Wha'd I do?

Just d/l 2.6 and went to open the file I’d been working on and got a message “File may be invalid or corrupt”. Since it’s neither ill nor a politician (sorry, I couldn’t resist…), I think something went wrong. It should be about 40 minutes long and a compilation of about 15 stereo clips.

The project is music for an incoming audience to listen to for a “period play” that my wife is the Producer for. The production is getting close - this is NOT a good time for me to try to explain that her intro medley is “FUBAR” and that I will have to start again.

OK - I do have one version saved as an .mp3, but it is not finished. I made that one strictly so the Director (friend of my wife) could tell me how she wanted it “improved”.

Winter is approaching - there’s a possibility of frost in the next few days - but the freeze outside will be nothing compared to the freeze INSIDE when “she who must be obeyed” finds out there’s no usable file!

Help? Please? I love Audacity, and I know it’s a “labour of love” - no-one’s making any money on it (which seems a shame…). I know I have no right to complain - and I’m not. So far the software has worked magnificently! That’s my excuse for why I don’t have multiple generations of backups of both the .aup and the .mp3.

But I don’t and so I’m pleading. Thanks!

(Audacity 2.6 (now))
Windows 7
laptop with a bunch of RAM and builtin video card

Exact version numbers are important. I presume that you mean that you have “Audacity 2.0.6”?

How exactly are you trying to open the project? From the “File menu > Open” then selecting the project (.aup) file?

Yes, you’re correct - 2.0.6.

And, from within the programme, the result is the same whether I go to or . (They’re both shortcuts to the same file, I assume.) That is, the file is listed but trying to open it gives the “invalid or corrupt” message.

Interestingly, if I do a search from within Windows for .aup, (as in <.aup>), the “Result” window closes before it displays any info (or, at least, before I can see it). The implication is that there’s nothing to find (although why the window would close immediately is not immediately evident to me.)

I’ve been using Audacity for about 6 months on a variety of projects - why there are no results to display on a *.aup search eludes me. Unless one of the update file’s job is to rename, convert and resave files from old versions, and that had a bug…

Nothing I’m doing is resulting in the magical re-appearance of the file - I’m now officially panicking! OTOH, I guess I can hope that re-making the file will be faster than the original creation

That is weird. I wonder if your anti-virus program is eating the AUP files.
Try disconnecting from the Internet (physically unplug or shut down your wifi router if wireless), then shut down your anti-virus program, then open Audacity, create and save a project. Are you able to “find” the saved .aup file?
(remember to restart your anti-virus program before reconnecting to the Internet).

I can’t imagine why McAfee would eat AUP files - Audacity has been around enough that McAfee should recognize the extension. And if this were being problem, I would think it would be well known (and fixed by now.)

I will certainly try your approach - but not until my wife is done on-line! Killing internet access while she’s in the middle of something has a low probably of my surviving the incident!

Meanwhile, I’m going to try starting to recreate the file I need. It’s worth the effort to see if the glitch is reproduceable. I’ll let you know.

Ok, this is getting weirder. (Cue the “Outer Limits” theme…)

I have a basic Logitech USB headset (with mic). In 2.0.5 (i.e. yesterday), if the headset was plugged in, I got audio through the headset and the mic was active. Today, the headset is ignored (although Audacity does seem to be picking up a signal from the mic). I get signal from the mini-phone jack on the sound card for another set of earphones (which cuts out the system speakers, which work fine.)

So, if I haven’t completely misread things, I “could” listen to the output on the headphones from the sound card and use the mic in the USB headset to record audio voiceover. Physically, this is awkward, and logically it makes no sense to me.

I like and trust Audacity - so I’m assuming it’s “pilot error”, but it’s very frustrating. And I still can’t mess with internet/AV stuff - I’m not ready to die.

Then if that AUP file still exists, please attach it. Please see How to attach files to forum posts . Also tell us what Help > Show Log… top right of Audacity says when you try to open that AUP file.


Try Transport > Rescan Audio Devices.


