Shortly after saving a file last night, the program crashed. When I reopened the program, audacity recovered the file but all of the information was gone. This is the second time it’s happened. Is there anything I can do to actually recover the lost data? How can I prevent it from happening again?
You can’t recover the lost data.
Since we don’t know what is causing the crashes, we can’t speculate on how to prevent them.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.
What you can do if possible is Export your work as stereo or mono WAV (Microsoft) before you try to save a Project. This isn’t going to work if you have a multi-track production with a million edits, but if it’s a relatively simple show, that will get you out of trouble. WAV files are perfect quality, uncompressed and you can use them as parts of a larger show or the show itself with no sound damage. Do Not use MP3 for anything during an edit.
It is recommended to Export WAV copies of any original work such as unedited podcasts, interviews, voiceovers or audiobooks. Then save the copies in a safe place. That way, you don’t have to go all the way back to reading the work again if anything bad happens.
Exporting a WAV file means Audacity only has to manage one single sound file. Audacity Projects can involve multiple folders and thousands of sound files.
This is the second time it’s happened.
We’re trying to track this back. Is there anything odd about your computer system? Are you editing on one simple computer with an internal hard drive and no internet connection? If not, what’s different about yours?
Are you using Network Connected Storage or Cloud Storage? USB Drives? My newest machine keeps insisting I use iCloud storage and I have to be very firm that I don’t want that right now.
How many different programs do you have open at the same time as Audacity? What are they? I ask that because Skype, for one example, likes to take over the sound services of the computer for its uses and it doesn’t much matter what else is going on or what you want.
Not to ignore the obvious, but do you have enough room to store your show? Audacity uses a special sound format so as not to damage anything during effects and it’s larger than plain, ordinary sound files. Also, Audacity doesn’t edit MP3 files. It converts them to a super high quality format and then edits that. If you edit a ton of MP3 files, you may find the show is massively larger than you think it should be.
A tight, nearly full laptop may not be the best machine to edit a show.
Another note. When you start a show (being careful to export back-ups of everything) Save a Project first before you start editing. The process is a little simpler and faster when you do that. Obviously, if that crashes, you have some serious problems on the machine. Take notes.
One more. If it is a laptop, do you let it go to sleep at a set time? Do you close it and transport it to a new location? Do you manually force it to sleep?
I only let my laptops auto sleep if they’re on batteries. If they’re plugged into the wall, they do not sleep during a show.