Recording from cassette

Hi everyone
I am using version 2.1 of Audacity. I’m recording off of cassette, Each side appears to be about 45 minutes in length. However, when I record, I get only about 25 minutes some times and the full length at others. There was a time when I had no problems with audacity. Before I upgraded to 2.1, I used version 2.0.6 for recording. Since then, 2.1 would crash after recording, until I upgraded to the latest version of MacOs. I have played with the recording preferences to no avail. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

We don’t make any “2.1” version. Please see the pink panel at the top of this page. It is important you obtain the latest 2.1.0 version from us at and that you give your exact version of OS X. “Latest” means nothing.

If 2.1.0 supplied by us crashes, please see if you can provide the Mac crash report. Open Finder, then (assuming you use Yosemite) choose Go > Go to Folder and type:


If you are on Mavericks, the reports are at:


Does the crash occur exactly when you press the Stop button, or when you open the dialogue to save or export? How are you recording the cassettes? What is the make and model number of the cassette player?


I didn’t mean to sound so generic. The version of Audacity I’m using is 2.1.0. The version of MacOS is Yosemite 10.10.4. I upgraded to this version two days ago. At that time, I recorded a side of a cassette, and got only 25 minutes. Again, this only happens with this version. The cassette player I have is Teac W450R. At this moment, I would like to solve the issue with not being able to recording the entire side. I am running the output of the TEAC thru a USB Griffin iMic with a 1/8 DIN cable connected to a RCA cable. I have used this same seup since I started to convert. Thanks again for you help.

I am not clear if now, the recordings are short because Audacity crashes while recording (physically disappearing from the screen), or if Audacity freezes requiring you to force quit it, or if Audacity can still be controlled and the recording continues after 25 minutes but is only silence. Which of the above best describes what happens?

What is the model number of the Mac?

If the recording freezes or is silenced, try reconnecting the USB cable tightly at both ends, then reboot the Mac.

It might also help if you opened Audacity > Preferences…, went to the Recording section, then changed the “Audio to buffer” setting. Typically, increasing the buffer length might help with USB freeze ups, but on modern Macs with current Audacity you may find greatly reducing the buffer (for example to 20 to 30 milliseconds) to be beneficial.

But try rebooting as the first step.


It seems that all cassettes are not created equal. Some are 30 minutes and some are 45 minutes. first one i recorded was 45 minutes an the next one was 30. go figure. Audacity crashes at times when I stop the recording, other times when I go to edit (noise removal). I have included the last log file for Audacity.

So does that mean that the recordings are stopping short in addition to the crash problem?

What is the make and model number of the Mac?

As I asked, does Audacity carry on recording silence, or does Audacity freeze up, so you have to force quit it?

Have you tried my suggestion of reconnecting the USB cable tightly at both ends, then rebooting the Mac? Have you tried my suggestion of changing Audio to buffer?

Nothing was attached.


In response to your questions :

Yes, recordings stopped short and crashed. One recordings was 23 minutes out of about 45 minutes. I recorded the other side and got about 43 minutes, went and recorded the other side again and got about 42 minutes. As you have asked, Audacity quits after I stop recording a side and other times when I go to edit it.

My computer is an iMac (21.5-inch, Mid 2011)

As you have asked, Audacity does not record silence (starts and stops according to preferences), freeze up nor do I have to force quit. Audacity records as it should according to the the preferences I have set for recording. I have changed nothing in this regard.

I have rebooted, ran permissions and done maintenance. I bypassed the Griffin iMic and plugged directly into the iMac making sure everything is plugged in.

Since then, I have discovered not to let the computer or display to sleep. This includes the screen saver. Recorded the entire side of a cassette and several more cassettes. Audacity does not now crash or quit when the recording is stopped or when editing. It appears that I may have found the problem. Audacity works well now with no problems. Will keep you posted. Add the log file again.

Please let me know if I need to provide any additional info.

Thank you and please do keep us posted. I know a few users have found that not sleeping the computer or display might help crashes or clicky recordings, but it makes no difference for others.

It did not get added. Please see here for how to attach files:

The most recent Mac crash reports would be helpful. They should be at /Library/Logs/DiagnosticReports/ .


Your analysis is correct. This is a known problem with some Intel chipsets. It won’t get fixed, as it’s hardware.

It’s also the reason why all AV engineers I know set their systems to never sleep. This way, they are blissfully unaware of these bugs in their OS. It’s not an Audacity bug, but it seems it could be worked around. I don’t know how, as the few diehard core audio coders I know keep their secrets to themselves…

And you shouldn’t worry about letting your system never sleep. Sure, it wastes a little bit of electricity, but your system might just live a bit longer. I know for shure harddisks last longer in 7/7 environments, fi.

IIRC this S3 bug is in the Haswell chipset.

If that’s the case, then presumably if the computer slept Garage Band would crash after recording, and perhaps other apps that save or open files would do so.

Does that happen?

I do sleep my Mac mini, but manually - it is not allowed to shut down the disk itself.

I do let the screen turn off automatically.