Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

From Audacity Manual
Jump to: navigation, search

Foire Aux Questions (FAQ) Oft gestellte Fragen (FAQ) Veelgestelde vragen (FAQ) Domande frequenti (FAQ) Preguntas frecuentes (FAQ)

Tip: To find your answer more easily, try using CTRL + F ( COMMAND + F on Mac ) to search this page.

The following are the FAQs copied in from the main SF site. They need re-reading and updating for 2.0 where appropriate.

22Sep09: (Peter) FAQs in manual updated to be in line with those on the main Audacity site (which had themselves been updated).

24Sep09: (Peter) FAQ page broken into one page per section - based on the pre-existing section headers in the FAQ. This page probably needs its layout changing now - maybe to just be a simple index with pointers to the relevant FAQ pages?

Gale 25 Sep09: I do want this page to link to both the index page for each FAQ section and to the individual questions in that section. But having the headings in this page as links to the pages for the FAQ sections is very non-standard. That means if we have headings on this page they need a link to the FAQ section index underneath (as per the "Recording" section here now). In that case we keep the Table of Contents (__TOC__) . Or, we use (__NOTOC__) to hide the Wiki-generated table of contents and mimic the Wiki TOC by having no headings, so it looks like "Opening and Saving Files" and "Editing" here now. I prefer mimicking the TOC.

Peter 5July12: Following Gale's experiments I reformatted this page to use the Wiki markup "#" to provide the list numbering (thus removing the explicit embedded numbering). As Gale predicted this makes the page much more readable for editing. I also split the long Recording section into "Recording - Troubleshooting" and "Recording - How To's.

About Audacity

  1. Is Audacity really free? Why?
  2. Does Audacity contain any spyware, malware or adware?
  3. May I distribute copies of Audacity?
  4. Someone is selling Audacity on eBay. Is this legal?
  5. A search result misled me into paying for an Audacity download. What can I do?
  6. Audacity isn't displaying in the expected or desired language. Can I change this?
  7. Will there be a version of Audacity for iPod, iPad or other smartphones or tablet computers?
  8. Does Audacity work with screen-reader programs for blind users?
  9. What features does Audacity have for speech transcription or speech recognition?
  10. Does Audacity run on 64-bit systems?
  11. Does Audacity support low latency ASIO drivers?
  12. How do I find which Audacity version I have, and if this is the latest version?
  13. Why doesn't Audacity ship with an MP3 encoder?
  14. How can I help to improve Audacity?

Installation and Plug-Ins

  1. What should I do if I have problems downloading or installing Audacity?
  2. What should I do if I get errors building Audacity?
  3. Windows: How do I install Audacity, and do I have to uninstall a previous version first?
  4. Windows: How do I uninstall Audacity?
  5. How do I reset my Audacity settings?
  6. How do I download and install the LAME MP3 encoder?
  7. How do I download and install the FFmpeg Import/Export Library?
  8. Why do I receive an error when I export to an FFmpeg format?
  9. How do I install VST plug-ins?
  10. Why do some VST plug-ins not work or display incorrectly?
  11. Linux: How do I install plug-ins?

Recording - Troubleshooting

  1. Why can I not record in Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8?
  2. Why can’t I hear what I’m recording?
  3. Why do my recordings fade out or sound as if they were made in a tunnel?
  4. Why is my new track out of sync with the previous ones, or sounds crackly or at wrong pitch?
  5. Why can't I record my electronic keyboard using the USB cable?
  6. Why doesn't recording from YouTube (or other streaming audio) work?
  7. Why do I get crackles, pops, or distortion when the recording is loud?
  8. Why do I see a lot of vertical red lines in the track I just recorded?
  9. Why is the Audacity input slider grayed out on maximum?
  10. How can I record without small skips or duplications?
  11. Why does my recording keep pausing automatically or why is my recording cursor stuck?
  12. Why do I get only a flat line and no sound when I try to record?
  13. Why do I get a periodic noise every 6 - 12 seconds?
  14. How do I prevent or correct unbalanced stereo recording?
  15. Why is the recorded waveform not centered on the horizontal line at 0.0?

Recording - How To's

  1. How can I record in stereo?
  2. What is an optimal recording level to aim for?
  3. How do I record from vinyl records, cassette tapes or MiniDiscs?
  4. Can I play a track while recording a new one on top of it?
  5. Can Audacity record YouTube, internet radio or other streaming audio?
  6. How long can I record for?
  7. Can I set Audacity to record at a certain time?
  8. Can I record from a multi-channel device (more than stereo)?
  9. Can I record from two microphones (or even two sound cards) at the same time?


