Audacity 2.3.3 Released

We’re pleased to announce release of Audacity 2.3.3 which replaces all previous versions for Windows, macOS and Linux.

Catalina?

Audacity still does not support macOS Catalina properly, but can be used with a workaround. This is because we have not caught up with Apple’s requirements for ‘notarization’ yet. We are working on this for the next release.

Details of the workaround here:
https://forum.audacityteam.org/viewtopic.php?f=47&t=107162

What we’ve done:

We’ve done a lot of bug fixing on Audacity for this release, and a lot of code restructuring. There are a few visible changes too.

Improvements:

  • Equalization effect now split into two effects, Filter Curve and Graphic EQ.
    • Presets (using manage button) now active/working.
    • Can now have two points at same frequency for steep steps.
  • ‘What you hear is what you get’ for exports. Formerly the solo button
    preferences could lead to differences in which tracks were exported.
  • Leading silence (blank space) not skipped over in exports.
  • Quality setting on AAC/M4A exports.
  • Some confusing functionality removed (better achieved in other ways)
    • Removed Nyquist Workbench (use built-in nyquist features)
    • Removed Vocal Remover (use Vocal Reduction)
    • Removed On-Demand aliased files (copy files instead)
    • Removed ‘Normalize on Load’ (Normalize as needed on export, instead)

See also: https://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/New_features_in_Audacity_2.3.3

Bug Fixes:

Over 150 bugs in 2.3.2 fixed, including:

  • 2112 – Crash when opening Equalization settings in a Macro
  • 2127 – Crash deleting a track while in Record/Pause state
  • 2176 – Crash when attempting to time shift multiple tracks
  • 2141 – Tabbing between labels stopped working
  • 2200 – Refusal to export some large (4GB) files on size grounds

See also: https://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Release_Notes_2.3.3

AU19 Audacity Unconference

On the 5th and 6th of November we had an active and productive meeting in Cambridge, working hard and also having fun. We had not met as a team since 2014, and some of us had not previously met each other in real life before.

Lots got talked through. The post-its on the picture behind are pink for problems (we didn’t have red post-its) and green post-its for solutions. Beer was drunk. Food was eaten. Demos of work in progress were shared and explained. The problems of and ways forward with Catalina discussed. People took on tasks to take on when they got back home:

“It’s a lot easier to say ‘No’ in email!”

I think we were all surprised how quickly and easily we talked through and agreed on what we will do for Audacity 2.4.0. With everyone in the room together at the same time, making decisions happened really fast.

The roadmap for Audacity 2.4.0 includes resolving the macOS Catalina problem, updating libraries, and a number of frequently requested new features.

Yes, we talked about iPhone and Android versions of Audacity. They are still pipe dreams at this stage, but we did at least talk about how we could go about them. With more frequent Audacity Unconference meetings, ambitious plans like that are more likely to actually happen.

MacOS 10.15 (Catalina) does not support Audacity 2.3.2

MacOS 10.15 (Catalina) introduces additional restrictions on running non-Apple software. These restrictions prevent Audacity from functioning correctly, and may conflict with Audacity’s open source license (yet to be confirmed).

If you are currently using Audacity on an older version of macOS and wish to continue using Audacity, we recommend that you don’t update to Catalina yet.

Although Catalina is not officially supported, there’s a workaround that has been reported to work for some (but not all) user with Catalina and Audacity 2.3.2:

  1. Go to Applications > Utilities
  2. Launch Terminal.app
  3. in the Terminal dialog type the following command following command:
    open /Applications/Audacity.app/Contents/MacOS/Audacity
    (this assume that Audacity is stored in your Applications folder. If it is somewhere else, you will need to change the path in the above command.)
  4. Confirm the request for microphone permissions when requested.

For additional information about this workaround, see this post on the Audacity forum: https://forum.audacityteam.org/viewtopic.php?f=47&t=107162&p=378694


This advice will be updated when more information becomes available.

Audacity HQ – 7:54 December 8th 2007

A call comes in via the Audacity forum. An Audacity user is in trouble and needs our help…
“Audacity crashed when splitting a stereo track to mono. Please help me Audacity Forum, you’re my only hope.”

Audacity command center?

That was 12 years ago. I was a young Audacity user on Windows XP, and I’d fallen foul of a bug in Audacity 1.3.4. Fortunately there was a workaround, and within 2 days I had the answer and was up and running again.

A lot has changed over those 12 years. The Audacity forum has grown from a few dozen users and a few hundred posts, to a thriving community with over 130,000 members and close to 300,000 posts. Response times have fallen from a couple of days, to typically a couple of hours, thanks to the hard working volunteers that spend many hours each day helping their fellow Audacity users.

From the professionalism and fast response to support requests, many users assume that Audacity HQ is a bustling command center with dozens of software developers and support staff like the picture above. The truth is somewhat different. Kozikowski, one of the longest serving forum helpers and self proclaimed curmudgeon, imagines Audacity HQ to be more like…

Audacity HQ?

The Audacity Team is indeed much smaller than many imagine – a small group of enthusiastic volunteers around the world, working together to provide the most widely used multi-track audio editor in the world. There is actually no headquarters, no physical building, no command center, but a group of individuals, spread across three continents, working in small studies, bedrooms or at kitchen tables, providing a level of support that is rightly the envy of commercial competitors.

The main part of the help forum is divided, by operating system, in three sections: Windows, with over 17,000 topics, Mac OS, with over 4,000, and Gnu/Linux with over 1000 topics. These three forum boards are the first port of call if you need help using Audacity.

In addition, there are more specialist boards that cater for common special interest groups, such as audiobook producers, music makers, educationalists and teachers, and programmers. The full list of boards is found on the forum index page.

