Tag Archives: records

Audacity – The Best Free Multiplatform Audio Recorder/Editor?

image A year or so ago, I needed to record 20 minutes of streaming audio from the Internet, and since I am not an audio hobbyist, and have limited experience recording using my computer, I simply launched Windows Sound Recorder and sat back to watch it do it’s job. I thought!

No such luck. I was surprised to learn the maximum recording time on Sound Recorder is only 30 seconds, which was far too short for my purpose.

A mad scramble to find a freeware/open source replacement for Windows Sound Recorder led me to Audacity which, as it turns out, is the most popular free, open source audio editor/ recorder available. It works with many operating systems, including Windows, Mac, GNU, and Linux.

Audacity has a surprisingly easy to use interface, and I found it to be feature-rich and flexible. The first thing that struck me on launching the program was, it advised me I had several hundred hours of available space on my drives in which to record. Not 30seconds!

image

Audacity has the capacity to handle multi-track editing, a good number of audio effects including reverb, delay, compression, echo, phaser, wahwah and reverse. Its audio export functions include MP3, OGG, AIFF, and WAV and more.

One of the more interesting features, for me, is Audacity’s capacity to convert tapes and records into digital recordings. I have a large collection of old 70’s and 80’s albums that I have many times considered converting to digital recordings and burning to CD’s. I now have the application to do just that. Now, if I can only find the time!

System Requirements: Windows 98/ME/2000/XP/Vista

The Audacity web site lists the following features:

Recording:

Audacity can record live audio through a microphone or mixer, or digitize recordings from cassette tapes, vinyl records, or minidisks.

With some sound cards, it can also capture streaming audio.

Record from microphone, line input, or other sources.

Dub over existing tracks to create multi-track recordings.

Record up to 16 channels at once (requires multi-channel hardware).

Level meters can monitor volume levels before, during, and after recording.

Import and Export:

Import sound files, edit and combine them with other files or new recordings.

Export your recordings in several common file formats.

Import and export WAV, AIFF, AU, and Ogg Vorbis files.

Import MPEG audio (including MP2 and MP3 files) with libmad.

Export MP3s with the optional LAME encoder library.

Create WAV or AIFF files suitable for burning to CD.

Import and export all file formats supported by libsndfile.

Open raw (header less) audio files using the “Import Raw” command.

Note: Audacity does not currently support WMA, AAC, or most other proprietary or restricted file formats.

Editing:

Easy editing with Cut, Copy, Paste, and Delete.

Use unlimited Undo (and Redo) to go back any number of steps.

Very fast editing of large files.

Edit and mix an unlimited number of tracks.

Use the Drawing tool to alter individual sample points.

Fade the volume up or down smoothly with the Envelope tool.

Effects:

Change the pitch without altering the tempo, or vice-versa.

Remove static, hiss, hum, or other constant background noises.

Alter frequencies with Equalization, FFT Filter, and Bass Boost effects.

Adjust volumes with Compressor, Amplify, and Normalize effects.

Other built-in effects include:

Echo

Phaser

Wahwah

Reverse

Sound Quality:

Record and edit 16-bit, 24-bit, and 32-bit (floating point) samples.

Record at up to 96 KHz.

Sample rates and formats are converted using high-quality resampling and dithering.

Mix tracks with different sample rates or formats, and Audacity will convert them automatically in real-time.

Plug-Ins:

Add new effects with LADSPA plug-ins.

Audacity includes some sample plug-ins by Steve Harris.

Load VST plug-ins for Windows and Mac, with the optional VST Enabler.

Write new effects with the built-in Nyquist programming language.

Analysis:

Spectrogram mode for visualizing frequencies.

Plot Spectrum command for detailed frequency analysis.

Download at: Download.com

28 Comments

Filed under Audio Applications, Audio Software, Free Full Versions, Open Source, Portable Applications, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

Benefits of a Wired Life

Wired life Over the last ten to fifteen years, we have seen an explosive amount of growth related to high technology.

