Project Automatic Recovery Fail

I am using Audacity 2.2.2 in Windows 10 to edit wav files from LP and cassette captures. I am not very experienced with Audacity - until recently I did all the editing with Sound Forge AS9. So far, I do not have any issues the the functions of Audacity, but I have a problem following a power outage yesterday.

I spent several hours manually editing out small clicks and pops from a file, but I never did any project save or export because I was not done with the file. Then we had a power hit. After everything was back up and I restarted Audacity, I saw the Automatic Crash Recovery window that said “the following projects can be automatically recovered:”

So I selected the option to recover and got this very strange message:
Error Importing
Audacity did not recognize the type of the file ‘C\Users\user\AppData\Roaming\Audacity\AutoSave\Slowhand - 2018-01-11 12-17-59 N-323.autosave’.
Try installing FFmpeg. For uncompressed files, also try File > Import > Raw Data.

Now why in the heck would Audacity not recognize the file type of its own autosave file??? Any way to fix this?

Maybe what Audacity thinks happened and what actually happened are different. Audacity thinks it crashed while performing some normal activity. What actually happened is the machine went down and you probably have some damaged places on the drive. I don’t think there is any good recovery from that.


I never did any project save or export because I was not done with the file.

It is recommended that you Export a WAV of a raw capture before you edit it, and then edit a copy.

Doing that for a home project may seem silly, but it sneaks up on you for more important jobs.

“I just got a sound recording of a performance or event that will never happen again…”

Your natural reaction should be export a WAV copy.

For example: The cassette machine ate the tape on the second pass.


I appreciate your response, but I HAVE a good clean copy of the .wav source file - that has nothing to do with the issue of Audacity not recognizing the file type for its own backup. After all, the manual does specifically state that the autosave file allows Audacity to “automatically recover unsaved changes in the event of a crash or power loss.” So I thought it was worth reporting when this did not happen.

Perhaps the backup file did get corrupted during the power outage crash - no way of knowing. But the error message specifically states that it cannot recognize the “type” of the file, not that there was an error reading the file. Since I have not yet actually experienced a crash with an Audacity project and seen a real automatic recovery work, I am concerned that there may be either some bug in this version, or perhaps I have something configured incorrectly?

Automatic crash recovery works fine for me on my W10 laptop with the current 2.2.2 released version and the alpha test version for the upcoming 2.3.0 release.

You can easily test it yourself:

  1. Open Audacity
  2. record or import some audio
  3. force-quit Audacity from the windows Task Manager (effecitively crashing it)
  4. re-launch Audacity
  5. observe the crash recovery and accept the recovery …

You can be even more drastic at step 3 by turning the power off to your PC (not possible on mine till the battery runs down as I have a non-removable battery in my latest laptop).


Thank you, waxcylinder, that is excellent information.

Now that I know others have seen the automatic recovery work in 2.2.2, it is easier for me to just assume my autosave file was simply corrupted during the power outage - just my poor luck that it happened the first time I needed it, and after several hours of tedious work! Perhaps I’ll start throwing in a few “Project” saves during a long editing session, just for extra security. I guess the only downside to that is the need to remember to delete those unneeded large files after my editing is all done.

I am adjusting nicely to editing files in Audacity - I don’t think the layout or user interface is quite as good as my old Audio Studio 9, but perhaps that is just do to my greater familiarity with that other product? I especially appreciate the ease with which a full album can be exported to my Music Library as individual named tracks in flac format - that alone is a great improvement over AS9.

I still have much to learn about this product, so I’ll be hanging around and doing more reading on these forums. Thanx again for your help.

remember to delete those unneeded large files after my editing is all done.

Much better to do that under carefully controlled conditions.

A note. Save Project: keeps stepping on one show with changes. You don’t get four or five different shows depending on when you saved.

You can use Save As: and a different filename to get multiple backups. The Current Active Project is the one most likely to get scrambled in a crash.

And yes that does produce many large files on your machine of limited use if everything goes OK. How much work did you put into the show?


And in the upcoming Audacity 2,3,0 you will get a new command that will be useful: Save Lossless Copy of Project,


This is similar to using Save As - but leaves your existing project open and active rather than switching the “Save As” copy. :slight_smile: