Do Audacity projects move between Mac and Windows versions of Audacity?

February 10, 2019 10:56 AM

Can I collaborate with others using a version of Audacity that's running on a different kind of operating system from mine does?

There's an Audacity help page about sending Audacity projects to others for collaboration, and that discusses needing the same Audacity version in some odd cases (like if you're still on Mac OS9 for some reason):

https://manual.audacityteam.org/man/sending_your_work_to_others.html

I couldn't figure out from this whether a project made in a Mac version of Audacity and one made using a Windows version are compatible. I want to be able to record some tracks and sent them to someone with a different version of Audacity running on a different OS machine.
posted by twoplussix (4 comments total)

also, I have both kinds of machines, and this is a theoretical question as I don't have a collaborator in mind yet. I guess I'm also interested in advice on which machine I should use if it did matter from a collaboration perspective specifically.
posted by twoplussix at 10:56 AM on February 10


I've exchanged Audacity project files before and it worked okay. I was on Windows 7 and sent the Audacity project files (.aup file and dependent data folder with additional project files) and they were readable/saveable via Audacity on Mac. Just make sure each version of Audacity is on the same branch (e.g. 2.3.x). If you're both using the latest downloadable version for the respective OS, it should be fine and AFAIK should not matter if you are on Win/Mac/Linux.

You might also be interested in this thread on AskMe: Online musical collaboration with strangers? with a different take on how to collaborate, although one of the things I mention there is Audacity.

(One of the issues with using an online/cloud-based collaboration site is that the Terms of Service usually require that the music creator have permission or rights to the work they're recording on the service/site.)
posted by rangefinder 1.4 at 11:14 PM on February 12


They should transfer fine, and I second the version-check advice, but your best (safest, but not storage efficient) bet is to "export multiple > tracks" after every session and trade files as wav or aif or whatever lossless format you choose. Audacity is the devil and it will eventually crash and irreparably destroy your project, and crash recovery doesn't always work. Speaking from multiple nightmare experience.

Plus, if your collaborator follows the same protocol, it doesn't matter what DAW you use, you can collaborate with anyone.
posted by TheNegativeInfluence at 10:49 PM on February 24 [1 favorite]


Reaper is cross platform by design (their save files are basically xml) and will run fully featured in evaluation mode until you feel bad and give them $60. Then you are authorized to put it on any of your computers.

Might be too much DAW for many but there are lots of good video tutorials.
posted by dagosto at 12:34 AM on March 19


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