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.

Audacity 2.3.0 Released

September 29th, 2018: Audacity 2.3.0 Released


Audacity 2.3.0 replaces all previous versions for Windows and macOS.
(The current release for Linux is Audacity 2.2.2. Additional information on the Linux download page.)


  • Many new features, and over 90 bugs fixed (since 2.2.2).

 


We are still compiling Audacity as 32-bit. Whilst MacOSX works with 32-bit, it would prefer a 64-bit version of Audacity.    We are working on a 64-bit version for Mac for 2.3.1.  On Windows you may find that recording is disabled until you change Windows permissions for the microphone!  This affects all versions of Audacity, and many other audio programs.


New in Audacity 2.3.0:

  • New feature – “Punch and Roll Recording”
  • Pinned-play-head can now be repositioned by dragging
  • Play-at-speed now can be adjusted whilst playing.
  • Toolbars controlling volume and speed can now be resized for greater precision
  • Macros (formerly ‘Chains’) substantially extended
    • New Macro palette
    • Macros can be bound to keyboard keys
  • New commands
    • New ‘Tools’ menu
    • New ‘Scriptables’ commands
  • Nyquist gains AUD-DO command
  • Nyquist effects are now translatable and translated
  • More dialogs have help buttons now
  • Increased legibility of trackname display
  • Half-wave option for collapsed tracks
  • Sliding Stretch
  • Dialog (option) for entering labels

See: 2.3.0 New Features for longer descriptions and links on how to use the new features.

Bug Fixes

Over 90 bugs that were in 2.2.2 fixed, including:

  • Windows: Queen Mary 1.7.1 Vamp plug-ins crash Audacity on opening Plug-in Manager – bug #1244
  • Inconsistent behavior when recording with a selection defined – bug #1839
  • Ctrl + M does not open label for editing – bug #1852
  • Vertical Zoom in by clicking in the vertical Scale, or context menu, in waveform views is inconsistent – bug #1810
  • Deletion of all tracks cannot be undone – bug #1845
  • Timer Record with a selection present can get a truncated recording with data loss – bug #1851
  • Duplicate shortcuts can be created – bug #1786
  • Labels longer than 260 characters are now supported – bug #1905
  • Using Spectrogram Settings in TCP or using Preferences causes Audacity to reset Project Rate to default rate in Quality Preferences – bug #1977
  • Cut Preview should play all selected/sync-locked tracks, respecting Mute/Solo during preview – bug #231

See also: 2.3.0 Release Notes

Audacity 2.2.2 Released

February 20th, 2018: Audacity 2.2.2 Released

Audacity 2.2.2 replaces all previous versions.

New in Audacity 2.2.2:

Major new features – see updated manual for details:

  • Easier zooming in and out with mousewheel, new Zoom Toggle command, and context menu for vertical rulers (thanks to James Crook)

  • Easy access to change keyboard bindings of menu commands by holding Shift key
  • Detection of dropout errors while recording with overburdened CPU
  • Half-wave display option

Changed in Audacity 2.2.2:

  • Improved contrasts in Light and Dark themes
  • Extra menu consolidates Ext-Bar and Ext-Command menus that were introduced in the previous 2.2.1 release
  • Several bugs/annoyances in 2.2.0 are now fixed, most importantly:
  • Multiple use of “Save As” to the existing open project will not result in data corruption/loss
  • Exporting audio in compressed formats to device with insufficient space will not produce inconsistent/truncated results
  • Fuller details on the changes since 2.2.1 can be found in the 2.2.2 Release Notes.

Thanks to all involved in making this release, especially translators and testers who don’t normally get enough thanks for the work they do.

Audacity 2.2.2 Release Candidate

Release Candidate 1 for Audacity 2.2.2 available

The Audacity user community is invited to test a new Release Candidate, now available for Windows, Mac and GNU/Linux. Please visit https://www.fosshub.com/Audacity-devel.html/ to download.

Version 2.2.2 will be mostly a minor bug-fixing release, but also with a few features, including dropout detection and Zoom Toggle.  More details can be found here.

Please note that release candidates are not intended for production work, but experienced users are invited to help us uncover any problems. Bug reports for RC1 may be posted to the Audacity Forum.

Please note that we do not provide technical support via email.  Support questions should be posted to the Audacity Forum.

The build id of this release candidate is f665e6.  This can be verified in the Windows and Mac binaries if you open the About Audacity… dialog, then select the Build Information tab, and scroll to the bottom.

Beta release for Audacity 2.2.2 available

January 30th, 2018: Beta release for Audacity 2.2.2 available

As the release of Audacity 2.2.2 draws nearer, a Beta build is now available for testing for Windows, Mac and GNU/Linux. Please visit https://www.fosshub.com/Audacity-devel.html/ to download.

A summary of new features is here.

Please note that Beta builds are not intended for production work, but experienced users are invited to help us test this pre-release version. Bug reports may be posted to the Audacity Forum.

Please note that we do not provide technical support via email.  Support questions should be posted to the Audacity Forum.

 

Audacity 2.2.1 Released

December 6th, 2017: Audacity 2.2.1 Released

Audacity 2.2.1 replaces all previous versions.

New in Audacity 2.2.1:

Major new features – see updated manual for details:

  • Waveform colorways let you optionally change the color of the waveforms displayed in your project (thanks to James Crook)

Changed in Audacity 2.2.1:

  • Updated message translations for nineteen languages
  • Several bugs/annoyances in 2.2.0 are now fixed, most importantly:
  • Chains once again apply properly
  • Auto-scrolling works when adjusting selection boundaries
  • Clicking Audacity file icons no longer creates inactive duplicate program instances on macOs High Sierra
  • Fuller details on the changes since 2.2.0 can be found in the 2.2.1 Release Notes.

Thanks to all involved in making this release, especially translators and testers who don’t normally get enough thanks for the work they do.

Audacity 2.2.1 Release Candidate 2

Release Candidate 2 for Audacity 2.2.1 available

The Audacity user community is invited to test a new Release Candidate, now available for Windows, Mac and GNU/Linux. Please visit https://www.fosshub.com/Audacity-devel.html/ to download.

The announcement for the previous release candidate for 2.2.1 is here.

The improvements in Audacity 2.2.1 Release Candidate 2 over the previous are mostly in translations.  Languages with completely updated versions, or very nearly so, now include Arabic, Basque, Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Italian, Korean, Polish, Portuguese (both Brazilian and European), Slovenian, Spanish, Turkish, and Ukrainian.

(Is there a language you would like to add to that list?  You can get involved!)

Please note that release candidates are not intended for production work, but experienced users are invited to help us uncover any problems. Bug reports for RC2 may be posted to the Audacity Forum.

Please note that we do not provide technical support via email.  Support questions should be posted to the Audacity Forum.

The build id of this release candidate is faa603.  This can be verified in the Windows and Mac binaries if you open the About Audacity… dialog, then select the Build Information tab, and scroll to the bottom.