Audacity

Download Editors' Rating:
5
Spectacular
Average User Rating:
4.2
out of 791 votes

Quick Specs

  • Version:
    1.2.6
  • Total Downloads:
    6,089,123
  • Date Added:
    Nov. 17, 2006
  • Price:
    Free

Editors' Review

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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.

 
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Publisher's Description

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User Reviews
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  • Current Version

    4.1

    out of 499 votes

    • 5 star 261
    • 4 star 138
    • 3 star 45
    • 2 star 16
    • 1 star 39
  • All Versions

    4.2

    out of 791 votes

    • 5 star 445
    • 4 star 197
    • 3 star 62
    • 2 star 24
    • 1 star 63
  • My rating

    0 stars

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Results 1–11 of 474

3 stars

"Feature-rich and powerful, with some rough edges"

February 24, 2010  |  By Igiveup2

 |  Version: Audacity 1.2.6

Pros

Everything most are likely to need for sound editing and processing, variety of output formats available.

Cons

Lack of task-oriented features in interface, some major disorganization in menus, weak help feature.

Summary

Audacity has all the classic strengths and weaknesses of FOSS geekware. It is feature-rich, flexible powerful, .......and in some situations maddeningly obscure. The impressive effort at developing this powerful, versatile application is not matched by efforts at logical presentation. If you are already an audio production head or of a patient temperament, this application will serve you well. If you are not willing to go hither and yon pursuing the details you need to get the functionality that commercial software delivers to your doorstep, you might be happier using something else. Audacity gets bundled with a lot of digital audio hardware and gets razzed by the consumers regularly. I can't blame them. The onboard help feature is essentially a catalog of the features with little guidance on how to accomplish tasks with them. Online help fills in most, but not all, of the missing pieces in a more task-oriented manner. The online help is also somewhat out of date.

I was, after some effort, able to get what I needed from Audacity: an efficient process for recording tracks from an analog source, cleaning them, and converting them to individual indexed digital tracks. But I did feel that there were unnecessary difficulties along the way. Two important settings items are in poorly documented places under the Edit and View menus, where they really don't belong.

Overcome the sloppy details and ye shall be rewarded. But be aware that using this application will demand more of you than commercial software to accomplish certain tasks.

Updated on Mar 23, 2010

My opinion of this software dropped the more I used it, encountering bugs and instability. One crash froze the entire system (Vista) for the first time ever in over three years of use. Another time it lost the ability to save (with no warning) then crashed, costing hours of work. There were also export bugs that required a workaround. I was ready to spring for Goldwave, but tried the Audacity 1.3.11 beta first. The improvements in features and performance are vast. I recommend using 1.3.11 rather than 1.2.6. 1.3.11 feels like a polished product, while 1.2.6 feels like a beta.

Updated on Mar 23, 2010

Audacity.org notes fixes for crashes and bugs in the release notes for 1.3.11.

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4 stars

"Easy solution for FLAC conversions"

March 02, 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 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.

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5 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 stars

"Great Tool - Be Careful of Too Long Recordings"

February 08, 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 stars

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

February 07, 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 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 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 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 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 stars

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

January 09, 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

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Results 1–11 of 474

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Full Specifications

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What's new in version 1.2.6
Version 1.2.6 enables FLAC support and contains some bug fixes.
General
Publisher Audacity Developer Team
Publisher web site http://audacity.sourceforge.net/
Release Date November 17, 2006
Date Added November 17, 2006
Version 1.2.6
Category
Category MP3 & Audio Software
Subcategory Audio Production & Recording Software
Operating Systems
Operating Systems Windows 98/Me/NT/2000/XP/Vista/7
Additional Requirements None
Download Information
File Size 24.02MB
File Name audacity-win-2.1.1.exe
Popularity
Total Downloads 6,089,123
Downloads Last Week 7,537
Pricing
License Model Free
Limitations Not available
Price Free

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