From Audacity Development Manual
Why do I get "Error opening sound device"?
This error message asks you to check the recording or playback device settings and the Audacity project sample rate. If the message mentions "recording device", it means there's a problem with your Audacity, operating system or sound device recording settings. If the message mentions "playback device", it means there is a problem with your playback settings.
Either message can suggest a problem with the drivers of the sound device, or possibly that you are asking the device to do something it cannot do. For example you will see this error if you attempt to append record to more channels than your device supports, or if you try to overdub on a device that can either record or play back but not both.
The recording device message most commonly occurs on Windows Vista or later when one of the sound device inputs is not properly enabled or otherwise cannot respond to Audacity's request to start recording.
Check Audacity Settings
- Set the project rate bottom left of the Audacity window to the standard rate of 44100 Hz (or if your soundcard only supports a particular rate such as 48000 Hz, set the project rate to that). should show the rates the device claims to support.
- Try turning off recording computer playback). (this should never be enabled if
- Try turning off Updating Sound Device Drivers and Managing Computer Resources and Drivers for advice on how to make your sound device or computer more capable. because recording while playing could stress your sound device or computer. If this solves the problem, read the Wiki pages
- Check in Device Toolbar that the playback and recording devices are correctly and explicitly selected.
- On Windows, do not choose "Microsoft Sound Mapper" or "Primary Sound Driver" which point to the current Windows default device; choose the required device by name. Try selecting "Windows Direct Sound" as the "Host" instead of "MME".
Check operating system settings
- Windows: Follow the Wiki instructions for Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7 or Vista or Windows XP to configure the Windows sound settings. The key points are:
- Ensure all available inputs are listed and enabled in the Windows Control Panel.
- Additionally for Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7 or Vista: Ensure Default Format for the playback and recording devices contains the same sample rate and number of recording channels as in Audacity.
- Very rarely, it can help to use 16-bit or 24-bit Default Format then change the Audacity Quality Preferences to that sample format.
- If necessary, put a checkmark in both Exclusive Mode boxes then set the "Host" in Audacity's Device Toolbar to "Windows DirectSound" and choose a project rate that your playback and recording devices support. Audacity can then request that rate directly from the sound device.
- Mac: In Finder, choose sample rate, bit-depth and number of recording channels as in Audacity. . In "Audio Devices", select in turn the required Recording and Playback devices. Set "Format" to the same
- In the first instance, try refreshing Audacity's list of audio devices at Device Toolbar. If the error still occurs, recheck the Audacity settings. then select the default option in
- It is possible that another application may have exclusive access to the audio device. Try logging out and back in again, then re-check the Audacity settings before opening any other application that may use the audio device.
- If pulse is an option in Device Toolbar, ensure that you have Pulse Audio Volume Control (pavucontrol) installed. If it is not installed, use your system's package manager to install it. Open Pulse Audio Volume Control and check that there is an available output device.
- If Jack Audio System is running on the computer, ensure that it is selected as the Host in Device Toolbar.
- Open the system Sound Preferences and check that a recording device is available. Sound Preferences is often available through a loudspeaker icon on the Desktop, Desktop panel, or in the system Preferences menu.
- Open AlsaMixer (type alsamixer in a terminal window) and check the soundcard and recording device settings. To view the AlsaMixer manual, type man alsamixer in a terminal window.
Check sound device drivers and firmware
The computer's built-in sound device should usually have the latest drivers for your operating system, supplied by the motherboard or computer manufacturer. A PCI or external soundcard should usually have the latest drivers and firmware supplied by the manufacturer of the device. See Updating Sound Device Drivers on the Wiki for help with correcting driver issues.
Check PCI card or external sound device settings and connections
If you use a high-end PCI soundcard or external USB or Firewire interface, you must make the sample rate, bit-depth and number of input channels the same in all possible places. This is especially important if you are recording Multi-Track Overdubs where you play and record at the same time. Settings must match in:
- the Audacity Project Rate
- the track(s) in Audacity (to resample tracks to the Project Rate, select each track in turn then choose ).
- all inputs and outputs in the operating system sound control panel or application
- all inputs and outputs in any software or hardware control panel the sound device may have.
Why do I get "Error: not well formed (invalid token) at line x"?
This usually means that when reopening the AUP project file normally, Audacity finds an unexpected non-English, accented or control character at the line quoted in the error message. There are two main causes of this.
- The project contains imported files whose metadata (like artist or genre) contains control characters. This mostly occurs with iTunes files on Mac where the project was created in an older version of Audacity.
- The project was saved containing non-English or accented characters using an old ANSI build of Audacity for Windows. ANSI builds are not properly Unicode aware, so do not support non-English or accented characters.
- The latest version of Audacity will always fully support Unicode. You can check your Audacity version at (or on Mac).
