Will Not Work

My Audacity will not record or playback. It does something, because when I hit record, the line to the left of the progress bar blinks, but won’t go anywhere. If I hit playback, it doesn’t blink but it still doesn’t move, either. It’s like the system is in an eternal state of pause, that I can’t get it out of. What is going on with this thing?

It’s not working properly.

If you give more details we may be able to be more specific, and perhaps even find a solution.

Start with:
Which version of Audacity (look in “Help > About Audacity”)
Which Linux distribution?
What are you trying to record?
What settings are selected in the device toolbar?

“It’s not working properly.” Yeah, I suspected that, thank you. Always nice to know for sure.

I have Audacity 2.0.5
Linux Mint 17.2 with Mate 64 bit, on a Dell Inspiron 5558 laptop with 8g of ram and Intel® Core™ i5-5200U CPU @ 2.20GHz × 4
Ultimately, I will be recording songs that I wrote, once I get the app to work. (It worked before, on a previous laptop with an earlier distro and an earlier version of Audacity)
On the device toolbar: I have a choice between ALSA and Jack Audio Connection Kit (I’m not sure anymore what that is)…I’ve tried both; The output and input devices are both “default”; 2 stereo input channels.

Oh, and btw (because I just noticed the pink box at the top of the page where it asks where I got my Audacity version), I downloaded it from Synaptic Package Manager.

Jack is not part of the default Mint installation, so it is not normally running.
Why is Jack running on your machine? Are you running some other audio application that automatically starts Jack?
What are you trying to record?

I really don’t know why Jack is there. I must have installed it at some point, thinking it would be useful for something, but I don’t remember doing it. Clearly, it isn’t doing me much good now. Should I get rid of it?
I want to record some songs that I wrote.

Reboot your computer.

Jack ‘can’ be set up to auto start on boot, but usually it isn’t.
Some applications will automatically start Jack when they are launched. Some versions of Ardour and Hydrogen do this. Audacity doesn’t.

You should leave Jack installed as it is listed as one of the dependencies for Audacity, but generally it should not be running. After a reboot Audacity should see ALSA as the only available “host”.

I rebooted, and now Audacity seems to be running fine. I don’t know why it wasn’t before, because I started out with ALSA last night and changed it to Jack afterwards to find out if that would fix it.
But, my whole computer was acting buggy. I’m not sure what the thing was. I tried watching a video, and it wouldn’t work either. Now it does. So, I guess whatever it was, rebooting seems to have fixed a multitude of problems.
I rebooted a couple days ago for a different reason and that was before I tried to use Audacity. Still don’t know what was wrong, but apparently it didn’t have so much to do with Audacity.
Anyway, if you have any idea why it was doing that, it would be helpful. Otherwise, thank you for helping me.