Talk:Audacity (audio editor)

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Free software[edit]

It needs some "audacity" to say that the software is free. If you download the software it needs to be activated for 39 or 59$ otherwise you'll have a nasty voice logo every 7-10 seconds on your audio file. Does somone convince me of the contrary?--Moroderen (talk) 08:46, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

I think you have downloaded a commercial competitor by mistake. I have Audacity installed on two PCs here and it is 100% open source and free of charge, too. See SourceForge for complete information. - Ahunt (talk) 12:02, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
Right I followed a misleading link to AVS audio editing software, many thanks --Moroderen (talk) 14:53, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
No problem, glad I could point you in the right direction! Happy recording. - Ahunt (talk) 20:50, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
Please note that even if the product did cost $39 or even $100,000, in the context of this article, it would still be free, as the article refers to the use of the word free, in terms of free software, not in terms of price. --Davidgumberg (talk) 01:13, 4 May 2013 (UTC)

Limitations[edit]

Some guy (talk) 20:50, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

Well then cite your references in the article. See WP:V and WP:Citing Sources - Ahunt (talk) 22:40, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
I went over your refs:

"When learning to edit audio, it can be helpful to think of each sample point as an individual letters in a long text document. Just like in Word, you can cut "letters" out and paste them to wherever you like. To continue the analogy, you can also affect the way those letters "look" by applying effects. Some effects don't change the actual data, or the sample points, themselves. This is called non-destructive editing. Examples of this are shifting the slider to the left of a track to increase its overall volume. However, many other effects do change the content, either subtly or radically. You can tell when this happens because you will see the shape of the waveform change when you apply these effects. If the actual sample points are changed, this is called destructive editing. Though this may sound bad, in actuality, this is a necessary part of audio editing. Destructive editing simply means that the original sample you've been working on has been changed. Audacity is a powerful program in that it utilizes many non-destructive editing techniques, usually allowing you to revert back to the original sound file either through a series of undos or by turning off certain editing effects. Applying many destructive effects in a row can have a negative effect on sound quality, so it's a good idea to keep track of them as you apply them, and make sure you're only using ones you really need."

so in saying "Audacity is a powerful program in that it utilizes many non-destructive editing techniques, usually allowing you to revert back to the original sound file either through a series of undos or by turning off certain editing effects." it doesn't support what you have said.
So I will add your one ref there to the article and challenge the parts that are not referenced. If you can find a better ref then please feel free to put it back in with the ref. - Ahunt (talk) 18:59, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I know it is a blog, that's why I didn't add it. The only "non-destructive" features of Audacity are the envelope, volume, and pan tools. All effects are destructive. Saying "you can undo so it's not destructive" is just deceptive. You can't "turn off" any effects in the application. People say Audacity is non-destrucive because they want to make it sound better than it actually is. A non-destructive effect/filter is applied in real time and does not actually make permanent changes to the waveform, so you can edit, disable, or remove it later.
Say you apply an echo filter and then an equalizer filter in Audacity, and then decide you don't like the combination. You can't adjust the echo. You have to undo twice, removing both filters, and then apply them again with the settings you want. Say you applied both filters, saved, and quit. Well, then you're screwed. In an actual non-destructive editor, you could just uncheck a check box to temporarily disable the echo filter. You could still adjust its settings. You could change the effect order so the echo came after the equalizer. Or you could delete either filter. At any time. You could save and quit and come back later and still be able to completely adjust or remove either filter. Such true non-destructive editing is very powerful and useful (at the cost of more processing power since effects are generally applied in realtime (although I'd expect there are also programs which offer "preview rendering" where a separate sound file is created when effects are applied, but if you adjust the settings it can just replace the second sound file by reapplying the new effect sequence to the original waveform.))
Does that all make sense? Some guy (talk) 20:42, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
Sure. I use Audacity and that sounds reasonable, but we still need reliable refs to put in critiques. - Ahunt (talk) 22:59, 9 November 2008 (UTC)


limiations need major overhaul. Lots of opinions. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.149.98.107 (talk) 23:06, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

