Problems in Automatic Recovery

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Hey Gale, SOTU, I’m having close to the exact same problem. Lemme dive into this a little bit.

I’m using an old MacBook, it runs OS X V10.6.8.

So, first I record a whole show—four bands. Lots of audio. Two mics, stereo live recording. Around 3hrs of audio.

Take it home, everything’s fine, I even make a .wav file out of my band’s set. Come back to it the next day. Open the big show file.

Potential problem one: I hit “Save As” accidentally and the filename got renamed. Didn’t think it would be a problem, and that I’d fix it later. Probably a big mistake on my part.

Potential problem two: I was trying to use Bluetooth, and Audacity was having trouble recognizing the external, BT-connected speaker.

Then the thing closes on its own. I believe you call that a crash. All of a sudden, Audacity is gone, and I’m looking at my desktop screen.

Popup window comes up, sez Audacity just crashed, and asks if I want to reopen, so I say yeah. Then the Automatic Project Recovery starts to run, and I’m looking at a screen very similar to what SOTU posted on April 20. The only difference is that my filename within the box is different.

So then I try to shut the whole computer down. Before I can, the audio tracks appear within the track window (which possibly means they’re still there, but I just can’t access them), and in front of that, a separate dialogue box says “Warning: Problems in Automatic Recover, Project check found file inconsistencies during automatic recovery. Select ‘Show Log…’ in the Help menu to see details.” Then there’s an OK button. I click it. Nothing happens. It’s flashing light blue to dark blue, and when I click it, it gives me an animation as if I’d pressed and depressed a physical button, but nothing happens.

So then I have to Force Quit. I’ve Force Quit many times now, reopened, experienced the same problem. I even uninstalled and reinstalled the program as of yesterday, so I’m currently running the most current V of Audacity.

I think I’m going to need to change the settings, like you instructed SOTU to do, Gale. Something within the maze of folders and files. Got any recommendations for me?

I started a new topic for you. These issues are rarely exactly the same and if SOTU has more questions it will be confusing to answer both of you in the same topic.

File > Save Project As… in Audacity is fine. If you were doing a long editing stint it’s recommended to Save Project As periodically to give yourself incremental backups.

The Mac should have saved a crash report at /Library/Logs/DiagnosticReports, or you can see it in /Applications/Utilities/ If you like, please attach the report. Please see here for how to attach files:

It would be better to try and recover the project before shutting down. If you had never saved a project, restarting the Mac would wipe the temporary files Audacity was using.

If you want a clean installation of Audacity core settings, open Finder, choose Go > Go to Folder and type:

~/Library/Application Support/audacity/

In that “audacity” folder, delete the “audacity.cfg” settings file.

What do you want to do now, just open Audacity and forget the crashed project?

If so, look in the AutoSave folder in ~/Library/Application Support/audacity/ and delete the AUTOSAVE file (it has an “.autosave” extension). Then Audacity will not show you the crash recovery dialogue. That should let you import your saved WAV file, or open the project file that you saved as (you will lose any changes you made after last saving the project).

If you want to recover the project, then again assuming you had saved an Audacity project at one time, just attach the AUTOSAVE file here and don’t do anything else in Audacity for now.


Gale, thank you for the speedy reply, this is awesome.

So before I open up my Audacity-weirded-other-older-laptop and dive in, let me say that what I want to do is recover the project. First I want ASR to stop locking me out and freezing up, and then I want my show file back, to divvy up the sets and get them to their respective bands.

Incidentally, did you know that front-of-stage is not the best place to place mics for a live show recording? :laughing:

Let me look back at your reply and follow some of your steps. If you have further advice, plz lay it on me. This old MacBook is my only means of recording—my MacBook Air doesn’t have a gd soundcard so it won’t run my gd Line6 USB preamp.

A couple replies to your original reply:

File > Save Project As… in Audacity is fine. If you were doing a long editing stint it’s recommended to Save Project As periodically to give yourself incremental backups.

So I had been saving it periodically—between every recording and after the fact, up until the day of the crash. So after it got renamed, I didn’t tell you that I renamed both the .aup file and the accompanying folder back to their original titles. I thought that would help. That’s not gonna throw more wrenches in the gears is it? And you what, it just occurred to me that if I did indeed hit Save As, why would the original disappear? Wouldn’t it create a whole new .aup file and folder? It happened when I hit something and wasn’t looking, I think I was reaching for my coffee, CURSES GARGAMEL

It would be better to try and recover the project before shutting down. If you had never saved a project, restarting the Mac would wipe the temporary files Audacity was using.

Since I had been saving pretty faithfully regularly, and since I did restart, what do you predict is the fate/current location of those temp files? Also, if losing them isn’t going to eff with what I had recorded originally, the day before the crash which started this whole mess, then I don’t care about losing them. If I can recover the original stereo recordings, that would be great. If they have to be mono, that would suck, cuz in my stereo recording, both mics picked up different sides of the stage, which I was hoping I could mix 2gether.

So now I’m gonna go ahead and try your recommended steps at the end of your reply, cuz it looks like you laid it out pretty specifically for me, and I’ll send A THIRD message when I have an autosave to attach. You might have to help me with attaching that, like telling me specifically what to copy, like what it looks like, maybe the filename extension or sommin. Is it gonna be hella obvi? I’ve got to get off the toilet now.

