Featured Freeware: WavePad

If "size matters not," audio-editor WavePad is a prime example of a small program that's got a lot of force.

"Size matters not," right? Audio-editor WavePad is a prime example of a small program that's got a lot of force.

Available for both Windows and Mac, the app furnishes plenty of tools for recording and editing sound. WavePad's interface is fairly well-organized, and the Command Bar feature provides quick access to the most frequently used functions. WavePad supports a variety of popular audio formats, including MP3, OGG, WAV, and WMA, and it includes a ripping function.

Once you open a file or begin recording via your sound card, you'll see a large rendering of the waveform, and you can choose to apply edits as you see fit. The application lets you open several files at once and move sound fragments among them, and the inclusion batch-conversion utility is useful.

WavePad offers a decent number of basic effects, such as noise reduction, normalizing, fading, amplification, echo, changing speed and pitch, and reverb, and you can preview any edits before saving. There are also text-to-speech and speech-recognition functions, impressive for a free app. All told, WavePad's many capabilities and lack of restrictions make it a fine pick for all but the most advanced, hardcore audio junkies.

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