True - done. - Ahunt (talk) 23:22, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
Is the "Limitations" section even relevant? We don't have a "Limitations" section in, for example, the Sound Forge or Adobe Audition pages. Needless to say that all software applications have limitations (Example: Sound Forge Known Issues and Audition CS5.5 known issues). Surely this article should focus on what the application does do, not on what it doesn't do. Stevethefiddle (talk) 20:06, 13 October 2015 (UTC)
It is all sourced and seemed to be relevant to me. Just because other articles don't have similar sections doesn't mean this one can't. The features section does list what it can do and is quite extensive. - Ahunt (talk) 21:33, 13 October 2015 (UTC)
I'm not arguing that we don't list known issues for 'some' other software, but that we don't appear to list known issues for 'any' other software. I have looked through Wikipedia listings for many other software applications, and this is the only one that I can find that has a paragraph for "Limitations". Not only does that appear to be unfair criticism (show me software that doesn't have bugs or limitations), it does not appear to be in line with Wikipedia's de facto policy for describing software. Stevethefiddle (talk) 12:02, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
The information could be useful to readers evaluating software, so perhaps it should be added to other software articles, if it can be sourced? - Ahunt (talk) 12:36, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
Unless you are intending to do so for the hundreds of software applications listed on Wikipedia, singling out the limitations of this one application is discriminatory. In my opinion a better and more practical solution would be to remove this section from this article. Stevethefiddle (talk) 13:31, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
Removing useful, relevant and sourced information from this article just because it is missing from other articles doesn't seem to me to be the best way to build the encyclopedia. It would be better to source missing features for other articles. - Ahunt (talk) 13:44, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
No offence intended, but you seem to be missing the point. I am challenging the relevancy and impartiality of this section of the article. All of our articles about software application highlight the main features of the application, This appears to be the only Wikipedia article about a software application that also highlights "limitations". The validity of these "limitations" is also contentious. For example, many open source audio programs use FFmpeg to enable support for proprietary formats. Saying that support for FFmpeg is 'limitation' rather than a 'feature' is an opinion. Similarly, Audacity is an audio application, so the fact that it can also display MIDI files could just as easily be considered to be a 'feature'. The software does not claim to be a MIDI player, so is it really relevant that it isn't a MIDI player? Levelling this type of criticism at one specific application (and conspicuously not at others) demonstrates bias and irrelevancy that is not in keeping with Wikipedia's aims. Thank you for taking the time to discus this. I hope that I have explained my rationale in sufficient detail that we are able to reach agreement. Stevethefiddle (talk) 18:25, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
If there are errors in what is included or the text is not supported by the refs then this can be fixed, but it is not reason to remove the whole section. - Ahunt (talk) 18:36, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps an example will help. I'm sure that you would agree that it would be silly to criticise a MIDI player for not being an audio editor, and yet here we are criticising an audio editor for not being a MIDI player. It is not "inaccurate" to say that Audacity does not play MIDI, it is "irrelevant" because Audacity is an audio editor, not a MIDI player. MIDI is not digital audio. Do we need to get a third opinion about this? Stevethefiddle (talk) 21:04, 14 October 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Sure I agree that is probably not a legitimate "limitation". - Ahunt (talk) 21:29, 14 October 2015 (UTC)

