Gone are the days when you’d have to pay a pretty penny for a decent sound editing and mixing application. For the best part of a decade, Audacity has carved a niche for itself as a powerful, yet usable tool for sound editing. It’s capable of recording live audio, digitising your old vinyl and cassette collection, editing a wide range of audio formats (including Ogg Vorbis, AIFF, WAV and MP3).
The interface also makes it easy to cut, copy, splice and mix sounds together, alter a recording’s speech or pitch, plus apply various filters to cut out distortion or introduce special effects. In fact, Audacity is so versatile, you’ll often find it bundled with hardware devices such as ION’s range of turntables.
For a number of years Audacity has been available in two separate versions: an elderly, stable 1.2.6 release that doesn’t work on newer versions of OS X and Windows, and a long-running beta series that reached version 1.3.14 before it finally morphed into this, Audacity 2.0, more than six years after it first appeared.
That’s right, Audacity 2.0 is little more than a stable version of the long-running beta That means if you’re currently running the latest version of the beta you won’t see anything radically different from what you’ve been used to by upgrading to version 2.0. However, it’s worth upgrading to for one critical reason: it’s an official, stable release.
If you’ve religiously stuck with version 1.2.6, or are running an older 1.3.x beta build, then you’ll find there are plenty of reasons to update, from interface tweaks like improved toolbar docking, the ability to have multiple clips per track (while collapsing or expanding tracks in the workspace), repair and equalization effects, timer recording, improved drag and drop, plus project saving and recovery.
Note: while Audacity can import MP3 files, you will need to download and install the LAME MP3 Encoder plug-in if you wish to export your recordings in MP3 format.
Audacity 2.0.5 brings these changes:
- (OS X) Crashes when importing audio files are fixed.
- (OS X) Files can now be opened using Finder "Open with", and by double-click or dragging to the Audacity icon.
- (OS X) Audio Unit plug-ins are not loaded until used. This makes Audacity start faster and avoids startup crashes due toincompatible plug-ins.
- (Windows) On a very few machines, the Windows WDM-KS low latency host caused Audacity 2.0.4 to hang or the computer to crash. WDM-KS has been removed from Audacity 2.0.5 while we work on safely enabling this host. WDM-KS will still be available for testing in the Windows alpha development builds.
- (Windows) Fixed a bug where Audacity would not record until the current input was reselected.
- (Linux) You can now navigate through an effect or other dialog using keyboard TAB.