Question to the developers

From A. Manual :

Saving a project lets you save unfinished work and re-open it later in Audacity exactly as it was, with all edits and recorded/imported tracks preserved. Note carefully that the Undo history is not saved with the project and so the project history starts afresh when you re-open the project later.

Personally, I found this limitation … well, too limiting. Frequently, to finish my work I need to go back several steps and try different settings. If project is closed/reopened, obviously, I can not do this. Is there any serious reason for existing of such limitation? As a user, I would much prefer to have an option in Preferences , something like “Save History /Not Save History upon project closure”. Certain number of steps in the History can also be specified for these concerned about disk space.

I understand, A. saves files from previous sessions - every time I open closed project I see information about orphaned files, which apparently were created during previous sessions. If it is correct, what is the point to keep the files but cut access to the global project History and Undo?

Any comments will be of much interest.


Personally, I found this limitation … well, too limiting.

Not to mention the horror of discovering too late that there is no UNDO when you open your show. I’m with you. I think there should be an option of saving it.

But do remember that each level of UNDO is the same size as the show. The Project with UNDO could be enormous.

“Why is my 1GB project suddenly 15GB?”


Thank you for explanation.

Well, who cares nowadays about 15GB! Some warnings in the menu will do, I guess

I think, I have more space taken now since for each editing I do I have to keep several
projects at different level of readiness. This way I partially can emulate UNDO, but it
is very inconvenient, prone to error, and space hungry.


You should not be seeing the orphaned block files warning every time you re-open a project. If you are, something is seriously wrong.
Which version of Audacity are you using, and what version of OS X?
– Bill

I use 2.1.1 alpha with OSX 10.9.2

I do see this message frequently. It is wrong, I agree. I will collect my findings and report to the forum.


OK, we will note your “vote” for that idea.


Are you saving copies of the projects at different points in time using the best method (File > Save Project As… in Audacity)?

If you copy projects using Finder while the project is open, you will be left with orphan files in the copy, which were for Undo/Redo to use. It’s also dangerous to do that unless you put the copied AUP file and _data folder in a new separate folder.


I use Save As from A. menu for saving intermediate results to preserve an opportunity to return to that stage. I work with time-line first (I work with long lectures). When it is ready I save it as a project under different name, and start from that point with noise reduction, amplification, compressing, normalization, etc, having an opportunity to return back to the saved stage. If I have to return to that saved intermediate stage project, an important part is to re-save it with Save AS immediately after re-opening, which is not very convenient (versions’ proliferation, etc. )

I researched this orphan files issue. I had OS crash while some A. project were opened. For these projects I see “orphaned files” message. These projects I closed myself do not generate that message.

I will be very glad if this idea of preserving UNDO option will be implemented in some future versions. Meanwhile, I suggest to add a message to the user during the project closing that HISTORY and UNDO are about to be erased. Yes, I know it is in the manual, but still. In my view, this is quite unusual move in the “project” paradigm that the project closure/re-opening results in a loss of important functionality and one more little warning about it would not harm.

Thank you,

OK that seems normal behaviour for Audacity (it is not normal that OS X crashes).

I doubt the developers would want such a message.


Not really unusual. For example, if you save and close from a word processor and then re-open, your Undo history is gone. I can’t think of any applications that save the Undo history, so it seems like ‘normal’ behaviour to discard the Undo history. I don’t use Mac, so perhaps Mac applications are different in this respect?