In just a few short years, we have gone from land lines and dial-up internet connections to 3g cell phones and wireless internet.

Living in this period of time is exciting for many different reasons and living a wired life has many benefits, a few of which will be explored in the following article.

Instant Access to Information

Whenever you need to find something out in this day and age, all you need to do is go to Google and you will have the answer in a matter of seconds. This is great for many different reasons. There is rarely a need to dial information, and when you look up something on the internet, you also can see reviews, updated information, and alternatives to your search as well, regardless of what you’re looking for.

Get Anywhere with Ease

Whether you utilize the Google Maps tool or have a GPS system in your vehicle, chances are you’ll have a tough time getting lost on the way to a new location. Although there have been some instances where this technology hasn’t been quite as effective, it is generally the best information available out there at the moment. Glitches have basically been worked out and maps are updated frequently as new routes are assessed and opened up.

Mobility

mobility Practically everything you could ever need in the way of technology is now available in a portable device.

In 1998, the average hard drive on a PC was 8 GB; now an 80 GB mp3 player is smaller than a deck of cards. In such a brief time period, practically everything is now portable.

Pocket PCs and cell phones have access to a variety of function that go far beyond the bulky cell phone of ten to twelve years ago. The ability to access your PC’s desktop from a remote location is another of many benefits of the increasingly mobile nature of technology.

Promise of Greatness to Come

Each time a new technology is developed, it brings a sense of hope for what the future has in store. Even now, documents and records are being scanned and backed up, books are being saved to digital formats, and databases are being created to be able to make the most of our technology. As this field continues to grow and develop, our lives can and will only get better as a result.

By-line:

This article was contributed by Holly McCarthy, who writes on the subject of an internet provider. She invites your feedback at hollymccarthy12 (at) gmail dot com

4 Comments

Filed under Interconnectivity, Living Life, Networking, Personal Perspective, social networking, Windows Tips and Tools

Stop Keyloggers in Their Tracks – Free SnoopFree Privacy Shield

Today, the most dangerous and most finely crafted malware, will not generally impact your system resources in such a way as to cause noticeable slow down.

This type of malware is designed to remain undetected and to be as stealthy as possible, so that it can get on with its designated task, which most often results in identity theft and the compromising of your financial data.

One of the most insidious of this type of malware, one I have always taken special care to guard against, is the keylogger.

A keylogger, or system monitor, is a small program (not always malware), that monitors every keystroke a user types on a computer’s keyboard. A keylogger program does not always require physical access to the user’s computer. It can be downloaded, on purpose, by someone who wants to monitor activity on a particular computer, or it can be downloaded unwittingly as spyware, and executed as part of a rootkit or remote administration (RAT) Trojan horse.

A malware keylogger typically consists of two files: a dynamic link library (DLL) file (which does all the recording) and an executable file (.EXE) that installs the DLL file and triggers it to work. The keylogger program records each keystroke and uploads the information over the Internet.

Luckily, there is a remedy for this type of malware threat.

(Click pic for larger)

SnoopFree Privacy Shield is a powerful application that guards your keyboard, screen and open windows from all spy software. It makes it virtually impossible for any spy program to work on your computer; since SnoopFree Privacy Shield’s unique protection works against spy software in real time.

I have been using this application for quite some time, and I have been amazed at the number of programs that have requested access to my keyboard and screen, particularly programs that I was in the process of installing. Since I test a lot of applications, I see this type of program behavior frequently. Unless there are valid reasons for this type of access, I don’t allow it. Surprisingly, in most cases the application installs correctly. Curious!

If you’re serious about privacy, then this free application is a must have addition to your security toolbox.

System Requirements: Unfortunately, this application works on Windows XP only.