If Audacity or the computer crashed, Audacity will try to recover the project from its AUTOSAVE file, but the crash may have created a redundant line near the end of the file that triggers the token error. Very occasionally, the AUP file may become corrupted by one or more redundant lines, giving a token error even if there was no apparent crash. To correct this, see remove redundant lines in an AUTOSAVE or AUP file.
Solution for error caused by control characters
- Make a copy of the AUP project file and open it in a text editor like Notepad (Windows) or TextEdit (Mac).
- Turn word wrap off in the menus (or in TextEdit, drag the window horizontally so that lines do not wrap).
- In the line indicated in the error message, look for one of these:
then remove all characters inside the quotation marks that follow which are not a number or an A to Z letter. You could also change those characters to a number or A to Z letter. For example, a string of control characters you would want to remove or change might start with &# followed by four numbers and a semi-colon, such as &# 0 0 1 3 ;.
- Save the changes to the .aup file.
- If you re-open the project and an error occurs at another line, repeat the steps above in the new line indicated in the error message.
<tag name="GENRE" value="Drama &# 0 0 0 9 Comedy"/>
And the same line corrected so that the two words can be read into the project:
<tag name="GENRE" value="Drama, Comedy"/>"Drama 0009 Comedy", though meaningless, would also enable the project to be opened correctly.
If you had to rename "projname" in the AUP file, rename both the AUP project file and the corresponding _data folder so that they have the same name as "projname" in the AUP file.
Solution to correct an AUP file created in an ANSI version of Audacity, preserving non-English characters
- Make a copy of the file
- Open the file in Notepad++ (a free text editor that supports UTF-8 encoding of Unicode characters)
- Save the changes to the file.
Solution to remove redundant lines in an AUTOSAVE recovery file or AUP file
- Find the autosave file. It will be in an "AutoSave" folder in Audacity's folder for application data as follows:
- Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/Windows Vista: Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Audacity\
- Windows XP: Documents and Settings\<username>\Application Data\Audacity
- OS X/macOS ~/Library/Application Support/audacity/
- Linux: ~/.audacity-data/ .
- Make a copy of the AUTOSAVE file as a backup and move the copy somewhere else such as your Desktop.
- If the AUTOSAVE file was created by Audacity 2.1.1 or later, it must be converted to XML format before it can be edited in a text editor. Follow the steps to convert the AUTOSAVE file to XML then return to step 4 below.
- Open the AUTOSAVE file in a text editor like Notepad (Windows) or TextEdit (Mac).
- Turn word wrap off in the menus (or in TextEdit, drag the window horizontally so that lines do not wrap).
- Go to the line indicated in the error message. If you had been recording, the last line above it will probably look like </recordingrecovery>.
- We need to delete the entire line. It may be a long line containing only empty spaces or it may have </project> at the end of all the spaces. Hold Shift and press Down to select the entire line before pressing Delete. Ensure this leaves you with a final line that contains only </project>. Ensure this is the only line that contains </project>.
- Save the changes to the file.
Converting the AUTOSAVE file to XML
- In the AutoSave folder, right-click the AUTOSAVE file and choose "Cut".
- Go to the folder Audacity is installed in, such as "C:\Program Files (x86)\Audacity", then right-click in empty space and choose "Paste". Provide the administrator password if asked.
- Open an administrator command prompt. On Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7, click Windows Start, go to All applications > Accessories, then right-click the Command Prompt shortcut and select "Run as Administrator". Or see instructions for Windows 8.
- Assuming the prompt in the command window shows some location in C:\ and Audacity is installed in some location in C:\, type "cd" (without quotes) then a space. If Audacity is on some other drive than the prompt indicates, type the name of that drive letter and a colon (such as D:), press Enter, and then type "cd" (without quotes) then a space.
- Go up one level in Explorer then drag the icon for the Audacity installation folder into the command window. The path "C:\Program Files (x86)\Audacity" (or whatever it is) will appear. Press Enter to change the prompt to the path you dragged in.
- At the end of the path, type "audacity" (without quotes), a space, then "/d" (also without quotes), another space, then drag the AUTOSAVE file into the command window. Here is what an example should look like:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Audacity> audacity /d "C:\Program Files (x86)\Audacity\My Project - 2015-07-01 14-12-35 N-2.autosave"
- Press Enter. You can see in Explorer that the AUTOSAVE file has been updated.
- Now you can cut the AUTOSAVE file from the Audacity installation folder, and paste it into the AutoSave folder. Now you can make corrections to the file in a text editor.
Mac OS X/macOS:
- In the AutoSave folder, right-click or Control-click the AUTOSAVE file and choose the option to Copy.
- Go to the folder Audacity.app is installed in, such as /Applications/Audacity, hold Command and Option then press V to move the AUTOSAVE file alongside Audacity.
- Right-click over Audacity.app then choose "Show Package Contents".
- Open the "Contents" folder then the "Mac OS" folder.
- Open a Terminal then drag the Audacity file in the "Mac OS" folder into the terminal to display the path to that Audacity file.
