Audacity - free, open source audio editor

Our favourite software is the free application Audacity.

Audacity will open different audio files, including mp3 and wav. However, this program saves files in its own format which other programs do not recognise (*.aup).
  • To make an mp3 file, you need to [ File > Export as mp3 ]

You also need the "LAME Encoder"

Before you can export an mp3 file, however, you'll need to have the "LAME encoder" on your computer. Mp3 is not a fully free format, therefore the Audacity people won't include the mp3 encoder in the application - you need to install it separately.

Help files and presentations on Audacity

Michael Gwyther recently gave a brilliant presentation on audio technologies in general, including podcasting, RSS, and a brilliant introduction to using Audacity. It's a whole hour of useful information, well worth your time. (Part of the Victorian ACFE e-mentors project.) (direct link to the presentation, recorded in elluminate. Short link is

(if you've never used Elluminate before, you'll need to let your computer download the viewing software .. an application in 'java' .. and you may need your technical support team on call. Here's some notes on using elluminate from Michael Chalk.)

Michael G has created a web-based intro tutorial for audacity as well: c/- YUM productions.

Here's an example of michael chalk using the software, muttering away as he works.

Or grab the file direct, for better resolution (swf file)
external image empty.png use audacity to export a file.swf (Right-click + Save As)
(You should be able to play the SWF file in VLC video player .. which is on the freeware CD given out 14th Aug.)

Online tutorials

There are many tutorials online for audacity: here's a few to start with:

Toolbar and screen

Where to find the software

Audacity home pages are at Sourceforge (an open source housing).
You can get portable audacity from portable apps dot com

Draft: suggestions for adding to this article:

  • Install the app, how to
  • Portable version
  • Export mp3 files
  • The toolbar
  • Select, cut and paste
  • Keyboard shortcuts
  • Tips for editing audio files: effects

Audacity needs "LAME"

Leigh Blackall gives his overview on Audacity and LAME