Mac OS X
Audacity is fully supported under Mac OS X. However, there are a number of quirks, and because of subtle differences between Mac OS X and other platforms, you may discover bugs or issues that are specific to Mac OS X. This page is solely for recording such OS X-specific problems, in other words those that are specific to the Apple Mac OS X operating system and thus do not occur with Audacity on Microsoft Windows or Unix/Linux systems.
This page is intended as a reference point only. It is not constantly monitored by the Audacity team and is thus not meant as a direct method for obtaining technical support.
Before adding a report here, please check the existing reports below thoroughly, plus our extensive online help resources as listed on our Reporting Bugs page, to see if your issue is already known. Only add an issue on this page if you're sure it is something specific to Macs only, you're sure of your facts, and that there is not some other explanation for the problem. In all other cases, please follow the instructions on Reporting Bugs to get help and/or give us a useful bug report that we can follow up.
If you are looking to request a new feature for Audacity, please go to our Feature Requests page.
- 1 Active issues
- 1.1 Input sources not selectable in Audacity
- 1.2 No Unicode or long filename support
- 1.3 Loss of sound after running Audacity
- 1.4 No built-in streaming audio recording
- 1.5 Limited support for external audio devices
- 1.6 Unresponsive Play and Record buttons
- 1.7 1.2.6 PPC only launches in English
- 1.8 Audio Units Matrix Reverb
- 2 Cleared issues
- 3 User Reports
Many differences between the OS X and other platforms relate to the audio platform API - in the case of Mac OS X, this API is called CoreAudio.
Input sources not selectable in Audacity
Core Audio does not offer individual applications any straightforward options for setting the input source (for example, the microphone) of a recording device. Select your input source in Audio-MIDI Setup.
No Unicode or long filename support
There are bugs in the Mac version of wxWidgets, called wxMac, that can affect Audacity. One bug involves Unicode support: because of this bug, Audacity stable 1.2.x versions cannot work with files or folders located inside a directory named with non-ASCII characters (usually international or accented characters). There is an additional artificial restriction of file name length, limiting your filenames to 32 characters despite support in OS X for much longer names. Upgrade to 1.3.3 for Unicode and long filename support.
Loss of sound after running Audacity
An issue whereby certain other applications lose sound after Audacity has run (see ) has now been largely resolved with the release of the current Audacity 1.2.5 for Intel and 1.2.6 for Power PC releases and 1.3.2 and later Beta releases.
No built-in streaming audio recording
Macs almost always have no ability to record streaming audio internally off the built-in audio device. Use or . Turn off compression in Wiretap Preferences if you want to import the recorded AIFF files into Audacity. If you don't want to restrict yourself to a specific Application, you could use the system extension, on which Audio Hijack is based, too. That way you could configure the system so that other programs, like Quicktime, can capture system sound streamings.
Limited support for external audio devices
Many (mostly higher-end) external Firewire Input/Output devices and some USB Input/Output devices won't work in 1.2.5/6. Use Audacity 1.3.3 Beta instead which uses our later PortAudio v19 interface.
Additionally, it's necessary to set up external sound devices such as USB and Firewire interfaces in Apple Audio-MIDI Setup, in addition to doing so in Audacity. This also applies in the Beta version of Audacity.
The Record and occasionally Play buttons can fail to respond. Click them repeatedly or upgrade to Audacity 1.3.3.
1.2.6 PPC only launches in English
Unfortunately the official release of 1.2.6 on our website will only launch in English. To run 1.2.6 in other languages, drag the entire contents of the folder where you have Audacity installed to Trash, and download instead.
Audio Units Matrix Reverb
AUMatrixReverb will only output in stereo and needs a stereo track to work on, so cannot be used on a mono track. It seems to be the only one of the built-in AudioUnits plugins that has this limitation. To work round it, select the track by clicking in its Track Panel above the Mute/Solo buttons, then. Click on the dropdown arrow in the Track Panel of the upper track > . After processing with AUMatrixReverb, click the arrow again > , click the arrow once more in the upper track and make it Mono, then delete the lower track by clicking on the [X] in the Track Panel. This only applies to 1.3.1 and later.
Crash when recording in 24 bit quality
Resolved in 1.2.5 Intel/1.2.6 Power PC
Griffin iMic mono 8 bit recording problem
Griffin iMic re-sets recording to mono 8bit only. Resolved in 1.2.4
Audacity won't launch on case-sensitive file systems
Resolved in 1.2.5 Intel/1.2.6 Power PC
Previous Intel Mac naming issue with libmp3lame.dylib
An earlier version of mistakenly named the included MP3 encoding binary as libmp3lame.so instead of the libmp3lame.dylib which Audacity asks for. If you have this earlier version, please download the latest version from the link above.
Echo/looping hardware fault
There is an audio looping/echo is a known fault on the newest (2005) PowerBooks (17 &15 inch) There are threads on Apple's support/discussions pages. Also occurs on PPC iBooks. It seems to be a core audio problem. Possibly a data stream corruption through to the sound processors. PowerBook users are awaiting a fix. Some people think it may be a logic board fault.Killing core audio in Activity viewer seems to be a temporary cure.
Network Home Weirdness
Audacity 1.3.3 was installed by a local admin. Users with network homes receive a 'You cannot open the application "Audacity.app" because it is not supported on this system'.
If a network user downloads and installs it, that network user can run it, but not others. There was some other weirdness with local accounts that was fixed with loosening the permissions.
It can be run from the command line. It seems to work, but starts wth the error 'The path "Languages" contains too many ".."!'.
This symptom can be reproduced by creating a non-admin user and attempting to launch Audacity from the non-admin user.
Try changing the permissions of the Audacity executable within the Audacity.app bundle.
- Open the Terminal.app from an Administrator account
- Update the permissions of the Audacity executable:
|chmod 755 "<path to Audacity.app folder>/Contents/MacOS/Audacity"|
The <path to Audacity.app folder> should be replaced with the full or relative path to where you placed the Audacity.app folder. For instance, if you created an "Audacity1.3.3Beta" folder inside your Applications folder and placed the entire contents of the downloaded .dmg file inside there, you would use:
A side note, the owner in the package is 777, this should be changed to 501.-->Please explain this for the non-commandline folks.
I've chown -R 501 the folder and chmod -R 777 the folder. Neither works. -->Please explain this for the non-commandline folks.
501 is the uid of the first local user created user (the local admin in this case). It almost always exists and is a safe bet for ownership. chown -R 501 changes the ownership of all of the files to the user with uid 501
777 translates to -rwxrwxrwx, everyone has full permissions.
So, I changed the ownership to a real user and gave everyone full permission to everything. I don't _think_ that there are any preference files written to /Library, but I didn't check. This wouldn't affect those.
Based on what I'm seeing here, and have tried myself, I'm not convinced the other authors got this to work. I have a non-admin local account that still refuses to run Audacity 1.3.3, generating the error listed above.
Problem with 1.3.3:
Files created in Audacity 1.3.2 or 1.3.3 vanish (or are squashed to occupy a single point at the beginning of the track) when file is opened with Audacity 1.3.3.
In earlier versions, you could make them reappear by performing any kind of action and then undoing it - the envelopes would magically reappear. With the release of 1.33, this no longer works - after saving, closing, and reopening the file, the envelopes are gone for good. Others have .
I have read that this was a known bug which was repaired in 1.3.3, but that is clearly not the case.
Mac OSX 10.4.10 on a PowerBook G4, July 15, 2007