The range of questions and discussions about Audacity is vast. Of course there are many common questions about “how do I do …”. Many of the common questions already have answers in the “Frequently Asked Questions” section of the Audacity manual. The documentation does indeed carry answers to most of the common questions, though the forum crew are well aware that for a novice user it may not always be easy to find the information that you need. No need to worry, the forum crew are there to help and point you in the right direction.

The Audacity forum also sees a wide range of unusual, sometimes highly specialized questions. We have seen zoologists and marine biologists asking about analyzing audio recordings of animals, physicists interested in analyzing signals, statisticians wanting to visualize big data, electronic hobbyists using Audacity to record infra-red remote control, and many others. Although the forum crew may not be specialist in the particular field, the crew’s knowledge and experience using Audacity usually solves even the trickiest of problems.

A small selection of some of the more unusual forum topics:

Whether you are a casual user of Audacity, or a highly experienced audio expert, all users are very welcome to join us on the forum. Whether you are looking for advice on a simple problem, or wish to learn about some of Audacity’s more advanced features, report a bug, or perhaps you want to share your experience of audio editing, or offer help to other Audacity users, all are welcome.

Audacity’s headquarters could be described as a virtual place in cyberspace, and the Audacity forum is very much the community hub for the many millions of Audacity users around the world. On behalf of the crew of the Audacity forum, we look forward to meeting you there.

Bug Hunting

Two years ago we set ourselves targets for bug reduction for a year ahead, and we did the same again a year ago. The TL/DR is that we met the target last month. Over the last two years we’ve reduced our bug count from 605 bugs (August 2017) to 404 (July 2019). This isn’t because we’ve slacked off on testing for, identifying and recording new bugs! We’ve actually stepped that up a notch. In the last two years we’ve closed 636 bugs, but we also opened 435 new ones. So the net result is we have made good inroads on bugs, rather than wiping out all the recorded bugs entirely.

The graph below tells the story. Live bugs are bugs we still have. Slain bugs are bugs that we have identified and fixed.

As you can see, the bug slaying activity has been sustained continuously over the two years, rather than being in fits and starts. The most important aspect for us is that the proportion of live bugs (blue) relative to slain bugs (green) has decreased substantially, from 55% to 23%.

Our scope for improving the proportions further is limited. Many of the live bugs are ‘hard’ because we have already dealt with most of the easy ones. Some potential future improvements we have in mind could be seen as ‘massaging the statistics’. For example, we want to take the 64 enhancement requests out of the 404 live bug counts. We have those requests for improvements in our bug tracker, but arguably they belong somewhere else.

Most of the bug tracking and recording and checking bugs really are fixed is done by Peter Sampson. He doesn’t get nearly enough outside recognition for the work he does. David Bailes reports and fixes the lions share of bugs related to accessibility, which often affect users with normal vision too. Steve Daulton is the main person finding and fixing Linux-only bugs. Other developers pitch in too, especially with clearing the more serious higher priority bugs.

The number one place we find out about new bugs from is you. A big thank you to all of you who report bugs back to us, and who help us reproduce them on our own computers, so that we can then get on the path to fixing them.

Audacity 2.3.2 Released

Audacity 2.3.2 replaces all previous versions for Windows, macOS and Linux. 

Improvements:

  • Audacity now includes the LAME mp3 encoder. Previously, due to now expired patents, you had to download it separately.
  • There is a new ‘Select’ button in the track panel to select the whole track.
  • Audacity mod-script-pipe for driving Audacity from Python now comes with Audacity and can be enabled via preferences.
  • Options and preferences:
    • Type to Create a Label is now off by default.
    • A plug-in installer for Nyquist now provides a file browser for
      selecting ‘.NY’ files to install.

See also: https://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/New_features_in_Audacity_2.3.2

Bug Fixes:

Over 20 bugs in 2.3.1 fixed, including:

  • Audacity 2.3.1 would crash if append-recording to a collapsed track.
  • Many accessibility bugs on macOS fixed.

See also: https://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Release_Notes_2.3.2

Audacity 2.3.1 Released

March 8th, 2019: Audacity 2.3.1 Released


Audacity 2.3.1 replaces all previous versions for Windows, macOS and Linux. We’ve restored support for Linux which was missing in 2.3.0. Also Audacity for macOS is now a more modern 64-bit build.


  • Over 20 bugs fixed, and a few small improvements/changes to features (since 2.3.0).

That annoying message from Apple saying: “32-bit support will be going the way of the dodo”, no longer shows when you install Audacity on Mac. The new 64-bit Audacity works with 64-bit libraries. To use FFmpeg or MP3 libraries with 64-bit Audacity, you will need to download the updated 64-bit versions.

On Windows, you may find that recording is disabled until you change Windows permissions for the microphone!  That’s a security feature introduced by Windows. This affects all versions of Audacity, and affects many other audio programs.

A similar ‘recording is disabled’ problem occurs with macOS Mojave. Details about these in the FAQs in the manual:


New:

  • Options and preferences:
    • Microfades are now an opt-in feature. They were always on in 2.3.0.
    • The advanced vertical zooming option is now available in the View->Zoom menu.
  • Regular interval labels now support range labels.

See: 2.3.1 New Features for longer descriptions and links on how to use the new features.

Bug Fixes:

Over 20 bugs that were in 2.3.0 fixed, including:

  • A crashing bug on Linux that made Audacity 2.3.0. unsuitable for Linux.
  • Crash on Mac when right clicking on label.
  • Problems with Change Pitch, including not remembering parameter values.

See also: 2.3.1 Release Notes

This all may not sound like much has happened since Audacity 2.3.0, but the team behind Audacity did put in a lot of work to make this happen. Thanks also to users who reported bugs in 2.3.0 and stayed in contact with us afterwards to help us find them.