Google Summer of Code 2021

Audacity is proud to be taking part in Google Summer of Code 2021, having last participated in 2008 and 2009.

Google’s Summer of Code Logo

We created a web page with four seed project ideas for students to base their project ideas on. We then applied to Google to be a mentoring organisation this year, and they said “Yes”. We hope to get two students working on projects for us this summer. The response so far has been phenomenal. Hopefully you will see cool and useful outcomes from their work in September.

Audacity 3.0.0 Released

We’re pleased to announce release of Audacity 3.0.0 which replaces all previous versions for Windows, macOS and Linux.

Audacity 3.0.0

.aup3 Project Format

Audacity 3.0.0 is a major update on our previous Audacity 2.4.2. We’ve changed the format in which we save Audacity projects! Previously we saved projects as a sometimes large number of small files, with an ‘.aup’ file to coordinate the lot. This way of doing things is sometimes called ‘pile of files’ storage.

The problem, which happened all too often, was that data files and .aup file parted ways. Users quite reasonably expected the .aup file to contain the entire project. Well, the new .aup3 file does contain the data as well. The technical detail is that we are using an open source database, SQLite3, to store everything in one .aup3 file. That all happens ‘behind the scenes’. SQLite3 is open source, and it is a delight to work with. Nevertheless, this was a huge change, and we decided it was too risky to include many other changes we wanted to make at the same time – so 3.0.0 is almost entirely about this big format change.

Working with .aup3 projects editing audio should on most machines be a little faster than before, because there are fewer files being worked on. Finishing and closing a project at the end of working can be quite a lot slower, since there is more to do when a project is closed. We think the trade offs are worth it.

Importantly note that you can open your older .aup projects in Audacity 3.0.0 where they will be converted to the new .aup3 format.

Label Sounds & Noise Gate

We did have time to improve our ‘Noise Gate’ effect and add a new analyzer, ‘Label Sounds’, that can label sounds and silences. We also made a few small tweaks elsewhere. You can now import and export macros, and there are a couple of new commands for using the last used tool or last used analyzer that you can give shortcuts to.

Bugs fixed

We also fixed over 160 bugs that had been accumulating over the years. This is quite a staggering amount of work. The majority of these bugs were minor problems, easily worked around. Some though were really juicy high priority bugs that would have mattered a lot to the people affected by them. We’re really glad to have these bugs fixed now.

We hope you enjoy using Audacity 3.0.0 as much as we enjoyed putting it together.

Audacity 2.4.2 Released

We’re pleased to announce release of Audacity 2.4.2 which replaces all previous versions for Windows, macOS and Linux.

Audacity 2.4.2

wxWidgets Library

The main change since 2.4.1 is that we have upgraded the wxWidgets library that Audacity uses from 3.1.1 (with patches by us) to 3.1.3 (with patches by us). We wanted to do this as a release in its own right, before we start on a longer and more complex release.

If you’re using Audacity 2.4.2 on Linux, do use the right wxWidgets library. We’ve in the past had a lot of reports of problems on Linux that turned out in the end to be because some distributions were using system wxWidgets (3.0.0) with Audacity.

Bugs fixed

We’ve fixed 41 bugs since 2.4.1. The exact number of bugs fixed depends on how you count, but anyway, it’s a worthwhile number of fixes.

Configuration Reset

There is one new small feature. In the Tools menu there is now a ‘Reset Configuration’ menu item. When you click on it, it resets most of the configuration back to defaults.

Audacity 2.4.1 Released

We’re pleased to announce release of Audacity 2.4.1 which replaces all previous versions for Windows, macOS and Linux.

The 2.4.0 Multi-project bug:

Audacity 2.4.1 fixes a serious bug in the briefly available Audacity 2.4.0.

With 2.4.0 we blundered. In 2.4.0 you’d get loss of and corruption of audio, when you had two projects open at the same time.

Thanks to Jack L from FreeBSD for alerting us to the problem so promptly, and giving us steps to reproduce it.

Catalina?

With 2.4.1 we have now caught up with Apple’s ‘notarization system’. Audacity on Mac is notarized and runs on Catalina.

Time Toolbar:

We have split the recording/playing time off from the selection toolbar and it can now be dragged to make it larger. This is particularly for people recording themselves playing a musical instrument, where they will typically be further from the screen when playing, and benefit from a larger numerical display.

Large ‘Time Toolbar’ (on the right)

The new toolbar can be ‘undocked’ from the foot of the screen, and made larger still, for more distant viewing.

Multi-views:

We have added a new optional mode for viewing audio. In this new mode you can see both the waveform and a spectrogram at the same time. Previously you would switch back and forth between them if you wanted both.

Multi-view mode with spectrogram above and waveform below

You can get into this multi-view mode by clicking on the down-pointing triangle beside the track name in the panel on the left of the wave. This will drop-down a menu with options, including multi-view mode.

These screenshots of Audacity showing the time toolbar and multi-view mode were made on the windows version of Audacity, using the dark theme. Dark theme can be selected from the preferences.

Other Changes:

For a more detailed account of changes, including a list of some of the many bugs fixed since 2.3.3, see: https://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/New_features_in_Audacity_2.4.1

Audacity 2.4.0 Release (withdrawn)

We temporarily re-instated the 2.3.3 release for downloads whilst we investigated a serious bug that affects 2.4.0 on Windows Mac and Linux. The bug causes loss/corruption of audio.

The bug happens when you have two projects open at the same time and paste audio from one project into the other. Thanks to Jack L from FreeBSD for alerting us to the problem and giving us steps to reproduce it.

With that information we were able to find the root cause, make a fix and release 2.4.1.

We’re pleased to announce release of Audacity 2.4.0 which replaces all previous versions for Windows, macOS and Linux.

We’ve put a lot of time and work into it.

Catalina?

We have now caught up with Apple’s ‘notarization system’. Audacity on Mac is notarized and runs on Catalina.

Time Toolbar:

We have split the recording/playing time off from the selection toolbar and it can now be dragged to make it larger. This is particularly for people recording themselves playing a musical instrument, where they will typically be further from the screen when playing, and benefit from a larger numerical display.

Large ‘Time Toolbar’ (on the right)

The new toolbar can be ‘undocked’ from the foot of the screen, and made larger still, for more distant viewing.

Multi-views

We have added a new optional mode for viewing audio. In this new mode you can see both the waveform and a spectrogram at the same time. Previously you would switch back and forth between them if you wanted both.

Multi-view mode with spectrogram above and waveform below

You can get into this multi-view mode by clicking on the down-pointing triangle beside the track name in the panel on the left of the wave. This will drop-down a menu with options, including multi-view mode.

These screenshots of Audacity showing the time toolbar and multi-view mode were made on the windows version of Audacity, using the dark theme. Dark theme can be selected from the preferences.

Other Changes:

For a more detailed account of changes, including a list of some of the many bugs fixed since 2.3.3, see: https://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/New_features_in_Audacity_2.4.0

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.

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.