Download at: Download.com

1 Comment

Filed under Anti-Keyloggers, Anti-Malware Tools, Don't Get Hacked, Free Security Programs, Freeware, Interconnectivity, Internet Safety, Online Safety, PC Monitoring Application and Key Loggers, Privacy, Software, Spyware - Adware Protection, Surveillance, System Security, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

Audacity – Free Multiplatform Audio Recorder/Editor

Several months back, I needed to record 20 minutes of streaming audio from the Internet, and since I am not an audio hobbyist, and have limited experience recording using my computer, I simply launched Windows Sound Recorder and sat back to watch it do it’s job. I thought!

No such luck. I was surprised to learn the maximum recording time on Sound Recorder is only 30 seconds, which was far too short for my purpose.

A mad scramble to find a freeware/open source replacement for Windows Sound Recorder led me to Audacity which, as it turns out, is the most popular free, open source audio editor/ recorder available. It works with many operating systems, including Windows, Mac, GNU, and Linux.

Audacity has a surprisingly easy to use interface, and I found it to be feature-rich and flexible. The first thing that struck me on launching the program was, it advised me I had several hundred hours of available space on my drives in which to record. Not 30seconds!

Audacity has the capacity to handle multi-track editing, a good number of audio effects including reverb, delay, compression, echo, phaser, wahwah and reverse. Its audio export functions include MP3, OGG, AIFF, and WAV and more.

One of the more interesting features, for me, is Audacity’s capacity to convert tapes and records into digital recordings. I have a large collection of old 60’s and 70’s albums that I have many times considered converting to digital recordings and burning to CD’s. I now have the application to do just that. Now, if I can only find the time!

System Requirements: Windows 98/Me/2000/XP

The Audacity web site lists the following features:

Recording:

Audacity can record live audio through a microphone or mixer, or digitize recordings from cassette tapes, vinyl records, or minidisks.

With some sound cards, it can also capture streaming audio.

Record from microphone, line input, or other sources.

Dub over existing tracks to create multi-track recordings.

Record up to 16 channels at once (requires multi-channel hardware).

Level meters can monitor volume levels before, during, and after recording.

Import and Export:

Import sound files, edit and combine them with other files or new recordings.

Export your recordings in several common file formats.

Import and export WAV, AIFF, AU, and Ogg Vorbis files.

Import MPEG audio (including MP2 and MP3 files) with libmad.

Export MP3s with the optional LAME encoder library.

Create WAV or AIFF files suitable for burning to CD.

Import and export all file formats supported by libsndfile.

Open raw (header less) audio files using the “Import Raw” command.

Note: Audacity does not currently support WMA, AAC, or most other proprietary or restricted file formats.

Editing:

Easy editing with Cut, Copy, Paste, and Delete.

Use unlimited Undo (and Redo) to go back any number of steps.

Very fast editing of large files.

Edit and mix an unlimited number of tracks.

Use the Drawing tool to alter individual sample points.

Fade the volume up or down smoothly with the Envelope tool.

Effects:

Change the pitch without altering the tempo, or vice-versa.

Remove static, hiss, hum, or other constant background noises.

Alter frequencies with Equalization, FFT Filter, and Bass Boost effects.

Adjust volumes with Compressor, Amplify, and Normalize effects.

Other built-in effects include:

Echo

Phaser

Wahwah

Reverse

Sound Quality:

Record and edit 16-bit, 24-bit, and 32-bit (floating point) samples.

Record at up to 96 KHz.

Sample rates and formats are converted using high-quality resampling and dithering.

Mix tracks with different sample rates or formats, and Audacity will convert them automatically in real-time.

Plug-Ins:

Add new effects with LADSPA plug-ins.

Audacity includes some sample plug-ins by Steve Harris.

Load VST plug-ins for Windows and Mac, with the optional VST Enabler.

Write new effects with the built-in Nyquist programming language.

Analysis:

Spectrogram mode for visualizing frequencies.

Plot Spectrum command for detailed frequency analysis.

Download at: Download.com

9 Comments

Filed under Audio Applications, Audio Software, Freeware, Geek Software and Tools, Open Source, Software, Windows Tips and Tools