Audacity 3.1 won't launch at all and hangs my Mac

Hi everyone – I only want to use Audacity to make mp3’s from my vinyls. Bought a Victrola record player expecting this to be an easy process, but it came with a CD. I haven’t had a CD drive on a computer since, like, 2010! So the Victrola manual said alternatively download Audacity. I have zero experience with sound recording software and hope once I get Audacity running that this will be a simple a straightforward process, converting some vinyls to digital. BUT … Audacity just won’t launch at all on my computer. (2017 iMac running 10.15.7 on Intel i7)

What I’ve done after downloading and installing Audacity 3.1:

  • tried launching the normal way. (Yes, from the Applications folder not the dmg) Nothing at all happens. I found Audacity is actually there in Activity Monitor but there is zero interface and no app apparently running if I Command-Tab through open apps. Had to force quit from Activity Monitor (regular Quit in Activity Monitor did not work)

  • Control clicked the app icon to display package contents, and launched from the Unix executable. It opened Terminal and tried to launch the app, but same thing happened. Force quit in Activity Monitor

  • Control clicked the app icon and chose Open. Finally! the Sys Pref dialog opened asking me to authorize the app and I did. Still nothing!

  • Downloaded a fresh copy of 3.1 and reinstalled, rinse, repeat, same problems.

  • Thought OK I’ll restart the machine (even though that is just so 1990s. I honestly can’t remember the last time I had to reboot a Mac to make an app run). So now, even though I had force-quit Audacity in Activity Monitor, my machine would not restart! So I tried Shut Down instead and a dialog flashed across the screen saying that Activity Monitor was interfering with shut down.

In other words, Audacity just completely utterly and totally hangs on my computer. I probably just need to return the Victrola but thought I’d look for advice here first. Please keep in mind that I’m a long-time Mac user but a mere mortal, not a developer or very advanced power user. Thanks for any further suggestions! I feel like I’ve tried everything I could think of or could find on the web, with no results.

Also, I’d be happy to pay some modest price for a different software title that actually works on Mac, if any audio processing software will understand and process the signal coming from my Victrola. But I have never done this before so I don’t know if “any audio software” will work with “any record player”. Open to alternative app suggestions, too.

Thanks so much.