- Then at the end of the file path, type a space, "-d" (without quotes) and another space then drag the AUTOSAVE file into the Terminal.
- Press Enter to convert the file. You will see a message that the file has been decoded successfully.
- In the "Mac OS" folder, right-click or Control-click the AUTOSAVe file and choose the option to Copy.
- Go to the "AutoSave" folder, hold Command and Option then press V to move the converted AUTOSAVE file back into the AutoSave folder. Now you can make corrections to the file in a text editor.
- Open a terminal.
- Assuming Audacity is installed, type "audacity -d" (without quotes) then a space, then type the path to the AUTOSAVE file (or drag the AUTOSAVE file into the terminal). Here is an example:
audacity -d "home/al/.audacity-data/AutoSave/My Project - 2015-07-01 14-12-35 N-2.autosave"
- Press Enter to convert the file. You will see a message that the file has been decoded successfully. Now you can make corrections to the file in a text editor.
Why do I get "Error importing" when opening an AUP file?
You should always use Audacity Project) file. If you attempt to use to open a project, an "Error Importing" message will appear, asking you to use File > Open... instead.to open an AUP (
If you see "Error Importing" even when using File > Open..., this usually means the AUP file is seriously damaged, or most likely, empty. You can check this by opening the AUP file in a text editor like Notepad or TextEdit (on Mac). The AUP file is saved last, so an empty AUP file can occur if you shut down the computer or close the lid on a laptop before the project is completely saved. Be sure to wait until the Audacity Status Bar says the project is saved, or until all project save progress dialogues have closed, before shutting down the machine.
If the AUP file is empty, try to use any backup you created, such a different AUP file for an earlier stage of the project, or an exported WAV file. Failing this, you can try manual recovery of the project's _data folder, but this only works for unedited recordings.
Why do I get "FFmpeg Error - Can't open audio codec 0x15002" (or 0x15003)?
Error 0x15002 occurs if you export more than a 2-channel M4A file (such as a 5.1 surround sound file), using the "M4A (AAC) Files (FFmpeg)" export choice. To correct the error and export up to 8 channels, choose (external application) and specify a command that tells Audacity to explicitly use the native FFmpeg AAC encoder.
Error 0x15003 occurs if you export more than a 6-channel AC3 file. Six channels is the maximum possible for AC3.
Why does the computer reboot or show a blue screen message when I launch Audacity or play or record?
This mostly affects Windows computers. It happens when your computer sound device has a bad or mismatched driver or there is a problem with a system driver that interacts with that sound device. Even if the problem occurs after updating to the latest Audacity version, it still is not Audacity's direct fault because Audacity does not have kernel privileges to make the computer restart. Inappropriate drivers can also cause Audacity to crash during playback or recording, without necessarily crashing the computer.
The best practice is to make sure the computer's built-in sound device has the latest drivers for your operating system, supplied by the motherboard or computer manufacturer. For a PCI or external soundcard, obtain the latest drivers and firmware supplied by the manufacturer of the device. See Updating Sound Device Drivers on the Wiki for help with correcting driver issues. If playback or recording worked previously, but the sound device drivers are appropriate or cannot be changed to a version that prevents the problem, try Windows System Restore to revert the computer to a state before the problem occurred.
If necessary the exact driver or module causing a computer crash can be pinpointed on Windows by examining the memory dump made when the crash occurred. You can find the dump by right-clicking over WhoCrashed is a Windows tool that makes it easy to identify the driver or module at fault. Another good idea is to test the computer's memory for errors (see help for Windows and Mac). Faulty memory can sometimes cause computer freezes or crashes.or , then click the "Advanced" link or tab, and under "Startup and Recovery", choose "Settings...".
If your best available soundcard drivers prove to be incompatible with current Audacity, we may not be able to take any direct action, but do let us know:
- the exact make and model number of the sound device
- the exact driver and firmware model numbers
- the exact operating system you are using, including the Service Pack if you are on Windows.
"I found a bug!" or "Feature X is not good enough or is missing!" now what?
The most important things when reporting a bug are to be as specific as possible and check first in the Release Notes if we already know about the problem.
If the bug is not known about, please give us enough information that we can reproduce the bug ourselves on the correct operating system. Otherwise it's unlikely that we'll be able to fix it.
If you can make the problem happen consistently, tell us the exact sequence of events, step-by-step from launch of Audacity that causes the bug to occur.
If you see an error message, be sure to send us the exact text of the error message, or attach an image. If you are on Mac or Linux a crash report is useful too.
When you have your bug report ready, please email our feedback address.
You can also send your ideas for new or improved features to our feedback address. Again, be as specific as possible, and feel free to suggest your preferred way of achieving the functionality you desire. If you are a regular visitor to our Forum, you can instead post your suggestions on the Adding Features to Audacity board.
Thanks for all your reports, suggestions and patches! All of these help us make Audacity better.