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Editors' Review

by   / November 25, 2014

Audacity for Mac is a powerful audio editing tool that surpasses default OS X tools. The downsides are a dated and sometimes clunky interface and a cumbersome installation process.


Powerful and robust feature set: Audacity is loaded with audio editing, recording, and exporting tools that work in tandem with Mac's multimedia capabilities.

Free with regular updates for diverse uses: Audacity is a free, regularly updated tool with solid support from the developer. This means a solid core that works far better than some other free software suites in the same category, and a good alternative to somewhat limited tools like GarageBand.


Interface is dated and sometimes clunky: While Audacity's feature set delivers, it looks and feels a little dated compared to more modern software. In most cases this is purely aesthetic, but finding certain menus can be cumbersome in some circumstances.

Bottom Line

If you need a powerful, free audio editing tool for your Mac, Audacity is a great tool with which to start. While the interface could use some updates, you'll still get the bang you're looking for in your audio project.

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Full Specifications

What's new in version 2.1.0

  • Effects:
    • LADSPA, VST and Audio Unit (OS X) effects now support real-time preview, save/load of user presets and saving effect settings across sessions. Note: Real-time preview does not yet support latency compensation.
    • VST effects now support import/export of FXB preset banks.
    • Shell VST effects that host multiple plugins are now supported.
    • All Effect Menu items (built-in or plugin) can now be used in a Chain.
    • Items in the Effect, Generate or Analyze Menus can be sorted or grouped by name, publisher or class of effect.
    • Noise Removal is improved and renamed to "Noise Reduction".
    • Change Speed has new time controls for current and new length. You can now enter the speed change as a multiplier e.g. "2" is twice as fast.
    • New "Crossfade Tracks" effect can be used for crossfading two tracks. This replaces Cross Fade In and Cross Fade Out.
    • Nyquist Prompt and most shipped Nyquist effects now have Preview button.
  • Interface:
    • Redesigned Meter Toolbars: The default shows separate Record and Playback Meters, half-height so they can be wider while docked, in gradient style.
    • A frequency selection can now be made (and spectral edit effects applied to those frequencies) when in a spectrogram view. You can also create or adjust frequency selections in a new "Spectral Selection Toolbar" (available at View > Toolbars).
    • Transcription Toolbar (Play-at-speed) can now loop play and cut-preview.
    • Timer Record now saves recordings automatically into an existing project.
    • New Armenian translation.
  • Operating system and sound device support:
    • (Windows) Audacity 2.1.0 requires Windows XP SP3 (32-bit) or XP SP2 (64-bit), Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 or 8.1.
    • (Windows) Audacity is now compiled using Visual Studio 2013.
    • (Windows) Recording with WASAPI host now includes experimental support for physical inputs (up to 24-bit depth) as well as loopback recording.
    • (OS X) 10.10 (Yosemite) is now supported including Apple Audio Units.
      • (Linux Ubuntu) Under Unity, keyboard shortcuts are not visible in the Audacity menus. Keyboard shortcuts are visible if you install the classic GNOME Flashback interface or under Unity if you open Audacity with the UBUNTU_MENUPROXY=0 environment variable. Audacity compiled from source will ship with src/ set to UBUNTU_MENUPROXY=0 but it will remain up to distributions to use this desktop file.

Bug Fixes

  • Interface:
    • Typing "j" or "k" in a label track activated the "move cursor" shortcut.
    • Spectrogram log (f) view displayed incorrectly until vertically zoomed.
    • Fixed crash after zooming out on vertical scale beyond +/-1.0.
    • Selections made with Selection Toolbar were not restored after Undo.
    • Undo could fail silently if a selection included/touched a clip boundary.
  • Imports and Exports:
    • If there were invalid FFmpeg libs in system PATH this prevented Audacity recognising the installed FFmpeg or the FFmpeg specified in audacity.cfg.
  • Mac OS X:
    • Fix uninitialized buffer - this should correct playback buzz or crackle where the upper of multiple tracks started with or contained white space.
    • Device names were corrupted when using system language other than English.
    • Fixed crashes using (external program).
    • Waves v9 Audio Units should now work correctly.


Publisher Audacity Developer Team
Publisher web site
Release Date March 30, 2015
Date Added March 30, 2015
Version 2.1.0


Category MP3 & Audio Software
Subcategory Rippers & Converting Software

Operating Systems

Operating Systems Mac OS X 10.4/10.5/10.6/10.7/10.8
Additional Requirements None

Download Information

File Size 32.81MB
File Name audacity-macosx-ub-2.1.0.dmg


Total Downloads 411,150
Downloads Last Week 464


License Model Free
Limitations Not available
Price Free
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