Audacity - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

Audacity

CNET Editors' review

With so many audio editors out there, finding the right tool for the job can be tricky. The multiplatform, open-source editor Audacity has leaped to the top of our list with its clean interface, excellent features, and support for 32-bit floating-point audio. Audacity succeeds at being both feature-rich and flexible, while keeping the toolbar and work space uncluttered. It does this by relegating most functions--such as effects, edits, and project management--to handy drop-down menus.

Audacity supports uncompressed audio standards such as WAV and AIFF in addition to OGG and MP3 files. A full complement of basic effects such as reverb, delay, and compression are included. Virtual Studio Technology (VST), Linux Audio Developers Simple Plugin Architecture (LAPSDA), and Nyquist plug-ins also are available if you're looking to expand. Another eye-catching feature is the Beat Analyzer, which helps you peg the beats per minute of a phrase.

The performance of most functions is quick--even CPU-hogging tasks such as exporting to MP3 or adding complex effects. Though Audacity doesn't offer advanced effects or features out of the box, its usability and price set this freeware wonder above the crowd.

Publisher's Description

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All User Reviews
  • All versions:

    4.2 stars

    out of 783 votes

    • 5 star: 444
    • 4 star: 194
    • 3 star: 62
    • 2 star: 24
    • 1 star: 59
  • Current version:

    3.9 stars

    out of 9 votes

    • 5 star: 6
    • 4 star: 0
    • 3 star: 1
    • 2 star: 0
    • 1 star: 2
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1-9 of 9

  • 1.0 stars

    "Good product but virus-laden 3rd party add-ons"

    April 12, 2014  |   By acc345

    Version: Audacity 2.0.5

    Pros

    Easy to create karaoke songs from existing tracks. Good instructions. Audacity itself appears to be virus-free.

    Cons

    Limited usefulness and virus danger if you want to use mp4 or sound files other than mp3, Audacity directs you to a 3rd-party add-on that is virus-laden. My anti-virus software warned me of a Trojan virus that came along with the software download. 3 or 4 additional executables came with the 3rd-party download. No way. I removed Audacity and all associated software from my computer. I'll try Sony. Never again.

    Summary

    Audacity isn't responsible for 3rd-party software, but, at a minimum, they should not send users to add-ons that include malware.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "pleasing application"

    April 11, 2014  |   By qnjsbaiChristopher

    Version: Audacity 2.0.5

    Pros

    Does not waste your time. Works very well.Efficient and quick as possible.. Period.

    Cons

    Nothing I can think of...No cons sorry...

    Summary

    Simply great stuff.My top two must-have apps is this and **********. , I mean it.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Best audio recording software I have found!"

    March 15, 2014  |   By alexmonte

    Version: Audacity 2.0.5

    Pros

    Works great, records clearly, exports in so many different formats (though you do have to download two things from the internet to be able to export in all of the formats it lists), easy to use, and nothing else I have found compares (that doesn't include video and audio recording software. I have to say that camtasia beats everything).

    Cons

    You do have to make two small downloads to get all of the features but they're safe, fast and easy. One problem is recording the computer's output. You may have to enable something in your sound options if you don't have the "what you hear" option.

    Summary

    It works wonderfully with very few problems.

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  • 3.0 stars

    "Not User Friendly."

    March 1, 2014  |   By jbchampjr

    Version: Audacity 2.0.5

    Pros

    Great options for modifying music files.

    Cons

    Complicated for the average user.

    Summary

    While this is one of the better products. It's not practical for the average user.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "The best free audio and music editor available."

    February 15, 2014  |   By Tollbridge

    Version: Audacity 2.0.5

    Pros

    - Automatically detects computer systems internal microphone and speakers.
    - Easy and intuitive user interface.
    - Export sound / music to MP3 with ease.
    - Does not crash or slow down computer.

    Cons

    - I seriously cannot think of any cons with this free software.

    Summary

    I was looking for a program with which I could record telephone calls using my mobile phone's loudspeaker. Since then I've discovered I can edit music, take notes, edit audio files, cut clips - basically I can do anything I need to do with this easy to use and free program. Audacity is fantastic, easy 5 stars!

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Just what I needed, and its FREE!!!!"

    February 1, 2014  |   By whalid

    Version: Audacity 2.0.5

    Pros

    Simple yet powerful
    Effective
    Versatile
    Yields great results, which is what really counts!
    FREEEEEE!!!

    Cons

    No "cons" really.... (read summary)

    Summary

    Basically I was looking for a program that would allow me to take music from concert DVDs and save it as separate MP3s. I tried many programs, some free, some trials, but none of them serve my purpose. I was actually hesitant to use this free program, but I had run out of options. It would have saved me many hours of headache had I tried Audacity first.
    Using the program is a snap once you get used to it, but as with any program you're not used to, it takes a little time to learn its ways and short-cuts and it takes some internet digging to tweak it. I got stuck only 2 times, but it took just a google search to find out that I needed to download and install an "FFMPEG" library in order to be able to rip the audio from my concert DVDs! Hence the tweaking. Another thing that happened was that at irst I downloaded the ".exe" file and installed the program, but when I tried to run it my pc crashed with BSOD! I then uninstalled it and downloaded/extracted/run the ".zip" file, and it worked like a charm!!! This is something to keep in mind if you run into the BSOD!
    I would highly recommend this program! Enjoy!

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Download both w/o fear! Needs LAME plug-in. But works !"

    January 10, 2014  |   By HastelloyXXX

    Version: Audacity 2.0.5

    Pros

    It friggin works without tricks if you want to save projects in other file types. Was nervous when I saw that after I finished my project that you needed to download the LAME plug-in. But rolled the dice and it worked ! Was able to save a perfect, high quality MP3 copy. Dont waste your time with another program called "Free Audio Editor". You have to buy it if you want to save files in anything but their format.

    Cons

    A little un-intuitive to use at first. You would think that when you highlight something to cut or copy, that piece thats highlighted is whats gonna be saved. But its actually whats gonna be discarded. But its the opposite when your modifying sections for something like a fade out or in. What you highlight is where the effect will happen.

    Summary

    Figured it out after about 30 mins of playing with it. Saved MP3 project sounds perfect ! Was a little desperate when even the stupid, useless audio editor in NERO failed me. AUDACITY came thru !!!

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  • 1.0 stars

    "So hard to use and very fool details"

    January 5, 2014  |   By Maharaja_Kentut

    Version: Audacity 2.0.5

    Pros

    So hard to use and very fool details

    Cons

    So hard to use and very fool details

    Summary

    So hard to use and very fool details

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Freakin' Audacious!"

    December 4, 2013  |   By rasheed12824

    Version: Audacity 2.0.5

    Pros

    - audacious
    - freee
    - easy to use
    - stable
    - good documentation
    - the free Lame for Audacity 3.98.3 mp3 encoder is much better than many commercial ones.

    Cons

    none discovered so far.

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Results 1-9 of 9

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