The situation is similar regarding VSTi (VST instruments). If Audacity was a DAW (like Sonar, Cubase, Reaper...) then the criticism that it lacked VSTi support might have some legitimacy, but Audacity is an 'audio editor'. It is more akin to programs such as Acoustica, Sound Forge, Wavepad, Wavosaur ... (which are also "audio editors"). Audio editors may support generating sounds (Audacity has a lot of capability in this respect), but I can't think of 'any' audio editor that support VSTi - it's simply not the purpose of an audio editor. It would make as much sense to complain that a word processor doesn't support SQL (it might be a legitimate complaint if an "office suite" does not support SQL, but not a legitimate complaint for a "word processor". Stevethefiddle (talk) 10:14, 15 October 2015 (UTC)
So let's edit, update and fix the section then. - Ahunt (talk) 12:50, 15 October 2015 (UTC)
I think that one thing that we need in this article, is to make it clear what sort of application Audacity is. At one time there was mention of "destructive editing" in this article, but that has now disappeared. I have recently added a section to the Audio editing software article to describe the different paradigms of "sample editing" compared with "real-time" processing. Perhaps you could cast your eye over that - I think it could be useful for this article to link to it. Stevethefiddle (talk) 13:01, 15 October 2015 (UTC)
Good idea, let's add some basics on what Audacity is so as to set expectations as to what it can do. Linking is fine. - Ahunt (talk) 13:43, 15 October 2015 (UTC)
There is one major limitation regarding the recording of music in Audacity that should probably be in this section...it only records in mono or stereo...Audacity produces acceptable quality music recordings but only records one or two tracks at a time...it is possible to mix down as many instruments as needed and overdub unlimited tracks but it takes a mono or stereo input that`s all..it exports in mono or stereo as well but this is not a problem because ultimately that`s how most people listen to music...however this is it`s one big drawback as a music editor.
I understand it may have been originally designed for voice editing but it makes decent quality music recordings also..as far as I can tell not really much different from Pro Tools or any other commercially availably editor...and it`s free...this is a great tool for aspiring musicians both as a learning tool and as a means to distribute their music...however this limitation is significant...it should be noted. 66.169.94.145 (talk) 17:03, 24 February 2016 (UTC)
We need to cite a ref to add that. - Ahunt (talk) 17:43, 24 February 2016 (UTC)
It was originally designed for the visualization of musical forms as part of a Masters research project by Dominic Mazzoni at Carnegie Mellon University. But it was pretty soon realized by Dominic and his mentor, Roger Dannenberg, that the tools they were creating made for a good audio editor. As for its output quality, I would describe the audio as "excellent" rather than just "decent quality music recordings". Like many folk I came originally to convert my LP collection (I'm now part of Audacity Team) and I found that I could easily make CD quality digital recordings (I listen on high-end QUAD hi-fi kit). In fact you can output at quality that far exceeds CD quality if you so wish - as audio archivists often choose to do. It has been used professionally in many spheres ranging from commercial CD production bands to university research projects that need to analyze sounds (like bats and dolphins). I believe that with the right input kit Audacity can also handle multi-channel input (and output) but I'll have to check up on that - may take me a week or so as I am otherwise occupied next week Peter H Sampson (talk) 13:50, 3 March 2016 (UTC)
My more technically qualified Audacity co-Team member (Steve who has also contributed to this page) assures me "With the right kit, and the right drivers, Audacity can handle multiple input channels. Audio output is limited to max 2 channels.Multi-channel *files* may be exported. Peter H Sampson (talk) 10:38, 4 March 2016 (UTC)
Interesting stuff, but still need refs cited to add any of this. - Ahunt (talk) 17:20, 4 March 2016 (UTC)
The assertion was that: "it only records in mono or stereo". That is incorrect. The comment by Peter H Sampson that "With the right kit, and the right drivers, Audacity can handle multiple input channels." is correct and is a physical fact. I have often used Audacity with multiple audio inputs. The proof, if required, is in the code, which is freely available on GitHub. Stevethefiddle (talk) 19:39, 4 March 2016 (UTC)
You can't use software code as a ref, as interpreting it is WP:OR. We still need proper refs to add all this as per WP:V. A far better way would be if all these devs have the software website updated to indicate these features, then we could cite it. - Ahunt (talk) 19:59, 4 March 2016 (UTC)
How about this: "Can I record from a multi-channel device (more than stereo)?". Background information: Essentially the difficulty for many users is that they use a Windows operating system which often requires closed source third party ASIO drivers for full multi-channel support. This is why we stress the requirement for "appropriate hardware and device drivers". The situation does appear to be improving now that WASAPI is becoming more widely supported. Stevethefiddle (talk) 20:41, 4 March 2016 (UTC)
We can certainly add as much as the ref supports. - Ahunt (talk) 21:02, 4 March 2016 (UTC)
As for "decent quality music recordings", would you agree that 32-bit float format and supported sample rates of 96 kHz or higher is somewhat better than "decent quality" implies? Of course if you record with a $5 microphone you will not get Abbey Road quality, but that's not due to the recording software. Stevethefiddle (talk) 21:33, 4 March 2016 (UTC)
The article doesn't seem to say "decent quality music recordings" at the present time. - Ahunt (talk) 21:52, 4 March 2016 (UTC)
I agree that the article doesn't mention "decent quality music recordings" - but what we are countering here is the suggestion made on this Talk page by 66.169.94.145 above that "it makes decent quality music recordings". As Steve points out with the right hardware Audacity is capable of very high quality recordings. Also we are countering the fallacious suggestion by 66.169.94.145 that Audacity is limited to mono or stereo recordings - this is not the case and indeed the article already states (and has done so for a while) "Support for multi-channel modes with sampling rates up to 96 kHz with 32 bits per sample[1] ". So I am happy with that part of the article - I just don't want the incorrect assumptions of limitations expressed here on the Talk page to propogate and gain traction. The citation in the article for Multi-channel working currently goes to the Audacity Wiki - as one of the Audacity Manual editors I am currently considering moving that article into the Manual for the next release (2.1.3). Peter H Sampson (talk) 14:12, 14 March 2016 (UTC)
Oh, okay, well that is duly noted here then! - Ahunt (talk) 15:10, 14 March 2016 (UTC)

Maintenance[edit]

