From Audacity Manual
Why do I get "Error while opening sound device"?
This error message asks you to check the input or output device settings and the Audacity project sample rate. If the message mentions "input device", it means there's a problem with your Audacity, operating system or sound device recording settings. If the message mentions "output 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 input device message most commonly occurs on Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8 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 sound card 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 output and input devices are correctly and explicitly selected.
- On Windows, don't 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: Go to the system control panel and follow the Wiki instructions for Windows 2000 or XP or Vista or 7 to ensure all available inputs are listed and enabled.
- In Sound, right-click over or select the recording and playback device in turn, choose "Properties", then the "Advanced" tab
- Set Default Format to the same sample rate, bit-depth and number of input channels as in Audacity
- Put a checkmark in both Exclusive Mode boxes (this allows Audacity to directly request the sample rate from the sound device if the "Host" in Device Toolbar is set to "Windows Direct Sound" as above).
- Mac OS X: In Finder, choose sample rate, bit-depth and number of input channels as in Audacity. . In "Audio Devices", select in turn the required Input and Output 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 sound card 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 sound card 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 sound card 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 the AUP project file contains an unexpected non-English, accented or control character at the line quoted in the error message. There are two main causes.
- The project contains non-English or accented characters and was created in an ANSI build of Audacity, where Windows was running in other than English. ANSI builds are not properly Unicode aware, so do not support creating or re-opening projects containing non-English or accented characters.
- All recommended downloads of Audacity fully support Unicode. You can check your Audacity version at .
- The project contains imported files whose metadata (like artist or genre) contains control characters. This mostly occurs with iTunes files on OS X where the project was created in an older version of Audacity.
Solution for error caused by invalid 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.
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 isn't 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 sound card, 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.or , then click the "Advanced" link or tab, and under "Startup and Recovery", choose "Settings...".
If your best available sound card 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 OS X or Linux a crash report is useful too.
When you have your bug report ready, please e-mail 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.