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    Audacity Alternatives: Time to use a better audio editor

    Who I am
    Aina Prat Blasi
    @ainapratblasi

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    Recently, Audacity, a popular open source desktop audio editing software, has received a lot of criticism from users on Github, Reddit, and Twitter for its controversial new privacy policy. Acquired by Muse Group in May, Audacity's new privacy policy is questionable and contrary to the spirit of the open source ecosystem.


    Audacity's privacy policy page was updated on June 2, 2021. The changes not only allow Audacity to collect your personal data such as IP, location, OS name, CPU, etc., but also vaguely allow it to Audacity to share data with authorities if required by law. 



    In addition, children under the age of 13 can no longer use Audacity because the collection of data on children is illegal. So, if you are concerned about your privacy, here are some of the best alternatives to Audacity you can try.

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    Audacity alternative

    MuseScore's head of design, who also heads Audacity, has started a discussion on the matter on the official Audacity GitHub page. They believe the entire ordeal arose due to poor communication and that the company "has no interest in collecting or selling personal data." 


    Going forward, Audacity will collect telemetry data which would be self-hosted and you can opt in if you wish to share the data with servers. It remains to be seen how this policy will affect end users or even changes in the years to come and I will update it here when it does. In the meantime, there are other audio editors worth trying. In fact, you can continue to use Audacity as it is, but there is a problem.



    1. Don't update Audacity

    If you can't imagine a world without Audacity, don't update the software or just download an older version. The 'data collection' update is cooked in version 3.0.3. So if you are on an older version then you are safe. Audacity version 2.4.2 is the last known version before the controversial update that you can download from Softonic and Fosshub.

    Also, for safety, you can also block Audacity's internet connection on your firewall. To do this on Windows, go at Control Panel> Windows Firewall. On the left side, click  Advanced Settings. click on Outbound rules and create a new rule to restrict internet access for the Audacity app.


    2. Dark Audacity

    Audacity is free and open-source which allows developers to create their own forks, and Dark Audacity is one of them.

    Put simply, Dark Audacity is Audacity in dark mode without a tracker. You can record sounds, edit audio files, and easily apply audio effects to your projects. Also, it comes in a dark UI.

    As this is a custom fork, you don't have to worry about your data like the official version just released. The only drawback is that it's not available for macOS. However, the next software on the list supports both Windows and Mac.


    Get Dark Audacity for Windows (Free)

    3. Oceanaudio

    Ocenaudio is a free alternative to Audacity available for Windows, Mac and Linux. The user interface is similar to Audacity but is a bit basic. It offers a real-time preview, which means you can adjust the audio effects and hear the changes as you press the sliders. 


    You can select multiple parts of a project and apply effects, edit, crop, etc. Popular audacity features like noise reduction and equalization are all present in Ocenaudio.


    Get Ocenaudio for Windows | Oceanaudio for Mac (free)

    4. Bear Audio

    If you are looking for an alternative to Audacity but you are not a power user, try Bear Audio. Bear Audio is an online audio editor that can cut, crop, merge and split your audio files. You can also register your files directly in the online editor.

    However, unlike Audacity, there are no fancy tools like audio normalization, effects, multitrack timeline, etc. Bear Audio is a great tool if you just need a simple audio editor.

    Check out Bear Audio (free)

    5. WavePad

    If you are an experienced Audacity user and are looking for an alternative, try WavePad. WavePad is full-featured audio editing software that offers features like multitrack editing, spectral analysis, noise and pop removal, etc.

    Effects such as amplification, normalization, equalization and many more can be applied. Not to mention the standard trimming, cropping, joining, splitting, cropping and so on. WavePad supports a myriad of audio formats, has scrubbing and searching, and has a huge library of sound effects


    WavePad is available for Windows, Mac, iPhone, and Android, which is nice to see how Audacity didn't offer mobile apps. You can get it for free but there is also a paid version that would give you access to the full SFX library.

    Get WavePad for Windows | Mac (free, $ 35)

    Conclusion on alternatve Audacity

    These are some of the Audacity alternatives that you can quickly jump ship to. In the meantime, I would be on the lookout for any updates to their policy and possible forks in the future. Dark Audacity is Windows software that works just as well as Audacity. 

    Ocenaudio is available on both Windows and Mac and offers a fair number of tools. While Bear audio is a simple online tool meant for quick work, WavePad is a professional tool with huge libraries and advanced effects. What do you think? What would you choose? Let me know on Twitter.


    Further Reading:

    • Top 5 Ways to Extract Audio from Video on Windows 10
    • How to record audio on PC, MAC, Android and iPhone
    • How to extract audio from video quickly and easily
    • How to add custom ringtones to your iPhone
    • How to set a text message ringtone on Android
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