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Review & Alternatives
"A free audio editor."
If you are looking for a free and open source audio editor that has built-in support for the Windows, Mac and Linux operating system, Audacity is a good solution. Basic audio editing and format transfers are performed by this audio editor in an intuitive way that beginners will find it easy to understand. A variety of audio formats are supported. Let’s take a closer look at Audacity and find out more about its features.
With a setup kit that is around 11MB, you will install Audacity on your hard drive in a heartbeat. The installation is fast, trouble-free and you might want to know that Audacity doesn’t come bundled with other software products. It doesn’t require any special requirements in order to run the program and all the versions of the Windows operating system as well as Mac and Linux are supported. Basically, Audacity is a lightweight tool that will not cause any problems during installation.
Audacity’s interface is simple, intuitive and easy to navigate but hard to master. Novice users probably need a few days to master the basics while the more advanced users will have a lot of fun with this tool. Moreover, it can take months for the advanced options to be learned and mastered properly. As a result, it is a tool developed for both categories of users: the beginners and the advanced users. The access to a variety of editing tools is done in a relatively simple way through the main window of Audacity and you should not have any problems performing basic tasks once you are slightly familiar with it.
Editing and recording of 16-bit, 24-bit, and 32-bit (floating point) samples are supported by Audacity as well as up to 96 KHz. sample rate (author note: there is no 96000 Hz sample rate limitation; that is just the highest explicitly listed rate in Quality Preferences. People do use Audacity for ultrasonics work which requires much higher sample rates than 96000 Hz). Thus, the audio quality is very good and Audacity reaches professional standards through relatively simple tools. You can record from a microphone, line in or directly through the sound card. A variety of audio formats is supported by Audacity as well as open source formats such as OGG. You can also use Audacity to digitize recordings from tapes, records or from a midi-device. In addition, capture from an external microphone is possible.
WAV, AIFF, AU, OGG, MPEG2 and MPEG3 are some of the formats that Audacity can import. Other features of this audio editor include the creation of CD quality WAV and AIFF files. The primary function of Audacity is editing sound files. Audacity provides you with a lot of functional tools such as mixing, cropping, cross fading, noise reduction as well as sound effects that you can apply. These include echo, fade, modulation, normalization, reverse, tempo and more. Seriously, the point here is you can do whatever you want to a sound file but the trick is that you must know how to use it.
Audacity lacks in the publishing department because podcasting is not the main strength of this tool. In fact, it doesn’t offer any publishing options at all. What does this mean? Well, when the podcast is recorded, the only things left to do is exporting it and uploading it to a hosting or publishing service. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea but if you have ever uploaded a picture on a social networking website or a video to YouTube, it is a piece of cake for you. A hosting service like FTP will do just fine.
The alternatives to Audacity include Ardour, Adobe Audition, Sony Sound Forge, GoldWave and many more audio editors out there. Audio editors come in 2 flavors: basic ones like Audacity and professional ones which are primarily used in the studios. It depends on what you are looking for and what kind of user you are. If you prefer a basic audio editor with great features and quality that elevate it to a semi-professional tool, Audacity is the right choice.
In conclusion, Audacity isn’t the ultimate audio editor and it really doesn’t want to be. Though it considered a simple audio editor, it still comes with powerful features and capabilities while promoting the ease of usage. It is a popular tool and many people use it because it simply works for them. The last time I heard, Audacity is commonly used in schools in which students can utilize it to brush up on their oral skills! So this is really a good example of utilizing a powerful tool to suit a simple need. Moreover, it is a reliable tool, bugs-free and thus, a strongly recommended audio editor.
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