Saving projects . . . newbie needs help!

Thanks in advance for help. I am, a newbie and only generally tech savvy. Working on a project on my laptop and had a couple of questions concerning saving/moving files in Audacity (newest version). I am working in Windows 10. Doing Audio books in Mono.

  1. Worried about computer crash . . . what is the best way to backup my projects in case my computer crashes that will enable me to download files to same computer (if fixed) of different computer if not)?

  2. Is there a way to move files in progress from my laptop to my desktop and still be able to edit/add effects, etc?

Mostly worried about the computer crashing and not having a 12-hour book lost completely. Thanks for your help!!

Would copying the files to a thumb drive serve both purposes (backup and moving)? Just be sure your thumb drive has sufficient room to hold your files in their current sizes as well as plenty of room for growth.

Tried that and it does not seem to work. Seems I have read that it is a complicated proceess. Thanks for the reply.

ACX? ACX doesn’t want a book. They want individual chapters and each chapter needs to be produced according to this formula.

They want the chapter submissions in MP3, but your chapter Edit Masters should be in WAV or WAV and Audacity Projects, whatever you have room for. You should not be doing the work directly in MP3. MP3 has built-in permanent sound damage and can’t be edited without making it worse.

If you already have a 12-hour book, you might be able to select each chapter and File > Export Audio > WAV and push it over to your backup drive(s).

Screen Shot 2024-05-28 at 6.00.10 PM

Is there any reason you can’t do that? If it’s not ACX, then the rules may be different, but It’s still true, if you can submit to ACX, you can submit to anywhere else.


You didn’t say which Audacity you have. If it’s 2.4.2 or 3.4.2, you should be super careful which external drives you use. External hard-wired drives should be OK, but not home network drives and absolutely not cloud drives.

Cloud services go to a lot of trouble to make their drives appear like really handy, convenient, local storage, when in fact they may be in a large, featureless building in Houston, TX. I believe that’s where kozco is.

Early Audacity versions didn’t like that very much. Audacity 3.5 has other problems.


One other note. Every time you make a change or edit, Audacity tries to save a clean copy of the whole show. That’s how it does UNDO later. You may think you have a 12-hour show, but Audacity thinks you have that show times the number of edits you performed. 12 times 12 times 12…

That may be why you’re stuck. You overloaded the system.


To bring that around, you can store your files wherever you want, you just an’t let Audacity see you doing it. So you can store the whole book on cloud servers in Houston.

Pull a chapter over to your machine, then launch Audacity and have your way with it. When you’re done, Export your WAV or WAV and save the Audacity Project, close Audacity and push them wherever you want.


Audacity has this useful command

File > Save Project > Backup Project

This leaves your current project open but makes a separate backup copy under a different name.


Thank you for all your suggestions! The ACX requiirements are especially helpful. I am producing the files in Audacity but was told to send in about 20 chapters on one file. Knowing they prefer each chapter separate now is very helpful as I am just in the beginning stages. Seems like a lot of files to keep track of but understand the why of it. Appreciate your help!

Were you able to get the files off your machine for backup against failure? That was the complaint back at the beginning of this message thread.

I’m only familiar with the submission requirements of ACX/Amazon, and that’s only if they haven’t changed them. One big change was the removal of Sample Human Evaluation. They used to listen to a short sample and do an evaluation before you finished the whole book.

We can sometimes catch production errors if you post a sample on the forum.

By far the best error in the recent past was the announcer-to-be whose natural voice sounded like a broken microphone.


Turns out I have a real-world, hardware example. I have the hardback book “R is for Ricochet” signed by Sue Grafton (before she died) and the audiobook on CD from the Public Library.

CD-1 has an introduction and then pause, “R is for Ricochet,” pause, and then the first sentence.

“Chapter Two,” pause, first sentence is CD-1 track five.

The last CD track just gets to the end of the last sentence and stops.

“Chapter Four,” pause, first sentence is the beginning of CD-2.

I can’t find the ACX instructions for that speak/pause format. I know there was one because I remember it as part of the format instructions.

Also there’s the thing about reading chapter titles as you go.

I also don’t know what the format is if you don’t use a CD. I guess I can solve that at the library, too.

Too bad they don’t let me drink Starbucks in there.


Can’t wait for that voice sample.