Problem with *.wav play time file inside audacity

Hello all,

I have a problem with audacity - with file *.wav – I open this file with audacity version and after open audacity show all play time – 25 minutes and 34 sec. (i click ctrl + a and it show all time) . I open this same file wav with other player (for example windows media player , cinema player, vlc player and it show – all play time – 25 minutes and 45 sec.

I take another wav file - i open it with audacity and it show play time – also shorter than all time play in other mediaplayers programs.

With any another wav file result is this same – any wav file in audacity have shorter all play time than in other programs – windows media player etc.

play time in other format - for example *.mp3 is the same like in this audacity, but it always problem with wav file.

What is problem – how solve it ? I have latest codec pack ,I want that audacity show real good time of all play time file , what I must do ?

Sorry for english if was so raw :slight_smile:

There isn’t an Audacity version
The Audacity version number found in “Help menu > About Audacity”.
There was a version 1.3.8 but that is long obsolete.
The current version of Audacity is 2.1.1 and it is available here: Audacity ® | Free, open source, cross-platform audio software for multi-track recording and editing.

If the timing is wrong with an updated version of Audacity, I’d say you have a “non-standard” (compressed) WAV file.

after open audacity show all play time – 25 minutes and 34 sec. (i click ctrl + a and it show all time) . I open this same file wav with other player (for example windows media player , cinema player, vlc player and it show – all play time – 25 minutes and 45 sec.

And, which one is correct? I’m guessing Audacity is correct and the other players are wrong… The reason I’m thinking that is because Audacity is looking at the raw audio data after the file is open, and the other programs might be looking at the file header (which might be wrong).

When you open in Audacity, is there 10 seconds missing from the beginning, or end, or somewhere in the middle? Does it play faster in Audacity? i.e. Where did the “lost” 10 seconds go?

I have latest codec pack

You don’t need that to open a “normal” WAV file.

No I no notice missing any second in audacity , also there is not noticable missing in windows media player or cinema player,
It seems like audacity or other players program make fast all of some micro secunds and after long time the time lenght time is different

I try audacity the latest version with all plugin - result is the same , all lenght time is other than in other not precision programs witch one immediatelly open audio file.

And there is no noticable missing second - when you open it with audacity and other programs - there is nothing like breaks, missing or extra data in beggining or end. But this player show diffirent time. My friend also help me in this and he had the same result.

So, which one is correct? If you play that 25-minute file and watch the clock on the wall, what does the clock tell you?

With a “normal” uncompressed data in a WAV file, there is no “time” in the file, but it’s easy for the software to calculate.

There’s just a series of samples (i.e. 44,100 samples per second for a “CD quality” file) and a sample rate (samples-per-second, or a clock-rate in kHz). The playing-time is the number of samples divided by the sample rate.

For example, if your file contains 88,200 samples and the sample rate is 44.1kHz, you have a 2-second file.

WAV files are sometimes compressed, and depending on the compression format there may be a “playing time” field in the header, and that field could be wrong.

Audacity can’t open the file without decompressing it first, so Audacity should be showing the correct playing time after the file is decompressed.

If you time the playback exactly with a watch or clock and it is correct in the other players but not in Audacity, please post an example file somewhere we can download it.

You can also examine the reported length and the exact type of audio in the WAV file in “MediaInfo” from Get the version without installer, because the installer may have malware or adware.


I upload here 20 mb file but if it will problem with show or see it because of forum limits data -

time lenght is different in audacity than in cinema player or WMP

Thanks for the file. Presumably you were aware that the last third of that file is low level noise?

The WAV file contains a lossy codec “Microsoft GSM 6.10”. When a file is encoded in this format, a small proportional amount of padding noise is added to the end of the file. In a 3 hour file like you attached, there will be about 2 seconds of noise added to the end.

Audacity does not import most of this end padding, either using the libsndfile or FFmpeg importers, but this is not an Audacity bug. Audacity is importing the length that libsndfile and FFmpeg see.

I tested exporting 25 minutes exactly of audio from Audacity 2.1.2. The exported file is 25 minutes 025 milliseconds (275 896 samples) according to Foobar 2000, and imports into Audacity at 25 minutes 020 milliseconds (275 840 samples).

So on my tests there is nothing we can do about this, and all you are losing is encoding noise at the end of the file.

Feel free to provide a link to the 25 minutes and 45 seconds file that imports 10 seconds short into Audacity, but very likely the answer will be the same.

Where does these files come from? Are they from a web site, or are you encoding them with some application or tool?


At first - I 'm sorry for no reply in such long time , ( many work., and i dont doing anything in audacity) ,

Many thanks for reply Gale Andrews, and others,

Last time I give only optional *.wav file from internet , i no coding it in any case i havent got my files under hand , (i want only ask about generally problem, but mayby it is difference in many *.wav files) but now I give you mine, (from some advice, I also no recodecing this file or modyficate) - look at this file that I upload - I give it on forum and on internet link ( for case if you on your forum have no space for attachments) this wav file have biggest difference in play time lengst - no like file from internet - 2 sek difference but about 30 second for 1 hour .

WMP player show lenght time - 1 h 15 min : 28 sec. , many other players for example cinemaplayer, vlt player show the same time but
Audacity show show lenght time - 1 h 14 min : 57 seconds , so difference is big (I use the newest audacity with actual libraries, codecs.
I doing attempt with wall time clock - like user DVDdoug tell , and good time was in WMP not in audacity. And there is no extra or cut data on end or beginning of file .

So I give this file to you - can you also tell why this file show other lenght time than normal - on clock and WMP ?

Audacity gets the length by decoding the file to PCM and then reading the exact length of the audio data.
Audio players will usually attempt to calculate the length of the file from the original encoded data and that may be slightly inaccurate.

Exactly, so you are not losing any meaningful audio when you play the file in Audacity.

I listened to the end of the file in Foobar 2000 which indicates 1 hr 15 minutes 28.000 seconds or 36,224,000 samples and in Audacity (1 hr 14 minutes 57.047 seconds, 35,976,375 samples). The audible content at the end of the file was the same in Foobar 2000 and Audacity.

On converting the file to PCM in Foobar 2000, the resultant file is exactly the same length as Audacity shows when importing your attached file. After converting the file to PCM, Foobar 2000 reported

Indicated RIFF size exceeds actual file size, file appears to be truncated

Sndfile-info from libsndfile shows the same error in your file, but not in WAV or WAVEX files encoded by Audacity.

So if Windows Media Player takes 75 minutes 28 seconds to play the file according to a clock on the wall, it is playing it slightly slower than Audacity will play it.