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One area where computers have had a tremendous impact is in audio processing and editing. Instead of having to manually cut recorded tracks, audio editors can now use digital tools that simplify the process. In addition, digital audio tracks can be copied without any loss of quality, and digital master copies will remain pristine as long as they are secured safely.
Original audio editing tools were, however, quite expensive. Today, there are a number of cheap and free solutions. One of the most popular programs for editing audio is Audacity.
Audacity has native support for the most popular audio file formats; WAV, AIFF, Vorbis, MP3 and FLAC are support out of the box. Recent versions can also support AC3, AAC, AMR and WMA with common plugins. Audacity is also capable of standard and advanced editing features, and users will be able to cut and paste audio, edit multiple tracks and undo any changes they have made. Further, spectrum analysis is supported natively and multiple tracks can be editing at the same time.
The real power of Audacity, however, lies in its plugin support. Because of its popularity, a number of useful plugins are available to expand the capabilities of the program. Notably, the VST filter format is supported, and specialty tools can help users in niche areas.
Audacity has become one of the most popular options for podcasts and other user-created audio products. It has also found support in educational institutes. Because of this, many are expecting that Audacity will become even more popular once students begin entering management positions and making decisions for their companies.
Audacity is free and open source, and it has been actively developed for years. Further, it supports Windows, OS X and Linux. Both new audio editors and veterans should consider Audacity to see if it will meet their needs.