Audacity 1.2.6 - 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:

    4.1 stars

    out of 499 votes

    • 5 star: 261
    • 4 star: 138
    • 3 star: 45
    • 2 star: 16
    • 1 star: 39
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1-10 of 474

  • 4.0 stars

    "Easy solution for FLAC conversions"

    March 2, 2012  |   By SEinson

    Version: Audacity 1.2.6

    Pros

    Downloaded to convert lossless FLAC format audios to WAV files.
    Did job quickly.

    Cons

    Menu selections could use some work. Not perfectly intuitive, but great results.

    Summary

    As freeware with many features this can't be beat.

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  • 2.0 stars

    "Wasted my time"

    February 27, 2012  |   By Vincent3263

    Version: Audacity 1.2.6

    Pros

    It would be an awesome piece of software if it exported files in a useable mp3 format

    Cons

    Waste of time...see above

    Summary

    2 hours of my life I can't get back. Don't waste your time.

    Reply to this review Read reply (1)

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Simple, clean, effective"

    February 16, 2012  |   By rwannall

    Version: Audacity 1.2.6

    Pros

    Interface is very intuitive. Easy to clip and snip and move and pad.

    Cons

    Limited function, if you're looking for more. But I'm not, so it doesn't really count.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Great Tool - Be Careful of Too Long Recordings"

    February 8, 2012  |   By KelleSparta

    Version: Audacity 1.2.6

    Pros

    I've used this program for 6 or 7 years. It has made podcasting and recording classes amazingly simple. The editing function is really easy and quite intuitive once you get the hang of it.

    Cons

    It can be a bit challenging to learn initially. And, this is the big one, if you record for along time (over an hour) it can crash and lose your data. Recovering the data can happen, but it's a MASSIVE hassle. Here are the work arounds I've used to prevent this from happening.

    1) Do a test recording and try saving it. If it's going to crash, it is usually (in my experience) because it didn't boot properly. So let it crash on the test recording. Reboot it and try testing again. If it saves once, generally it will continue to save.

    2) Save your recordings every hour. This way you don't max out your RAM or the system's ability to handle the files in progress or whatever it is that causes it to tip over.

    Otherwise, it's awesome.

    Summary

    Love it!

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Absolutely magnificent; it's now my mastering software"

    February 7, 2012  |   By RickThorne13

    Version: Audacity 1.2.6

    Pros

    - Extremely intuitive if you understand audio engineering
    - Excellent custom effects (including the best compression algorithm I've ever used)
    - Great detail on the waveform analysis (especially when zoomed)
    - Very thorough; clearly conceived and developed by someone who understands the needs of an audio engineering professional

    Cons

    - Poor web site support (come on dude - get rid of the acronym LAME - it carries poor connotations)
    - Developer doesn't make it clear this isn't a noodler's toy or a snipper for cell phone ring tones - IT'S AN AUDIO PROFESSIONAL'S TOOL, and if you don't understand things like compression and normalization and if you can't glance at a waveform and know in a wink what you're looking at this tool is massive overkill. You will probably hate it.

    Summary

    I've been disappointed by tools I've spent serious money on for waveform mastering, but there are no disappointments here. Once I figured out Byzantine web navigation (egads friend - get some graphic art support) I was able to pull down what is hands down the best suite of MP3/WAV mastering tools ever. The compression and normalization algorithms are absolutely beautiful tools - I was able to give my sloppy post-production waveform the haircut it needed then nomalize to produce a perfect, fat, distortion-free high res MP3 that sounds incredible on every player I use. Audacity is my studio master-monster now! Thank you thank you THANK YOU!

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Can't export MP3s - WASTE OF TIME"

    January 27, 2012  |   By daboddebodah

    Version: Audacity 1.2.6

    Pros

    Program was doing exactly what I wanted it to then...

    Cons

    ...I found out it won't export to MP3. Gives a message stating you have to find some file named "lame" something or other. TERRIBLE.

    Summary

    Does not do the simple task that it is supposed to do. I'll find another program that was completed properly.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Doesn't Stay open long enough to save file"

    January 26, 2012  |   By Alexi12

    Version: Audacity 1.2.6

    Pros

    it sometimes works

    Cons

    What a hunk of crap the program isnt stable enough to stay open before crashing so you can save the file you record fix it please and ill give it more than half a star

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Simple and seems to work"

    January 16, 2012  |   By msecour

    Version: Audacity 1.2.6

    Pros

    Simple to install and use. Effectively blocked a trojan horse when I clicked on an email link that I thought was safe.

    Cons

    None so far.

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Good software for working with music files."

    January 11, 2012  |   By hlsmlane

    Version: Audacity 1.2.6

    Pros

    Powerful, largely intuitive for basic functions.

    Cons

    Advanced functions require a learning curve, and the information is sometimes hard to find.

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  • 3.0 stars

    "Good, love That is free but I agree what jwith54 said"

    January 9, 2012  |   By SiuilLaRune

    Version: Audacity 1.2.6

    Pros

    Free what more can I say

    Cons

    Save features could be tweeked so it is more usable

    Summary

    all and all good program for free but could use some tweeks like in the save features to win the hearts of those of us that remix our audio

    Reply to this review

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Results 1-10 of 474

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