File folders versus .AUP

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Storegon
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Post by Storegon » December 18th, 2018, 12:31 pm

I don't know how, or why, but Audacity has sorted my tracks into either "file folder" or ".AUP." The ones labelled "file folder" I cannot listen to. Please, someone explain this to me.

Storegon :(

moniaqua
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Post by moniaqua » December 18th, 2018, 12:41 pm

It is just the way Audacity deals with the files.

.aup is the project file. It has the information about where the soundfiles are etc. Don't worry about the folders. If you want to get a file you can listen to directly and don't want to open Audacity for listening you have to export the track with "File - Export - Export to ..." where ... is either mp3, ogg or wav.

TriciaG
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Post by TriciaG » December 18th, 2018, 12:43 pm

The Audacity .aup file is a directory of sorts, which tells Audacity in which order to assemble the little bits of recording that it stores in the file folder. Both are needed for Audacity to open a file, and they should always be kept together (do not move the .aup file somewhere separate from the file folder) and not renamed except through Audacity's "Save project as" function.

Personally, I rarely keep files in their native Audacity format. Instead, I export the file as FLAC, which is a lossless format. It contains just the one file I can move anywhere or rename, and doesn't lose any of the quality. When I want to edit the file, I can open it up in Audacity and do whatever I want with it, remembering to export it to FLAC again when I want to save it.

Does this help explain?
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JayKitty76
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Post by JayKitty76 » December 18th, 2018, 1:35 pm

The Audacity AUP file is the file you can edit. If you want to edit you go to the AUP file (if you've saved it beforehand, which you should always do), make your changes, and reexport it, overriding the old file.
(At least, that's what works for me.)
The file folder cannot be listened to or edited...this is basically what Tricia just explained.
Hope this helps :thumbs:
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Post by annise » December 18th, 2018, 3:00 pm

I'd recommend listening to the voice of experience and saving your working files as .flac . If in anyway audacity files get moved for any reason they will not work, and you only need it to happen once with something you have worked on for an hour or 2 and you lose it all to realise that just backing up with a flac file every time is a very good idea.
And they don't take up much room, the Audacity running files are large and if you have a few projects going at the same time, things can happen

Anne

mightyfelix
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Post by mightyfelix » December 19th, 2018, 12:17 am

I've never thought to do that! I thought I heard someone somewhere say that flac files are rather large? :hmm: Maybe they meant in comparison to mp3? But still small compared to everything Audacity needs to run?

annise
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Post by annise » December 19th, 2018, 2:17 am

They are smaller than wav - and mp3 is not lossless. Flac holds more info than mp3 I assume, but when it comes to file formats I don't claim great knowledge :D

Anne

moniaqua
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Post by moniaqua » December 19th, 2018, 4:03 am

mp3 is compressed; they omit some infos you usually don't really need for normal quality listening.
About the differences between wav and flac I am not quite sure. Technically the files are pretty much the same, I guess. Both are lossless formats.

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Post by TriciaG » December 19th, 2018, 6:52 am

Yes, WAV and FLAC are both lossless, meaning you can open them and re-export them time after time without degrading the quality on each iteration. WAV files are larger then FLAC for whatever reason. (I have a 36-minute section. In WAV, it's 190.1 MB. In FLAC, it's 99.7 MB. Thus the WAV is almost double the size of the FLAC. And my 128kb MP3 for submission is 34.5 MB.)

MP3s are smaller because they compress, like others said. If you open them and re-export them many times in sequence, you'll get a loss of quality. It's like making photocopies of photocopies. One or two iterations don't matter, but the more you do it, the more pronounced the effect gets.

So we usually recommend saving files as FLAC due to the better quality when you go back to edit it, but you can also save as WAV if you have the space.

WAV is an IBM & Microsoft-developed format used mainly on Windows. FLAC stands for "Free Lossless Audio Codec" - it's not proprietary. (For the record, I think AIFF is the Apple-developed format.)

There you go - perhaps more info than you really wanted on FLAC, WAV, and MP3. 8-)
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mightyfelix
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Post by mightyfelix » December 19th, 2018, 5:39 pm

TriciaG wrote:
December 19th, 2018, 6:52 am
There you go - perhaps more info than you really wanted on FLAC, WAV, and MP3. 8-)
Not at all, this is gold! I love the information-sharing here. You are all wonderful! :9:

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Post by mightyfelix » December 20th, 2018, 3:41 pm

Out of curiosity, I ran a little experiment. I had this snippet of a chapter I read that I'd saved because it made me laugh. I imported and exported it as mp3 five extra times just to see what would happen, and here are the results.

This is the original mp3, exported once:
https://librivox.org/uploads/xx-nonproject/squash1.mp3

This one was imported and exported another 5 times:
https://librivox.org/uploads/xx-nonproject/squash6.mp3

Still sounds ok, but you can definitely hear a difference. It seems further away, maybe a bit tinny?

Algy Pug
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Post by Algy Pug » December 21st, 2018, 5:02 am

I have never used the .aup format. Everything I record is exported and edited as a .wav file. I only convert to FLAC or MP3 as the final step.

Rough guide to file sizes:

wav - 10 mB per minute
flac - 2 mB per minute
MP3 at 128 kbs - 1 mB per minute
MP3 at 64 kbs - 0.5 mB per minute.

Hence an hour of audio would require 600 mB in wav format and 60 mB in MP3 format at 128 kbs.

These files sizes are for recordings made with a bit depth of 16 bits and a sampling rate of 44100. Bit depth is governed by the equipment used: nearly all USB microphones record at 16 bits. The files sizes for24 bit recordings and for those using higher sampling rates are much larger.

Therefore it would take a lot of audio to fill up a 1 terabyte hard disk, which is the standard size for many new computers.

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GrayHouse
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Post by GrayHouse » December 21st, 2018, 3:42 pm

mightyfelix wrote:
December 20th, 2018, 3:41 pm
Out of curiosity, I ran a little experiment. I had this snippet of a chapter I read that I'd saved because it made me laugh. I imported and exported it as mp3 five extra times just to see what would happen, and here are the results.
I love impromptu experiments motivated by curiosity!

Obviously it's much better to use lossless formats to avoid generation losses. But it's quite surprising how slowly the audio degrades under mp3. As an example, I've resaved your original mp3 file a further 1,000 times (normal LV settings). Here's the result. I suspect that most people would expect a much worse result.

The name Karlheinz Brandenburg probably isn't well known to many people, but the story behind mp3 is worth seeking out. You'll think about it every time you hear Tom's Diner playing on the radio!

-Ian

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