Opening older projects that still depend on external audio files
In earlier versions of Audacity (2.3.2 and previous) it was possible to reference external uncompressed audio files rather than importing and reading them into the Audacity project. This was quicker and saved space but was rather dangerous, as the project could become unusable if the files were moved or renamed.
Accordingly we removed this feature from Audacity and now all imported audio files are fully read into the Audacity project, making the project self-contained.
However there will still be some projects created with earlier versions of Audacity that still depend on external audio files. In order for these projects to continue to work On-Demand Loading has been retained for such projects.