Near the top this article says the most recent stable release is version yadda yadda. While I'm sure that was true at some point, I wonder is it wise to put any kind of most recent version information in an article like this. Wouldn't that require someone to monitor the software releases and jump onto Wikipedia every time a new one is published? With FOSS, that could be very often! Maintenance nightmare? Is there any Wikipedia policy on that? Black Jam Block (talk) 05:05, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

Yup that is what is done an pretty much all software articles - there are lots of editors watching the articles and using the software and who update the info box when a new version is available. It makes Wikipedia more useful and more up to date. - Ahunt (talk) 12:43, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
Yikes. Well, okay, if that's how it's done. I have the latest Beta of Audacity 1.3.5-beta. So the stable would be 1.3.4, I guess. I'll let it stand for now until someone who knows for sure decides to update. Thanks for the education. Black Jam Block (talk) 18:42, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
Actually if you check the website you will see that 1.2.6 is the current stable version and 1.3.7 is the current beta, so the article is up to date. The little Gnomes are doing their job! - Ahunt (talk) 19:28, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

Comparison of digital audio edition softwares[edit]

Is there any article of comparison of this kind of software? Like Comparison of video editing software or Comparison of vector graphics editors.

If there's not, we have to create it and put Audacity in there - — Preceding unsigned comment added by 190.128.231.38 (talk)

Yes. See List of free software for audio. Logan Talk Contributions 16:08, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

Policy[edit]

where does wikipedia policy state that non-open-source freeware cannot be mentioned in articles? johnywhy —Preceding undated comment added 21:06, 20 December 2009 (UTC).

You can add properly sourced text that mentions competitors, if the source cited indicates those are competitors. You cannot add your own opinions and then put external links to other products in the text as per WP:EL and WP:SPAM. Your text was removed because it was unsourced opinion and the links were removed because they were inserted in the text and contributed nothing to the understanding of the subject of the article. - Ahunt (talk) 21:28, 20 December 2009 (UTC)

Name[edit]

I dont suppose the name could be a pun on TiMidity++? I'm betting that's the source of the name, but of course it cant be proven one way or another unless the creator shows up. Soap 14:49, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

I always thought it was a play on "audio", but we'd need a ref either way to include an origin of the name. - Ahunt (talk) 15:11, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
I emailed one of the developers a while back and she didn't think there was a connection. But then, she didn't know where the name came from either. So I'm still not convinced that it's *not* a pun but don't have any evidence that it is either. Soap 18:08, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
Well if we find a reference that explains it we can certainly add it! - Ahunt (talk) 21:49, 30 April 2012 (UTC)

About most popular download references[edit]

I cant see list more than 10. program in that link http://sourceforge.net/top/ . How can I access to Audacity's rank for prove that placement of the Audacity in the list? Vlyalcin (talk) 19:19, 4 February 2012 (UTC)

Updating the images[edit]

In addition to the updates for the current Audacity 2.1.1 release that I made today, I also plan to update the images for the latest Audacity version too. But as I only created my Wikipedia account today I have to wait a further four days for my account to be validated. Peter H Sampson (talk) 16:14, 11 August 2015 (UTC)

Currency of images[edit]

User:Tlebeau has earlier this month replaced the images that were there of Audacity running in its current released version 2.1.1 with images of the earlier outdated 2.1.0 version. I shall not bother to replace these right now as we (Audacity Team) will soon be releasing the next version 2.1.2 - at that point I shall replace the images (and update the versioning on the page) 13:03, 17 November 2015 (UTC)

Peter H Sampson (talk) 13:03, 17 November 2015 (UTC)

Sounds good. - Ahunt (talk) 20:29, 17 November 2015 (UTC)

Well - all the updates that I carefully made yesterday for the recent release of versions of 2.1.2 (and for which Ahunt kindly thanked me by email) including an updated 2.1.2 image have all disappeared or been reverted - but I don't see any such in the history Peter H Sampson (talk) 17:13, 23 January 2016 (UTC)

And now equally mysteriously re-appeared all ok Peter H Sampson (talk) 17:42, 23 January 2016 (UTC)
They are all there! It might have been a web-browser caching issue at your end! - Ahunt (talk) 20:44, 23 January 2016 (UTC)

Requested move 4 February 2016[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: not moved. Number 57 22:29, 14 February 2016 (UTC)


Audacity (audio editor)Audacity – This article appears to be a primary topic, particularly since audacity does not directly redirect to boldness but is simply a disambiguation page; this suggest that the noun is not what people are looking for. The only other candidate for a primary encyclopedia topic is HMS Audacity (D10), which has a natural disambiguation. I think most people typing "audacity" into the search box are looking for the audio editor. Every hit on the first page of a Google search for "audacity" brings this up. Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 11:48, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