What is “ASR”? Automatic Crash Recovery? If you want the unsaved changes in the project back (the changes as at the time you crashed) I would attach the AUTOSAVE file for us to look at. That file tells Audacity how to put the data together.

Do you really have the current 2.1.2 version of Audacity? Unless you got it from you might not have the current version.


Yeah, I meant to type “APR” for Automatic Project Recovery, my bad.
And yes, I do have, and the page to which you linked is where I got it. I tried the .dmg version, it didn’t fix my problem, so I uninstalled, and now I’m running the .zip file download.

There’s my first attempt at attaching the autosave file, is this kosher?
16.04.21-Substation-Dusty-Alto - 2016-04-24 11-02-56 N-4.autosave (524 KB)

Did you do that in Finder? If so it really does not help. The AUP file will still contain a “projname” entry near the top of the file that points to the name of the _data folder you saved project as in Audacity.

Moral: Never do manual renames unless you are know exactly what you are doing. Never make manual copies of AUP and _data folder unless it is to a different folder.

If you have not opened that AUP yet in Audacity, make a copy of the AUP as backup, open the original AUP in TextEdit and change projname to point to the manually renamed _data folder.

What happened after that manual rename? If you were editing and saving after that, what project were you saving to?

Yes, if you actually saved to a new name. And the originally named project would then close.

There are no temp files once you save the project. The unsaved changes are stored in the project’s _data folder all the time.

You said you saved a WAV file of the recording, so you can go back to that if you have to.

As soon as you start editing a recording, you need a valid AUP or AUTOSAVE file to tell Audacity how to piece the project together.


It appears syntactically valid, as far as I can see.

Does the folder “/Users/GlennDoom/Desktop/Freeze - recordings/16.04.21-Substation-Dusty-Alto_data” exist"? Can you open that folder in Finder?


Incidentally, did you know that front-of-stage is not the best place to place mics for a live show recording

It depends on a lot on the stage. It should be elevated and you have to do mechanical acoustic isolation, highly directional microphones, etc. etc. You can do that in addition to getting a feed from the House. Then you have to do bass suppression, etc. It’s not easy.


If you make it past the first few rescue attempts, chances are very good you have no show. The lead “AU” files in an Audacity project draw the blue waves on the screen. So it’s perfectly possible to have a complete, beautiful set of blue waveforms on the screen with a silent show.

You should keep trying, but with your other hand, plan what you would do if the show doesn’t come back.


yeeeaaaa buddy, looks like this, each of those folders are full of .au files.
Screen shot 2016-04-27 at 2.07.12 PM.png

Gale, you actually inadvertently helped me locate the original AUP file. Thank you. Freeze is a different band. Should have searched for it. The reason I didn’t see it before is I was looking in the wrong band’s folder.

Thanks re: filename renaming advice. I’ll avoid that in the future. I did do it in Finder, but what I renamed was the new one with a weird name, which was save-as-copied to the other band’s folder cuz I think I was ABOUT to save to that folder, but accidentally hit the keyboard/mouse weirdly and it went through weirdly. Couldn’t wrap my head around what had happened, just went with it.

I have not opened any files yet in Audacity because, as far as I know, it’s still gonna give me that incorrect Project Recovery behaviour that doesn’t let it start. I haven’t changed any settings yet.

Got any advice for me Gale? Should I give it a few more days? I still need to figure out how to get Automatic Project Recovery to stop freezing up all of Audacity.

If you want to open Audacity without the recovery freezing up, then rename the “16.04.21-Substation-Dusty-Alto - 2016-04-24 11-02-56 N-4.autosave” file to some other extension, such as “.auto”.

Then import your WAV file and save it as new project. From what I understand you also have at least one other AUP file you could open, which would be the one you saved with the wrong name and which you then manually renamed. But don’'t open that before ensuring that projname inside the AUP file is the same as the name of the AUP file and the _data folder.

Assuming the unrecovered changes in that “16.04.21-Substation-Dusty-Alto” project are edits to the recording, you can’t get those edits back without a functioning AUTOSAVE file.


Gale, it’s working again. Changing the filename extension worked. Thank you. You’re a total rockstar. I’ve already got WAVs of all the bands’ sets, and I’m going to start mixing and divvying them out. Thanks again.


So can we close this now, and you’re going to accept you can’t recover the unsaved changes in that AUTOSAVE file you renamed?

I don’t know why that freezes up. The AUTOSAVE file and the _data you showed “look” OK from what I see. I think it may actually be an interface bug, so that any recovered project would lock you out when you click OK on the inconsistencies warning. It could be that pressing ESC to dismiss that warning might work.


Yeah dude, we can close this. I didn’t lose any changes. It’s fine. Everything recovered. Moving on like nothing happened. What’s your Twitter handle? I’m gonna talk you up on the interwebs and encourage Audacity users to visit this forum for reliable and timely help.

OK I marked the topic “[SOLVED]” and locked it.

We do not have an official Twitter page. Our Facebook page is really only a place to make announcements. We don’t offer support there.