  1. Why have I lost sound after connecting a USB device on Windows?
  2. Why does playback go quiet when I record or adjust the input volume?
  3. Why is there a very low level hiss on Exported files?

Opening and Saving Files

  1. How do I save my audio for use in other programs? Does saving a project (AUP file) do that?
  2. Why does Audacity create a folder full of .au files when I save a project?
  3. Audacity crashed! Can I recover any unsaved data?
  4. Can Audacity import or export formats like WMA, AC3 or iTunes files (M4A/MP4)?
  5. Why do my exported files not include the metadata, like Album Artist or Genre?
  6. Why can’t I play MIDI files?
  7. How do I import a track from an audio CD?
  8. How do I save my recording on an audio CD?
  9. How can I split a long recording into multiple files or CD tracks?
  10. Why does Audacity warn about the name or nothing happens when I export?
  11. Why does my file import with a hatched pattern then slowly change to a waveform?
  12. I copied the .aup file to another computer or sent it by e-mail to a friend; but now when I open it there's no sound, why?


  1. Why can't I use the effects or other menu items?
  2. Why can't I select less than one second or click between whole seconds?
  3. Why do I hear clicks when I remove or paste audio, or at the start or end of the track?
  4. How do I select audio in one track?
  5. How do I extend or move the selected region into other tracks?
  6. How do I combine two files into one longer file?
  7. How do I mix two tracks together?
  8. Can I remove the vocals from a recording to make a Karaoke track?
  9. Can I create Ringtones with Audacity?
  10. Why do I see a lot of vertical red lines in the track I just recorded?
  11. Can Audacity preview or apply effects live, in real time?


  1. Why do I get "Error while opening sound device"?
  2. Why do I get "Error: not well formed (invalid token) at line x"?
  3. Why does the computer reboot or show a blue screen message when I play or record in Audacity?
  4. I found a bug! Or Feature X is not good enough or missing! Now what?

Ideas for new FAQs

ToDo develop responses for these proposed FAQs and migrate them to the published part of the page.

Outstanding suggestions

  • Steve 26Jul11: Perhaps there could be a section for using Audacity with other applications, such as Skype, YouTube, DAWs and Games
    • How do I record Skype or other VoIP programs with Audacity?
It's hard to capture both sides of a Skype call with Audacity - Koz always recommends Pamela
  • How do I avoid the echo when using my USB microphone? (software playthrough)
  • How can I record in the same track?
    • This could cover Append-Record and ways to "punch-in" too
  • First track is being recorded onto the next track (Windows sound card set to record Stereo Mix).
  • How can I import WAV files from portable players?
  • How can I make my recording so it plays back in both speakers?
  • I recorded my tapes/LPs in stereo so why do I get only the left in both speakers?
  • Can I use parts of Audacity source code in my school project?
  • Can I include screenshots of Audacity in my book, or link to Audacity on my web site?
  • Why does my MP3 file not loop smoothly in Audacity? (suggested by Steve)
    • Gale 12Jun12: Parking suitable text for responding to requests about an academic citation. There are other types of requests here - citing Audacity in films/videos, producing an article about Audacity for a magazine which has a cover mount CD of Audacity, hardware bundlers providing Audcity documentation...
Please make a citation to Audacity starting with the name and 
version number of Audacity and giving our Trademark (R). 

Please quote the full three-section version number of Audacity 
as found at Help > About Audacity (or Audacity > About Audacity 
on a Mac computer).   

Examples could look like:

(A) "For this work I used version 1.3.14 of Audacity(R) recording 
and editing software[1]."

(B) "Audacity Team (2012). Audacity(R): Free Audio Editor and 
Recorder [Computer program]. Version 1.3.14 retrieved
December 20th 2011 from [1]." .

[1] must link to the following verbatim citation: 

 "Audacity(R) software is copyright (c) 1999-2012 Audacity Team.
 [Web site: It is free software
 distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License.]
 The name Audacity(R) is a registered trademark of Dominic Mazzoni."

The section inside [ ] is optional. Note the first and last sentences must 
be presented exactly as above, without any additional text interspersed 
into them. 

The citation could be in a footnote, or linked to on a Credits page or 
similar. Alternatively you could append the citation verbatim underneath
the arbitrary text for version number. 

Also we would ask you to present the word "Audacity" on its first 
appearance in your actual research text as "Audacity(R)".
  • Why does Audacity hang when I launch it?
  • Why do my longer projects always crash but not the short ones?
Personal tools