Audacity doesn’t record when it worked correctly before



Question:

I used your advice to use Audicity. I copied 15 tapes successfully then rebooted my computer. I could not get Audicity to record again.

Answer:

So you’ve already used Audacity, correct? You were able to use it many times to record, then after one reboot, Audacity won’t record any more?

The suggestions I have depend on what the actual symptoms are:

Is Audacity simply not running? As in, you start the Audacity program and it immediately crashes? If so, then I’d simply uninstall and reinstall Audacity – make sure you have the latest version (and not the “beta version”) from the Audacity website.

If the problem is that Audacity runs (you can start the program), but doesn’t record, I need to know what happens when you try the recording process. If it’s recording a track that turns out to be blank, then check your cabling and your recording device settings in Audacity (Edit menu -> Preferences -> Device) and make sure it’s recording from the correct input.

Worst case, if you still can’t get Audacity to record based on what I said above, you need to check every component in the recording chain and see what’s failing. I assume you’ve got something like this:

Cassette player headphone jack —> audio cable —> computer sound card MIC / AUX input —-> Audacity

Check each one:

  • Cassette: Is the cassette player correctly playing audio through the output jack? Stick a pair of headphones in the jack and verify you hear it playing.
  • Audio cable: Use a different audio cable, if available (this is probably not the problem, since it’s worked so often before).
  • Computer sound card input: Depending on your operating system, you don’t have to use Audacity – Windows XP and Vista (and earlier versions also, I think) have a program that comes with Windows called “Sound Recorder”. It’s a very simple audio recording program. Get the connections hooked up, press play on your cassette player, and record on this program. If it doesn’t record, you may have problems with the sound card – check the recording levels in the Windows settings.
  • Audacity: If it does record audio using a non-Audacity tool, you may have problems with the Audacity recording settings, or there’s something wrong with Audacity itself. Check the recording settings or uninstall / reinstall Audacity.

This should give you enough information to help troubleshoot why Audacity doesn’t record. Good luck!

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4 Comments

  1. Hector:

    After installing audacity and recording audio cassest, side one; as per instructed I saved my recording to the “File -> Export as WAV” menu item. The resulting WAV file was saved on my computer. When I tryed to reopen the saved file in media player, it played without sound. Then I also simply double clicking on the .wav file to open it. The file opened in ITunes but no sound. What am I doing wrong?

  2. Rasta:

    Man My Audacity Used To Work Perfectly But Now It Will Not Play The Beat While It Records But The Beat Will Play If I Play It By Itself. What Is It Doing That?

  3. jonny:

    same thing happened to me.. this is so frustrating!!!!!!

  4. jonny:

    the same thing where i set my settings and it worked then i went bak on it the next day and it didnt work