"Relink missing media"

This might be pretty straightforward, but how do I “relink missing media” (lingo from another media editor)? I’ve moved a project, and I always keep source files outside the project, since copying them inside results in a spiral of duplicates (trust me, with a number of projects and several audio/video editors this becomes multiplication and disk space hell). So I proceed the way I do with for example a Final Cut Pro 7 or Ableton Live project - keeping source files (footage) separate, always easy to relink.
How do I do it with Audacity? Moving source files to a location mirroring the original one (like Desktop, for example) and keeping them there doesn’t make much sense in terms of storage ergonomics, and sometimes is directly impossible (when moving a project from MacOS to Windows for example).
Thanks in advance,

My personal recommendation is to put everything that belongs with a particular project into one folder, and save the project into that folder, and not mess around moving or renaming anything once it’s used by the project. Yes it can use quite a lot of disk space, but better that than losing work.

Having said that, you may of course use whatever strategy suits your workflow. This article explains how Audacity projects work: http://manual.audacityteam.org/man/audacity_projects.html

Thanks, and yes I’ve read that article.
The point is I’m working on one computer in the field and then moving source files and projects to my archive disks at home. I have to work on the projects while on the “field” computer, and then I have to move the projects to another system and storage structure. In addition the same source files are used and might be used in future by various editors, so the abovementioned duplication problem is valid.
Looking for a solution how to search for source files and relink to a project.

bump :slight_smile:

Am I right in thinking that you are working with single track proects - and you are not multi-tracking?

If so then I would recommend exporting to WAV files rather than using projects (you can always reimport WAV files into Audacity for later processing).

As for file taxonomies - that’s really down to to you.


Thanks, but I wouldn’t call it single track. Usually it’s source material, various processes of it on separate tracks as well as many markers. I only need to export fragments that I want to use at a particular moment.
Also there’s a main problem with exisiting projects with missing dependencies, as stated above.

Still i can’t even access my Audacity projects.

The answer is that all of the audio data, including the “_data” folder, the contents of the “_data” and any project dependencies MUST have their original names (as created by Audacity), and MUST be in the original location so that Audacity can find them.
For the “_data” folder, the location must be in the same directory as the .AUP file.
For dependencies, the file locations are absolute (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Path_(computing)#Absolute_and_relative_paths).

If you are not able to put all of the files and folders into the correct place with the correct names, then the project is trash.

For full and detailed information, please read this article from the manual: http://manual.audacityteam.org/man/audacity_projects.html

I accidentally renamed one of my aud files, instead of saving project as, and then renamed by data file, but the corruption seems to have already happened. When opening the recording I want to edit it says there are data files missing and asks if they should be treated like silence. But when I open the data folder all the audio files are still there.

It is a podcast I’m trying to edit and when importing the audio it all imports on top of each other which isn’t helpful.

Is there a way to upload those original date files so I can splice them back together and have my recording back? Or is it a lost cause?

You need to rename both the AUP file and the “_data” folder back to their original names.
If you are unsure what the original names were, open the AUP file in NotePad and look near the top of the file for:
The “something” is the name of the project, so the AUP file should be something.aup and the _data folder something_data"

Late post for this thread but I was having the exact same issue as OP where I have started using Audacity on a project and wanted to move computers to continue the project. I had a look at the .aud file in notepad and noticed it isn’t encoded in any way which is great for this situation. Here is my solution below.

NOTE: I don’t know what the end effects of this ‘hack’ will be so I wouldn’t advise it on a mission critical project until you’ve tested it yourself.

Firstly I made a copy of the project in case I royally stuffed it up. Then I opened the .aud file in notepad and did a find and replace of the lost file location (“C:\users*stevedhhs*\audio\projects\audacityproject1\audio.wav”) with the location on the new computer (“C:\users*otheruser*\audio\projects\audacityproject1\audio.wav”). I saved and opened the .aud in audacity and boom the file was working. I then realised that as there were multiple files and the end file structure was the same, only the user folder had changed, I reopened the .aud in notepad again and did a find and replace for just "“C:\users*stevedhhs*” with “C:\users*otheruser*” which then corrected all the audio file locations. All files now play and there doesn’t seem to be any issues so far.

I’m new to this forum but just wanted to share my solution with anyone else that has the same issue and I wonder whether this will inspire one of the devs that work on the audacity project to write a script or add in a “relink dependencies” option for the program. It would just mean being aable to select the ‘missing’ file and then find the file in it’s new location and it would just replace all instances in the .aud of the original file location with the new file location.

Hope people find this helpful, again I don’t guarantee this so try at your own risk, but i believe it is working for me at the moment so i’ll continue to use it unless it causes issues down the track.

You can open the *.aup file in notepad an then search for the old filepath and replace it with the new one. Worked perfectly with a project of mine

Thanks mattibass, a nice simple solution. Glad I read the thread to the bitter end.