the daisy may flash once and that’s it.

Shut Down and Start if you have a crash of any kind. Crashes leave trash all over.


The idea is to announce some work and Export as WAV (Microsoft) 16-bit. That’s your backup if Something Happens and your edit goes into the mud. You don’t have to go back to the microphone. Save a Project if you wish.

When you get the final show, Export the Edit Master as a WAV. That’s your Mastered Archive. Then a Project (if you wish). Only Then make the MP3 file for ACX. If there’s a change to the show, edit the WAV or Project, not the MP3. MP3 files create sound damage and it gets worse each time you edit one.

We are trying to avoid the New User process of announcing into a Project, Edit that Project and then Export the MP3. If anything fails at any time, it can put you all the way back to the microphone.


All that and I still can’t whip up a way to scatter shot two Project files across one show. I mean I can, but it involves things like sector errors on the hard drive. It’s basic: “I put stuff here on the drive and it’s not here any more!”

Besides being amazingly evil, it’s also unstable. Do all your old shows open OK?


Hey Koz,

Just wanted to say thanks again… I did end up re recording with no more probmels yesterday so am just keeping fingers and toes crossed for now. I did shut computer down and restart and Audacity opened np…phew!