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Audacity is the most popular open source digital audio editor available. The program is compatible across all the popular platforms, including Windows, OSX (Apple), Linux and more. However, this podcast software only provides functions for capturing and editing. Audacity contains no publishing options. Therefore, when you are finished making each podcast episode you must manually upload it through another service.

Moreover, Audacity works with a variety of audio formats. Supported formats include open source formats such as OGG. However Audacity but is not compatible with proprietary formats such as WMA or AAC. The program allows you to record from almost anything, including from a microphone, line in, or directly through the sound card.

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Content Capture
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Audacity
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8.8
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10
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7.5
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6.3
5

Audacity captures sound from a multiplicity of sources. The software gives you the ability to capture sound through auxiliary source (line in). Therefore, you can digitize recordings from tapes, records or from a midi-device. Furthermore, this podcast software captures from an external microphone. It also captures files played directly through your computer’s onboard sound card. 

Among other file types, Audacity imports WAV, AIFF, AU, OGG, MPEG2 and MPEG3. The software allows you to export WAV, AIFF, AU and OGG files. You also have the ability to create CD quality WAV and AIFF files. Unfortunately, Audacity does not support proprietary formats like WMA or AAC. Microsoft and Apple respectively own those formats. However, the most popular sound file - MP3 - is playable across platforms.

Editing Features
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Audacity offers an outstanding array of editing tools including. The tools you use most for podcasts include mixing, cropping, cross fading, noise reduction and much more. It also has effects like echo, fade, modulation, normalization, reverse and tempo.

Editing sound files is Audacity’s primary function. Therefore, it offers every tool and function you need to create the perfect sounding podcast. The software provides you a waveform of the sound file you are working on. This gives you the ability to do whatever you want to your sound file. You just have to know how to use it.

Publishing Options
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6.3
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5
7.5

Audacity’s primary function is not podcasting. In truth, the software accommodates the needs of multiple users for multiple tasks relating to sound recording and editing. It just happens that the product is perfect for recording podcasts.

The software lacks any publishing options, which is a key factor we look for to rate and rank the best podcast software. When you’re done recording your podcast simply export your sound file (we recommend MP3 because it’s compatible with just about everything) and upload it to your hosting or publishing service.

This may sound like a daunting chore to some, but if you have ever uploaded a picture to Facebook or a video to YouTube, you should have no trouble whatsoever figuring out how to upload a podcast to an FTP or hosting service.

Ease of Use
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If you’re new to editing sound files, take a few hours to get to know the software. If your podcast is simple, you should master the basics within a few days. The more advanced stuff can take years to learn properly. Audacity developed its software for use by both novice and advanced users.

Help & Support
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6.3
7.5
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Even though this is free software, you can find online support through FAQs, guides, tutorials and user forums. You can even send an email request.

Audacity Summary:
7.3/10

Even though podcasts are not Audacity’s primary function, editing and capturing tools make it a perfect avenue to record and edit your podcast. However, due to its primary functionality lying in editing it lacks publishing features. So it’s extremely top-heavy in favor of its primary functions when compared with similar products we reviewed.

If you don’t mind recording and editing your podcast in one program and inputting all the meta data in another program and then publishing through yet another service, Audacity may just be what you’re looking for.

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Audacity 1.2.6

Top Ten Reviews no longer updates this category and keeps it here for archiving purposes only. It was last updated in December 2012.
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