Audacity 2.0.3 - 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 21 votes

    • 5 star: 10
    • 4 star: 5
    • 3 star: 2
    • 2 star: 1
    • 1 star: 3
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1-10 of 21

  • 4.0 stars

    "Free and Easy"

    November 29, 2013  |   By KSFiddler

    Version: Audacity 2.0.3

    Pros

    Easy to use. If you cannot figure it out, ask a friend who is tech-savvy to help you with a few basics. Excellent cut/paste capability. Excellent dynamic range compression. Many features in this ever-developing opensource software. Make certain you download all the available plugins, especially the LAME dll for exporting mp3s. Pretty powerful software, and FREE!

    Cons

    Some of the features aren't very easy for the novice. Reverb utility could be less complicated. EQ tweaking utility is pretty weak and leaves some annoying digital noise.

    Summary

    Would not use for recording live music or portable studio. Use something like Studio One, Cakewalk or Sonar for recording and effects modelling. Use Audacity for cut/paste, file format conversion and compression, audio compression, normalization and amplification and final editing.

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Solid product that works"

    October 29, 2013  |   By cusmx5

    Version: Audacity 2.0.3

    Pros

    I'm a novice at this, so was able to do what I needed very quickly.

    Cons

    Pretty complicated subject, but maybe it has to be that way?

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Excellent program."

    October 25, 2013  |   By Bkess

    Version: Audacity 2.0.3

    Pros

    Easy to learn and easy to use.
    Does everything I want it to
    The price is right!

    Cons

    None that I found

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Not working in my windows 7 pc :-("

    October 4, 2013  |   By santhosh_mech18

    Version: Audacity 2.0.3

    Pros

    Not working...

    Cons

    Not working...

    Summary

    installed in my windows 7 PC...
    also copied the lame_enc.dll file separately to the file location.
    But when I drag mp3 files into audacity window, it shows the curves flat... no music is playing.. fully silent when I press play button. Tried with several files but not working. Please help.

    Updated on Oct 4, 2013

    Hi guys... I have found a solution for my problem through a discussion forum... Thanks... The software is really great :-)

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  • 3.0 stars

    ""Best audio editor""

    October 1, 2013  |   By alexpeter211

    Version: Audacity 2.0.3

    Pros

    Supports almost all audio formats. Provides features like noise reduction, mixing, cropping, cross fading and have effects like fade, modulation, tempo and reverse

    Cons

    take hours to get know if you're new to editing audio files

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Does a great job and easy to navigate"

    September 22, 2013  |   By darrellvickers

    Version: Audacity 2.0.3

    Pros

    Easy user interface.

    Cons

    Wish that it used the cursor keys to move left and right and mouse scroll to expand/contract time.

    Summary

    Excellent product with features surmounting shortcomings.

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Nice software for voice overs on videos"

    August 21, 2013  |   By Pcproguy

    Version: Audacity 2.0.3

    Pros

    doesnt clutter up the tray and toolbar
    the past update crashed and is now fixed!

    Cons

    not very intuitive hard to figure out

    Summary

    this is a good program for voice over work for youtube and whatnot i suggest this to anyone who wants to record audio and edit ;)

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Audacity is an EDITOR not a DAW."

    August 16, 2013  |   By itsonlyrick

    Version: Audacity 2.0.3

    Pros

    1-This is a very flexible program and works with surgical precision and detail .
    2-You Can edit within each of the limitless numbers of tracks.
    3-It's Certainly cost effective.
    4-There doesn't seem to be anything else comparable for doing finely detailed work.
    5-It's as easy to use as a word processor, select and execute.

    Cons

    1-Older versions can crash when recording.
    2-I would not recommenced as a DAW.

    Summary

    I've been using Audacity on almost a daily basis for at least five years. I therefore consider myself qualified to pass judgment. The fact that I'm using it so much should tell you I'm happy with it. First I'll start with my opinion of the critics. Simply put; they don't know what they're talking about. If you understand what Audacity actually is and truly know how to use it, you'll realize it is a very flexible and precise tool for EDITING audio files. It is NOT a DAW. Audacity is capable of recording and producing mix-downs; but that is only a side benefit, and a very weak one. In the past I've recorded with it and had crashes in the middle of projects. That is very aggravating. I currently use an actual DAW for recording. Now to explain the real virtue of Audacity. Once you have recorded material that needs to be edited (EDIT the operative word), Audacity can be used with SURGICAL PRECISION. Some say it's not intuitive. I dispute that. If you approach it as an audio word processor, it's very easy to understand. All actions are pretty much selection and execution. Navigation is extremely easy. The wave form graphic is sharp and clear even when zoomed all the way out. You can work with an unlimited number of tracks and edit within individual tracks. All the tools you need are included. The detail is incredible. You can easily remove or modify a half of syllable or even a click. I use Audacity for almost everything needed in assembling my radio show and spot productions. I'm also using it to edit an audio book I recorded for an author friend who is not a professional speaker. With Audacity I'm easily able to polish the read to a very professional degree. Removing unnecessary audible breaths is a snap. In my radio production, Audacity gets used to place my own voice into brief previews of the old time radio shows I present. My voice replaces an original character as a novelty in the show's promotion. I have not found another software program which approaches the capability and precise detail of Audacity for audio editing. I think of Audacity as being the "word processor" and "photo-shop" of sound.

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  • 3.0 stars

    "Works if you can figure out how"

    August 5, 2013  |   By jkingo

    Version: Audacity 2.0.3

    Pros

    The leader, and it performs more than most will ever need

    Cons

    Difficult to use; not intuitive at all

    Summary

    The only way I could learn how to break my vinyl recording into individual tracks was to go on Youtube and find a clinic. I still can't master deleting. I have to create a track first, then disregard it. If you don't keep using this program, it will be back to Youtube for a refresher.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "70 Minutes from Download to Converting Cassettes"

    August 2, 2013  |   By ppfletch

    Version: Audacity 2.0.3

    Pros

    Manual with links to all relevant functions
    Easy to follow instructions
    It's free!

    Cons

    Didn't find any so far

    Summary

    My first time with this type of software and a little apprehensive, but in a little over an hour I had downloaded and had it converting my old cassettes perfectly and with better quality than expected.

    My only previous experience was editing with Windows Movie Maker, but Audacity is way above it.

    Thanks Guys

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Results 1-10 of 21

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