Setting directories and temp usage locations

2.2.1 W7. I prefer to keep everything other than my OS that I can from using my C drive which is an SSD. I save some recordings and I convert those to mp3. Is there a way to have those convert on the fly so I don’t have both versions being written to the SSD or the HD? And also I have tried to change the directory so it uses my regular mech HD for the temp storage and it seems to go back to C. What can or can’t I do for these specifics? Thanks.

Audacity’s temp directory can be set in Preferences. See:

The temp directory is used by Audacity (only) when there is no project “_data” folder. When a project is saved, a “AUP” file is created, plus a “_data” folder. The “_data” folder contains the data, and the “AUP” file tells Audacity how to organise the data. For a saved project, Audacity writes its temporary data to the “_data” folder rather than to the temp folder.

Audacity works internally with uncompressed audio data. When Audacity imports an audio file, it makes a copy of the audio data. If the file is a compressed format, the data is decoded so that Audacity’s copy is uncompressed audio data. Audacity cannot transcode (convert from one format to another) without first importing (making a copy) of the data, and then (re-)encoding the data into the required format.

SSD drives improve the performance of computers by reducing the time taken to read and write data. By not using the SSD drive for disk intensive operations, the disk may last a bit longer, but at the cost of not benefiting from the performance gains that SSD drives are intended to provide.

You may underestimate the performance hit you take by shoveling off Audacity’s job to the spinning metal drive. Somebody at work and I had similar machines except for my SSD drive. The first time I had to use his, I thought it was broken.

Audio production is data intensive and real time. There is no “waiting for the spreadsheet to calculate.” It’s recommended you do the work on the SSD and then shovel it to the other drive for storage.

Many external attached drives or network connected drives aren’t recommended either.


Though there is also the space / capacity consideration.
Audacity projects can grow very large (several GB), and some SSDs are quite small. I’m guessing that helpful55 is concerned about the number of write cycles for the SSD, which is less of an issue if there is a lot of free space due to “wear levelling”. For a modern SSD with a reasonable amount of free space, barring premature failure (a statistical probability), the SSD is likely to outlive the computer even if you use it for write intensive work 24/7.

The general opinion these days is that when a SSD becomes 75% full, you should start thinking about getting a bigger SSD (or move some of the less-used data to another drive).

I still want to default to not using my SSD unless I have to. I know it is slower but this is just fairly small personal recordings, I can wait. I may have just been getting an error I didn’t understand or did something wrong as this time I made a folder named AudacityTemp on the HD and when I went to set that in the preference it created the full folder name and now testing it the recordings go to that I suppose until I save them to my recording location. I figured this wouldn’t convert on the fly but I thought I’d ask. Thanks for the info all.