Ok, I understand how irritating this it. I have 3 separate questions going on one thread. Then I posted the question, got responses, and appeared to disappear for a day. If you want me to repost (assuming I continue to have the issues) under 3 different threads, I will. (I think part of my original problem was that I didn’t know if they were 3 separate issues or all one complex issue.)

Original question:
“From within the programme, the result is the same whether I go to or . (They’re both shortcuts to the same file, I assume.) That is, the file is listed but trying to open it gives the “invalid or corrupt” message.”
The file is attached.


“Also tell us what Help > Show Log… top right of Audacity says when you try to open that AUP file.”

Here’s the log:

9:23:17 AM: Audacity 2.0.6
9:23:17 AM: Trying to load FFmpeg libraries…
9:23:17 AM: Trying to load FFmpeg libraries from default path, ‘C:Program Files (x86)Ffmpeg For Audacityavformat-55.dll’.
9:23:17 AM: Looking up PATH environment variable…
9:23:17 AM: PATH = ‘C:Program FilesCommon FilesMicrosoft SharedWindows Live;C:Program Files (x86)Common FilesMicrosoft SharedWindows Live;C:windowssystem32;C:windows;C:windowsSystem32Wbem;C:windowsSystem32WindowsPowerShellv1.0;C:Program Files (x86)ATI TechnologiesATI.ACECore-Static;C:Program Files (x86)Windows LiveShared;C:Program Files (x86)QuickTimeQTSystem’
9:23:17 AM: Checking that ‘C:Program Files (x86)Ffmpeg For Audacity’ is in PATH…
9:23:17 AM: Warning: FFmpeg directory ‘C:Program Files (x86)Ffmpeg For Audacity’ is not in PATH.
9:23:17 AM: Temporarily appending ‘;C:Program Files (x86)Ffmpeg For Audacity’ to PATH…

Also Gale:

I have a basic Logitech USB headset (with mic). In 2.0.5 (i.e. yesterday), if the headset was plugged in, I got audio through the headset and the mic was active. Today, the headset is ignored (although Audacity does seem to be picking up a signal from the mic).

Try Transport > Rescan Audio Devices.

Did that - it worked. (or at least something did.) Many Thanks!

Tried to upload the file - error “The uploaded file is empty. …” I know it is - 0 bytes. I don’t understand why…

Yes - a new topic for a new problem is appreciated.

Given that message and the fact the log mentions nothing about the project, yes I think we can assume the AUP project file is empty. Are you sure you are attaching the correct AUP file?

If the AUP file is empty, there is really no way to recover a project where you have been moving the different parts of the audio around. You can only recover unedited recordings that way. Sorry.

Why was the project file empty? Don’t know. It could be an Audacity glitch or a glitch on your drive. Certainly, Audacity does not check to see it has saved a valid AUP file, which I have always said is bad.

For saving a backup audio file, please use WAV. MP3 is lossy, so if you restore your project from an MP3 you have needlessly lost quality.



Thanks very much for your reply. I have no idea why the .aup file is empty but fortunately I have the original files still and a mp3 of the work after editing. I can reconstruct it - I just hate doing it a second time . OTOH, maybe I’ll do it faster and better… One can only hope.

Given that the final product - the sound track that I need - is going to be played on the sound system of our local Arts Centre, I know I can play it from an iPod as an mp3. Not sure what I need to play it as a .wav. If there is a spare laptop and phono inputs (and patch cords) i guess I can use that but, in your opinion, is the fidelity loss from .mp3 vs .wav worth the hassle? IOW, in a hall with 400 people rustling around as they settle in, is anyone likely to hear the difference?

(30 years ago, I might have been able to hear the difference myself if it exists - however, I now have tinnitus in both ears and have lost 6-8 kHz off the top end of my hearing. Getting old sucks!)


Just so you understand, The Edit Master for the show should be a large, very high quality WAV file that you lock up. You can easily make an MP3 or any other lesser quality sound file as you wish from that, or recut it or re-edit it (do that on a copy of the original edit).

