'sticky tools during editing'

Hello Everyone at Audacity!
First, thank you for an amazing product. I am an audiobook narrator and do a lot of production/editing work
on Audacity. I have been using this software for 2 1/2 years with NO problems, only happy results. Just recently – in the past week,
when I am editing a track/working with playback, punching in, etc. — there is incredible 'lab, stickiness, and delay" in where I am
putting the editing arrow, deleting material, etc. I have run two performance tests on my computer and checked for Maleware/Spyware.
All seems to be fine. I am quite concerned about this as my deadlines are many and this is incredibly frustrating - to move the index tools and not
have them cooperate — increases my editing time and simple isn’t functional. Any Troubleshooting suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you! — Mary Sarah

Audacity doesn’t play well with a full drive, either the program and system drive or a data drive if you have one. Audio (and video) runs in real time and it needs really good access to roomy, defragged, error-checked drive space to work right.

Did you just recently decide to use Audacity over a network instead on all local drives? Audacity doesn’t understand network delays and that can cause all sorts of problems.

When was the last time you plain restarted the machine? Windows is not like Unix which can work for years without restarting.

Can you see the hard drive light from where you’re operating? Does it go nuts when your machine slows down?

Do you have really good, stable backups of all your work? If this performance issue gets worse it could cause Audacity to become unresponsive and unable to open old work. There’s two years in the toilet…

How sure are you you’re using Audacity? I say that because Punch-In is a feature request. I think Audition has Punch-In.


Dear Koz,

Thank you for the feedback and questions. I am going to do a drive/defragmentation/cleaning and yes, I am using Audacity – I downloaded the software about 3 years ago. I also have backed up all my work – and do so often.

My computer has been acting strange – with sudden freezes, which could also be linked to an overloaded drive. I didn’t understand your question about using Audacity on ‘network’ vs. ‘local drives?’

Thank you again. I will see how your suggestions work.
Kind regards,
Mary Sarah

Are you on Windows 98 or ME? If not, your computer should not freeze due to running out of hard drive space on later Windows. It may be an idea to check this out Audacity Manual .

Also look at Help > About Audacity and tell us all three Audacity version numbers. Unless you are on 98/ME you should be using the latest Audacity 2.0.3 from Audacity ® | Download for Windows .

One explanation of the problem may be that you are using an older Audacity version that lets you record and edit using RAM (memory). CTRL + P to open Preferences, choose “Directories” on the left then look for “Play and/or record using RAM” (if it’s there). If you enabled that by mistake, Audacity could freeze or crash when you get short of memory. If you use 2.0.3 the feature is not available for that reason.

In the same Directories Preferences, look where the Audacity temporary directory is. If it is set to a network drive (a drive that is not in the computer you are working on but in another computer connected by wireless or ethernet) then Audacity will be very slow. This is because data transmission across a network is much slower than to/from a hard drive on the computer you’re using.