Re locating data files

As I use Audacity on a mini notebook PC, I only have a very small hard drive capacity. Consequently, I use a 16 GB memory card onto which I have downloaded Audacity. Everything works fine with one exception - the recording data files locate themselves on the PC hard drive by default in “docs and settings/…/temp”, which isnt really an option, as frequently there isnt enough capacity to handle the data on the hard drive if, for example, Im recording an album from an outside sound source. I cant see any way of re locating this “temp” folder from “docs and settings” to the memory card, as there doesn`t appear to be any location options for this folder during set up. Can anyone tell me if there is a way of doing this, please?
Many thanks

Edit menu > Preferences
Set the default location for the “temporary files directory”.
sorry, I can’t be more specific without knowing which version of Audacity you are using - but it’s somewhere in Preferences.

It defaults to the system hard drive because wherever you put it has to be fast, stable, and very well behaved. If your computer has any troubles managing data on and off the memory card, Audacity will either crash, or may give you captures with holes or segments missing.

Live production of sound or video is really hard. The computer can’t stop a second while it licks its fur and cleans its face with its paws. If your B-Flat major chord arrives and the computer can’t find anyplace to put it right then, the music will become damaged and that’s the show in a hat box.


Good point koz - I was in a bit of a hurry but I meant to add, a good quality, fast memory card should be fine for recording. I tried recording directly to an unbranded thumb drive - it worked with 16 bit 44.1Hz, but fell over with any higher settings. I then tried a branded thumb drive and it worked fine with 32 bit 44.1kHz. Don’t expect to be able to do multi-track recording - the USB access time is likely to be too slow for simultaneous read/write. I’ll be interested to hear how you get on.

Thanks once again, stevethefiddle. All sorted - temp data folder now on memorycard, together with Audacity setup, output folder and Lame mp3 converter.
Also, thanks kozikowski for your comments. For the record, I have a Dell Inspiron mini notebook with XP. It has a built in slot for memory card. Im using aTranscend SD - HC 16GB card. Ive tried a few sample recordings and so far, so good - no problems! The testing time will come shortly, as I have a lot of recording to do. If I experience any probs, I`ll post them here. Thanks, again.

If I can impose on you again guys :- Say I record several tunes as one project. I wish to save it overnight before editing. I hit save as, title it, and save.
How exactly do I reinstate it? The help menu is no help as it only tells you how to save a project. Ive tried import audio, but all this does is split the track up into lengths the width of the screen, one under the other, which of course, wont play. The same happens with import raw data. I`m obviously missing something here. Can you assist once again? Many thanks.

File > Open

Navigate to where you saved the project (the .aup file). Your project should open will all tracks, clips etc. intact.

– Bill

As Bill says …

and for a bit more insight into the Audacity project file structure:

When you save an Audacity project as <project_name> it creates a number of things

  1. a top level master project file called <project_name>.aup
  2. a folder at the same filing level called <project_name>_data
  3. and within the folder a sub-folder structure with lots of little .au files - segments of the recording (mainly audio clips - but a couple of them are graphics files)

When you re-open a project with Audacity you should always open the <project_name>.aup top level file. This tells Audacity how to thread together all the little .au files. It is deliberately designed this way so that Audacity doesn’t have to open and work with a single humungously large file, which would hamper performance. You should not be attempting to open or manipulate any individual .au files.

When you have finished editing your Audacity project you can Export it from Audacity as a WAV file or MP3 file depending what sound quality you wish to achieve. WAV files are around ten times larger than the equivalent MP3 files but are uncompressed and thus the audio quality is higher.


Thanks, folks! Because of your comments, I think Ive spotted the problem. When I open the .aup file, Im asked to select from a list. Audacity is not there, so I browse, locate Audacity and open, but it still wont appear on the list. The problem is how to get Audacity located as an opening program. Audacity in its entirety is located on a memory card - see my previous postings under this same subject heading. Could this have anything to do with it? Apart from this, I can record, edit and convert format without any problems. Your help would be much appreciated, once again. Thanks!

Windows may have difficulty creating a file association between the aup files and Audacity because you have the program on a removable drive. I imagine it expects all programs to be in C:Program Files. Another reason for it not to succeed is that a removable drive won’t necessarily be given the same drive letter each time it is connected, and windows would be looking in the wrong place for the program if the drive letter changed.

The other way (which will always work) of course, is to launch Audacity first by double-clicking on the Audacity.exe file, and go to File > Open. Browse to your project .aup file and select it. If you create a shortcut on your desktop, it will speed up the process but, again, it depends on the removable drive having the same drive letter every time.


Many thanks irish. Problem solved. Your second suggestion does - as you say - work every time!

Belated thanks, Irish (I`ve been away). Of course, file>open>browse etc does the job. I suppose with me - just a case of not seeing the wood for the trees!
Thanks again.