Recovery Error

I don’t really know how to explain this that well, but my MacBook died while a project was open. when I tried to reopen (recover) it, it did exactly that, but the audio tracks were flat. there is no audio in the tracks. I don’t know why this is. it looks like all of my progress with the project was saved except the actual audio files. I’ve been working on this project for a very long time, and if anybody could help me I’d really appreciate it.

my MacBook died

Do we know why? Macs don’t go toes-up for no reason.

Is this the first time it died, or the first time recovery failed?


Do you have copies of the original sound files so you could put the show back together if you had to?

Do you use Time Machine Backups? Any backups?

If Audacity lost it while it was writing the work, there may not be a recoverable show.

Any manual backups? Save-As the show with a new filename? WAV backups?


I have all of the original audio files. I was editing vocals and I left it open. my laptop ran out of battery while it was closed and shut off. when I turned it back on, I opened audacity and it gave me an option to recover the project, so I did. I didn’t even save the recovered project, and yet all of the tracks and audio are flat. no sound. it looks like I was working on them, but with no sound. I went into the data files and all of the files seem to still be there. I didn’t mess with any of the file locations. last time I edited the song, everything was there. my computer dies, the project and tracks are still there but audio is gone.

We should wait for someone who knows more about the file structure of an active edit than I do.

Audacity keeps sound in temporary files in memory during an edit and that sound would be trash when the machine went down. If Audacity was trying to write to disk at the moment of shutdown, then the file management may be trashed. The sound files may still be there, but the show doesn’t know how to use them.


I don’t know if I should start from scratch or wait for a solution to my problem. how soon do you think it will be until I get a response?

I don’t think there will be a fix for that project.

Your description indicates that you have all of the instructions in the AUP file that tell Audacity how to reassemble the project from the data files, but the actual data files that it references do not exist. I don’t see any way back from that, other than starting over from scratch.

In effect it’s like opening a Word DOC file and finding that it’s just empty pages - there’s no way back from that unless you have a good backup copy somewhere else.

dang. well, I’ve learned a lesson that’s for sure. don’t let my computer die with an audacity file open! no biggie, the song can only get better from this point. thanks for the help anyways, Steve and Koz!

I’ve learned a lesson that’s for sure.

We are pleased you have all the original work and the opportunity to put the show together again. We have too many posts from people who performed in front of the microphone, edited the work and just as they save the final, the machine goes down taking them all the way back to the microphone.

This is particularly nasty then the performance is, for example, an interview with the state governor.

Export WAV backups of all original works.