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SoundEdit was the first popular GUI-based audio editor for digitized audio. It was not only one of the first important audio applications for Macintosh, but one of the first significant audio applications for personal computers in general. The default sampling rate was 22,256 Hz.
SoundEdit was one of three audio applications created during a sabbatical by Steve Capps during 1986. The Macintosh had no built-in sound input, so the MacRecorder audio digitizer was invented for this purpose in 1985 by Michael Lamoureux, a mathematics student at the University of California, Berkeley. The MacRecorder hardware and software was publicly released through the Berkeley Macintosh Users Group as a kit in late 1985. SoundEdit first shipped in January 1988, as part of a hardware product called MacRecorder Sound System, by a company called Farallon Computing (which eventually became Netopia).
One of the major drivers for SoundEdit was Apple's HyperCard. With MacRecorder Sound System, stack makers could finally create alternatives to HyperCard's two built-in sounds. The other multimedia programs of the time, (Director and Authorware) also adopted it right away.
Macromedia rebranded the program as 'SoundEdit 16' and expanded its capabilities to support CD-quality stereo audio (16-bit) and added QuickTime soundtrack editing and an audio plug-in architecture. The new version also supported handling of sound files bigger than available RAM. A free plug-in was included to convert sound files into '.SWA' format, an early form of mp3 file. These SWA files could be streamed to web viewers using by the free web audio player (downloadable from Macromedia) or by creating a custom interactive Shockwave experience embedded into a web page. Shockwave content is created by using the Director multimedia authoring program.
Macromedia discontinued sales of SoundEdit as of 1 December 2004, continuing its official support through 1 June 2005 and still offering some downloads for this application to this date. This final version only runs on PowerPC Macs running Classic Mac OS. It does not run under Mac OS X.
SoundEdit was always known for its remarkable ease of use. It made audio manipulation especially accessible to those who were not musicians or audio professionals.
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