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29 March 2016 @ 10:15 pm
Podficcers: beware Audacity.  

Audacity 2.0.5 on Mac OS X 10.10.5 has dropped 5 second audio chunks out of my files without any indication.

I can’t reproduce this with any reliability, other than to say it usually happens after 20+ minutes of recording.

This has happened in more than one file for me now. I’ve viewed the original source in both Audacity and GarageBand, and the data is definitely gone. There aren’t “holes” - it’s just as if I’d skipped over five seconds of text.

I’m moving all my production to GarageBand. It’s been a steep learning curve, but I’m working on an 8-hour podfic and there’s no way I can live with this level of unreliability. If you’re working on a longer project, I suggest you seriously consider the same thing. I’ve been using Audacity for years, but this is unacceptable.

If you've seen the same thing, or know what's going on there, I'd love to hear your input.

The only other thing I can think is that it's something I'm doing external to Audacity while recording -- perhaps a cloud-based incremental backup running in the background, but this seems very unlikely, and I close all other programs while I record. (I would run additional "experiments" with the backup program also closed, but I have no desire to torture myself further.)

Anyway, I just wanted to put that out there.

akamine_chanakamine_chan on March 30th, 2016 08:04 am (UTC)
There's a thread on the Audacity Forum that just started up about something similar...but it's unresolved because the OP didn't give enough info.
Momo: Too Busy To FCUK*momotastic on March 30th, 2016 10:31 am (UTC)
I haven't podficced/used audacity in a few months but I'll keep an ear open for this happening on Windows too.
Terrifyingly Friendlyjelazakazone on March 30th, 2016 10:06 pm (UTC)
I have had GB make a few seconds be totally staticy/noisey without rhyme or reason, but it hasn't happened to me enough to for me to try to figure out why. That's my main complaint with GB. Otherwise I love it.
happyhanabihappyhanabi on May 12th, 2016 12:47 am (UTC)
When that has happened to me, it's been interference on my mic from my cell phone. Moving the phone across the room made it stop.
chasingriverchasingriver on May 12th, 2016 12:51 am (UTC)
Wow, that's really interesting. Thanks for the tip! I only had that happen once after I switched to GB, for a couple paragraphs. That was out of about seven hours of source material, so almost never. (It sounded very echo-y and robotic.)

On a related note, the GB tutorials you did were really helpful, thank you. I'm writing a podfic meta/process doc. Would you mind if I include links to them?
happyhanabihappyhanabi on May 12th, 2016 12:52 am (UTC)
Sure, go right ahead!
chasingriverchasingriver on May 12th, 2016 01:01 am (UTC)
Super, thanks! I'll post it to the group when I'm done.
Terrifyingly Friendlyjelazakazone on May 12th, 2016 01:07 am (UTC)
But my phone isn't on when I'm recording. I don't know. It's just weird and random.
starduchess: starduchessstarduchess on March 31st, 2016 03:23 am (UTC)
Actually I have had something like this happen in Audacity while recording. I caught it doing it a few times where it would just pause or lag behind where I was reading and then blip over to my current spot, so there would be a few seconds missing.

I investigated and yeah, it was some other program running in the background. I think it might have been my screensaver, actually. I finally turned that off and Audacity didn't blink anymore. So, yes, if I were you, I'd check for screensaver activation, cloud server-type uploads, and automatic programming updates.
the_dragongirlthe_dragongirl on March 31st, 2016 10:37 pm (UTC)
Thank you for posting about it, because I've had the same thing happen running audacity on a PC recently (though it usually just dropped a second or two), and it didn't even occur to me to check about background programs. Clearly, I should have come here for answers sooner.