Enormous file sizes

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southernroutes
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2021 3:44 pm
Operating System: Windows 10

Enormous file sizes

Post by southernroutes » Wed Mar 31, 2021 4:05 pm

I'm a long time Audacity user and just upgraded from version 2.x to 3.0. I record a radio show in 28 minute segments as two track/stereo files set to 44100Hz/16-bit that would normally be around 570 MB each in version 2.x.

I just recorded my first show using version 3.0 and the .aup3 file sizes range from 1.85 GB up to 2.13 GB. I'm not sure why either would be a different size (as they are of identical length & quality), much less be more than triple the size of my 2.x files. I had a friend check this out and they are also getting huge file sizes. Anyone else experiencing this? I'm on Windows 10.

billw58
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Re: Enormous file sizes

Post by billw58 » Wed Mar 31, 2021 4:23 pm

Have you checked the file sizes after you close the project?

As an experiment I created a project in 2.4.2 that is exactly 30 minutes long, one stereo track, at 16-bit/44.1k quality. The .aup file is 50 KB and the _data folder is 325 MB. The exact same project saved as an .aup3 files is 326 MB.

-- Bill

southernroutes
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2021 3:44 pm
Operating System: Windows 10

Re: Enormous file sizes

Post by southernroutes » Wed Mar 31, 2021 5:15 pm

Thanks, Bill. I tried opening a 2.x file in 3.0 and saving it and the file size was correct. It appears that version 3.0 defaulted to 32-bit float instead of the 16-bit PCM sample format I was used to using. That's what's displaying in those 3.0 recordings track info: "Stereo, 44100Hz 32-bit float"

Strangely, when I open one of the new 3.0 files and change the format to 16-bit PCM and save, the file stays the same 1.85 GB. Only after I Save as.. with a different file name is the file size smaller.

I'll consider this issue resolved, but I wonder why my default user settings (such as sample format that drastically impact storage space) weren't retained after upgrading.

billw58
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Re: Enormous file sizes

Post by billw58 » Wed Mar 31, 2021 10:40 pm

southernroutes wrote:
Wed Mar 31, 2021 5:15 pm
Strangely, when I open one of the new 3.0 files and change the format to 16-bit PCM and save, the file stays the same 1.85 GB. Only after I Save as.. with a different file name is the file size smaller.
Perhaps I'm not understanding your exact steps. This is what I get.

With Quality prefs set to 32-bit I import some audio and save the project, then close it.
I re-open the project and set the Quality prefs to 16-bit. I do Save As and save it with a different name. The file size does not change significantly. Changing the Quality prefs does not change the track format.

I re-open the 32-bit project and use the Track drop-down menu to change the track format to 16-bit. The track info is updated. I Save the project. This time the file size is reduced by about one half. Changing the track format and saving does change the file size - no Save As required.

-- Bill

southernroutes
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2021 3:44 pm
Operating System: Windows 10

Re: Enormous file sizes

Post by southernroutes » Tue Apr 06, 2021 3:13 pm

So, I recorded another show yesterday using a sample format of 16-bit and a sample rate of 41000Hz. I record my show live directly into Audacity as three separate 28-minute segments consisting of a single stereo track. The files are 626 MB, 872 MB, and 1.03 GB respectively. Much smaller than when the default format was set to 32-bit and the first segment is much closer to what I'm expecting. I don't understand the discrepancy with the file sizes as all segments are recorded the exact same way and are normalized to -2.0dB before exporting. No importing audio files or multiple tracks. Just a single stereo track.

I honestly wouldn't be posting here except that the v3.0 release notes explicitly mention that file sizes should be more or less the same as in v2.0. I can't say that's been my experience.

billw58
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Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:10 am
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Re: Enormous file sizes

Post by billw58 » Tue Apr 06, 2021 4:10 pm

Again, I can't reproduce this. Tell me if my understanding of your process is correct.

1) Record a 28-minute segment into an Audacity project. Edit, save and close that project.
2) Record a second 28-minute segment; edit, save and close.
3) Record a third 28-minute segment; edit, save and close.

The three projects have files sizes of: 1) 626 MB, 2) 872 MB, 3) 1.03 GB.

You mention exporting. Are you talking about the file sizes of the exported audio files, or the sizes of the Audacity project files?

-- Bill

southernroutes
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2021 3:44 pm
Operating System: Windows 10

Re: Enormous file sizes

Post by southernroutes » Tue Apr 06, 2021 4:38 pm

Bill, your summary of my process and the corresponding file sizes are correct.

I do export my show to a 320 MP3 file for uploading to our Enco server, but that has no bearing on what I'm reporting here.

Aside from having to adjust the sample and bit rates back down to 16-bit/41000Hz, I've not touched any other setting that were established when v3.0 was installed. Perhaps there are some other prefs that I've missed which could affect file size, but I was likely not aware of those the entire time I was using v2.x.

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