Audacity is open source software designed to edit and record audio. It runs on a number of operating systems and can edit sounds in a variety of different formats including WAV, MP3 and OGG.
Installation and Setup
Audacity installs in seconds and is around 8MB. This is a very small size for editing software. Most of audacity’s Competitors take up over 200MB of space with a basic install. Audacity offers both a regular installer and a zip install for people on restricted accounts. The program typically uses between 10-20MB of ram, though it can put a big strain on the CPU if you plan on doing any heavy editing work.
Ease of Use
Audacity uses many of the same features you’ll see in software like Adobe Audition. These include multi track editing, file conversion, pitch and speed editing, click and pop removal, full live stereo recording and a ton more.
Audacity has found a perfect middle ground between the big, expensive world of Sony, Logic and Adobe and the freeware world which typically offers a lack of quality and features. It has provided an audio editor that is perfect for everyday tasks. It’s not got the feature set of the big players in the field, but it hasn’t got the appealing price tag, either. If you find yourself regularly needing to change small things about files or very quickly record some decent sounding audio, Audacity is by far the best choice.
Quality hasn’t been sacrificed to make the program more lightweight either – 16, 24 and 32 bit floating point samples can be edited at a sample rate of up to 96 KHz. If you’re not to technically minded when it comes to audio then it’s useful to know these technical specs are well known industry standards.
Undo is unlimited and you can edit and mix as many tracks as you like, with the only limit being your own computers specifications.
If you do any basic work with audio such as podcast editing or the occasional bit of recording work, Audacity is perfect. It might not have the full feature set of it’s other competitors but it’s a very powerful program in it’s own right.