Audacity is a free, open source Audio Editor for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. For years good sound editing software has been the reserve of expensive software and/or hardware. The rest of us had to either use pirated software or put up with the likes of Microsoft Sound Recorder, or the limited editing capabilities of Nero. Thanks to Audacity that’s no longer the case. Most popular audio formats can be imported for editing at a range of sample rates, or you can record direct from the sound card. Audacity is a multitrack editor so you can layer your clips to get the sound you want.
There are a number of effects built-in to Audacity and the more advanced user can create their own with the Nyquist programming language. Both waveform (the “normal” way of showing sound data visually) and spectral analysis views are available. Once you’ve done your edit the project can be saved for later or exported as a WAV, AIFF, AU or Ogg Vorbis. MP3 export is also supported with the very simple addition of the LAME encoder library (a file that has to be in the Audacity folder). In addition to all of it’s great features Audacity is free, but the best thing is that it requires no installation! Simply download the zip, extract it and away you go. I have it on my USB flash drive so I can use it where ever I am without having to install software on other people’s computers.