I recorded some projects that are a few hours long that are exported at 96kbps, the files sizes aren’t more than 250MB however the project files (which i saved due to markers being used) are 3-3GB.
This doesn’t seem right… Am I wrong? It should only be saving text data about time and marker positioning right? I have other audio programs with full songs with tons of vsts and data, and they barely have ever in 20 years been that large?
There are customized, non-official Audacity releases out there under slightly different version numbers.
Did you come from one of the version 2 releases? Audacity no longer has a two-part Project format. The Project has show information and the actual sound in one. It may be way larger than you think it should be.
If the project has only one audio track, and the project has been properly saved, and the exported file is a 250 MB WAV file, I would expect the project size to be a bit more than 500 MB. It is expected to be around double the size of the exported WAV. By default, WAV files use 16 bits per sample, whereas Audacity projects use 32 bits per sample.
If the project was exported as a 250 MB MP3 file, or any other compressed format, then I’d expect the project size to be several GB. MP3 files save space by discarding some “unimportant” data, and squashing the remaining data as compactly as it can.
While the project is open, the project could be much bigger due to “Undo” data. The Undo data is normally removed when the project is closed, and most of the space that the Undo data occupied is recovered.