MP3 is an end product with some sound damage in it. That’s how MP3 works. You can’t easily change one once you make it, and you can’t convert one to a high quality WAV file. You’re stuck.


I believe my iPod will play a WAV. I think my iPod has several test tones as WAV files. The reason for AAC, MP3, etc is to get many different songs on the iPod without filling it up. WAV files can fill an iPod very quickly.

On the other hand, if that’s all the iPod is going to do all day long for a show, then it shouldn’t make any difference. I have an old, thick, spinning drive iPod which will do that.

And no, if you’re playing to a large hall, nobody is going to know, but it’s good to know that you maintained the highest quality possible. If somebody complains about the sound quality, you know one thing that’s not the problem.


Kaz - thanks for the comment. I haven’t tried .wav on an iPod deliberately, but I will.

Meanwhile, I remembered why I was saving the file as .mp3 (aside from space…) the original files I’m weaving together are .mp3s - And unless I’m very mistaken, you can’t have an end product better than the ingredients. i.e. Mixing .mp3 files then saving as a .wav (assuming that that’s even possible) won’t give me an out put better than the original .mp3 - that would be weird.

It may be useful to say that what we’re mixing are pop tunes of the 1930’s and 40’s. My guess is that the Frequency Response of the old records (78’s?) probably never topped 10-12KHz. and that whatever losses there are in .mp3 format is trivial compared to the losses in the original recording and pressing. And playing it through loudspeakers into a hall of 400 theatre-goers settling in for a show will not improve the fidelity.

Also my last, best hope is that these are theatre lovers, not music lovers! (Ok, that’s mean, and there’s probably a large cross-over in a small town like this. The hall is a good one with the acoustician having final say on all design elements. We’ve had some “high end” string quartets play here and say some very nice things about the sound.) But the audience is here for a play, not a concert, and I think that the expectations are different.

But I still have to get a file that plays - which means remaking the one that disappeared (and praying it doesn’t disappear again).


And unless I’m very mistaken, you can’t have an end product better than the ingredients.

True. But you can make it worse. If you make a new MP3 with the same compression quality as the original (same filesize), the new sound quality is half as good.

I knew I was going to get in trouble with that.

If you’re forced into using MP3 music for your presentation, the only good options after editing are create a WAV, Audacity Project (that only Audacity can open) or a blisteringly high quality MP3 for the delivered show.

Assume the WAV file for a second. You don’t suddenly pick up super high WAV quality, what you get is not making the original MP3s worse.


Right. Having grown through the era when LPs got copied to Reel to reel tape, then the reels were edited and copied on to cassette, then the cassette played of a portable player in a car with all the windows open… 80dB of hiss with the signal buried so far in the background… the “good old days”.

OTOH, I’m supposed to be emulating the sound from a 1950’s radio studio, live over the air. Using my memories of old radios as a guide, I don’t think there’s much I can do to “Catch a Falling Star” to make it worse… (Especially as the original chain probably started with “78 Rpm with old worn needle copied to Reel to reel…”)

And the over-riding consideration for me is that anyone who “remembers” what Perry Como sounded like over Mom’s “HiFi” or out the tiny (and tinny) speaker from the early transistor radios is probably fooling him/herself. We remember what we ‘think’ it sounded like, much as we ‘remember’ how great “Father Knows Best” was.

I really do appreciate the technical information on file types and recording techniques - I understand and appreciate the goal of the producer/engineer. (“One of my best friends is a…” Except he really is a producer/engineer for radio for our national broadcaster. Note that I have not included him in this conversation - he’d be appalled by my cavalier attitude!)

I will try the .wav path once I have the master saved as a .aud file.

But if they get enough to hum along with, they (and I) will be satisfied. I know that’s a lousy attitude for a “sound engineer” to have, but I’m just a poor Choral singer and an aging one at that. Thanks for all comments and suggestions - this is very much a learning-project for me!