Disk Space Limit

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Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2017 2:50 pm
Operating System: Windows 7

Disk Space Limit

Post by jatkinson » Mon Jan 09, 2017 2:56 pm

I am trying to open a rather large MP3 file. It is almost 4 GB. Audacity is grabbing ALL of the free disk space on this computer. I have about 55 GB free, and Audacity is grabbing ALL of it - placing it in C:\Users\{userid}\Appdata\local\Audactiy\SessionData\Project####, where #### is some random set of number. What's up? The system requirement say Audacity needs 20 GB of free hard drive space on a WIn7 64bit system. Seems like I need more than 55 GB.
Any thoughts? All I am trying to do is to open the file. I have not begun to work with the file.

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Re: Disk Space Limit

Post by steve » Mon Jan 09, 2017 4:06 pm

MP3 is a compressed format, and it is not possible to do sophisticated editing or processing without first decoding (de-compressing) the file.
Audacity works internally with "32-bit float" data, so to minimise losses, it decodes imported files to 32-bit float data. Editing and processing can then be done without loss of sound quality.

MP3 files are typically around 8 times smaller than the uncompressed 16-bit data.
32-bit float is 2 times bigger than uncompressed 16-bit data.
It is therefore expected that when an MP3 file is decoded, the decoded data is likely to be around 16 times bigger than the MP3.

During working in an Audacity project, Audacity maintains a copy of all data that is changed, so that while the project is open you can undo what you have done in the project. So for example, if you have a project that contains 10 MB of data and you apply an effect to all of the audio in the project, then the space used by the project will increase from 10 MB to 20 MB. The original 10 MB is retained so that you can undo the effect. Apply another effect, and the project will increase in size by another 10 MB. On closing a project, the Undo History is deleted to save space.

Working with audio (or video) media requires a lot of working space for data.

If you only want to do very basic editing, such as trimming the ends or adding a fade-in, you may be better to use a dedicated MP3 editor such as mp3DirectCut, which can perform simple edits to MP3 files without decoding them.
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