  • Strong oppose. Audacity is a dictionary term, whose generic usage in any collection of generalist far outstrips the mentions of this piece of software. Similarly, the software clearly fails long-term significance. If there is a WP:PRIMARYTOPIC, it is the dicdef: boldness. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 12:26, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
My second choice would be, as you say, to redirect audacity to boldness, with a note in that article saying "for the audio editor, see [this page], for other uses see [disambiguation]". My question was more, why don't we do that already - must be a reason somewhere? I think you're probably right about long-term significance for now, though for a software application, Audacity has had a pretty good innings, all said and done - everyone who has ever done anything audio related on a computer in the last 20 years has heard of it. Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 12:45, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
It may be a successful product in the market for software audio players, but in the last decade most people probably just use either whatever comes as default with their computer, or use iTunes. And I doubt that any piece of software comes anywhere near significance of any mainstream dictionary term -- even Mr Gates's operating system is way eclipsed in broad significance by the glass-covered hole in a wall. So I see no remotely plausible case that the software is primary here.
I suspect that the two most likely reasons for it not redirecting to boldness are:
  1. a lot editors seem unaware of WP:PRIMARYREDIRECT, and assume wrongly that the primary topic must have some commonality of words, and/or that the primary topic must be a single word.
  2. they don't see any benefit in creating a primary topic, and prefer to disambiguate unless there is some overwhelming gain from choosing a primary topic.
I am very much in the latter camp. Keeping the undabbed title as the dab page allows for automated monitoring of ambiguous links, and very easy correction of them. That accuracy of internal links is very valuable to our readers, and there is far too much of a rush to discard it. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 15:07, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
Fully agree, User talk:BrownHairedGirl don't you think WP:PRIMARYREDIRECT could be explained better on WP:PRIMARYTOPIC and WP:DISAMBIGUATION In ictu oculi (talk) 17:21, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
@In ictu oculi:: I think the current explanation of WP:PRIMARYREDIRECT is not bad, tho it fails to counter the notion that ptopic must be a single word. But it could certainly be better, as could the whole of PRIMARYTOPIC.
However, I think that any big rewrite should shift focus, and start by challenging the notion that a ptopic should be chosen if it can be justified somehow. Instead, the policy should be that a ptopic should be chosen only if meets all of the current tests. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 19:21, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
I think it would help. As a seasoned Wikipedian, I would not expect "Audacity" to come to this article and would type that in as a first guess. Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 17:03, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
As a seasoned Wikipedian @Ritchie333: you would not expect "Audacity" to come to the software article or would not expect to a dab page? In ictu oculi (talk) 08:17, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
  • Super strong support, like totally. Wikipedia is WP:NOTADICTIONARY, so the dictdef is by definition not part of a WP:PRIMARYTOPIC discussion. Of things actually called "Audacity" - i.e., the topics on the disambiguation page, this one appears to be primary by usage and significance. Dohn joe (talk) 17:01, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
How on earth do you get picking a software product as the meaning of audacity from this:
That is what the nutshell says. In ictu oculi (talk) 17:18, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose I see no reason to merge the dab page into a hatnote onto this article. As the nominator makes no mention of the target's use, this clearly is an implicit delete and merge into a hatnote -- 70.51.200.135 (talk) 06:15, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The fact that it is a dictionary word makes it harder to determine a primary topic, so Audacity should be a dab unless a clear primary topic is proven. However, I support Audacity (software) as a potential location for the page.  ONR  (talk)  21:44, 5 February 2016 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Old Naval Rooftops (talkcontribs)
  • Oppose the move to the base name but support the move to Audacity (software) as per WP:CONCISE. <<< SOME GADGET GEEK >>> (talk) 22:51, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
  • Support. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not a dictionary. This is clearly the primary encyclopedic topic for "Audacity". sst(conjugate) 13:18, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
  • Oppose - while this might be the most significant use from the DAB page, it is not sufficient when the dictionary use of the term is the most prominent use in news and books. There is no vast majority of uses establishing this as primary. While not a dict, to disregard this term would be an "audacity". FWIW I am very family with this software package before I migrated to commercial tools -- great software, but still not sufficient for this common word to be trumped by this software. Tiggerjay (talk) 08:36, 13 February 2016 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

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Nope, still broken. - Ahunt (talk) 17:57, 3 April 2016 (UTC)
These formatting updates aren't about fixing the link. They are only about correcting the formatting. This one does have a "dead url=yes" tag so it is still listed as a dead link. MarnetteD|Talk 04:15, 12 July 2016 (UTC)

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