Free or Trial Version?

Howdy Audacity Folks,

I remember that I used, and liked, Audacity 4-5 years and 4-5 computers ago. Not active with recording/music for some time, I didn’t install it in newer computers and forgot about it. Recently, I got an email reminder about it and having good memories about it, I’m interested in it again. However, I’ve been retired from any professional music/recording activities for a long time and could not justify spending any money on it.

The download site says it’s free: “Audacity® is free, open source, cross-platform software for recording and editing sounds.”
But sometimes “free” means a trial version and, after the trial period, there is a charge.
Is this the case here?

That is what it means.
More information in this FAQ: Audacity Manual

Thanks Steve,

Along with my recollection about it being intuitive and easy to understand/use, the fact that it’s free would be another reason why my first reaction to seeing the email notice was pleasant.

I’ll download it now. I see in the FAQs that any questions/problems I might have will be covered there.
But I wonder: Might there be some kind of introductory, general oversight/instructions tutorial video e.g. YouTube etc.?

If you use the recommended Windows installer, the user manual is included in the Help menu. Take a look at “Help menu > Quick Help”. That opens the “Getting Started Guide”. The on-line version is here:

What are these additional items? (VST Effects)
Often when downloading/installing something, other programs etc. are offered. Sometimes, I miss the decline option and get things that I don’t want e.g. advertising, tracking etc. what are these other things and do I want/need them?

Also, I don’t see an attach file option here. I see insert image but don’t understand how it works. I have a screen shot. a choose file box didn’t open so I tried to drag it in but that didn’t work. How does insert image work?

Audacity does not bundle anything than Audacity in the installer.

However Audacity scans for any VST effects that may be on your system, so that you are not confined only to the effects that come with Audacity. VST’s are effects like those that come with Audacity to change the sound in different ways, but they use a different system. They can have a prettier interface with a picture and circular knobs, rather than being just text and sliders.

See also your other question Brief explanation please (hard_limiter_1413/se4_1882) for why that “Install VST Effects” dialogue shows Hard Limiter and SC4 even if you don’t have any VST effects.

Please see here for how to attach files:


Thank you Gale,

Just curious: My email notices say they are from buanzo AT audacityteam DOT org.
But since your name seems to be Gale Andrews, you may not be buanzo.

What’s happening here?

I was waiting for a reply about the VST Effects but the prompt and Audacity were in the way and I needed to get on with other business so I installed Hard Limiter but did not install SC4.

I see this in the other post (Hard Limiter and SC4 will appear in the Effect Menu whether you enable them in the “Install VST Effects” dialogue or not. Sorry this is a bit confusing, but this will be improved for the next release of Audacity. )

So I guess I don’t need to install it, right?

Two optional components are available from that website. They are the optional LAME MP3 encoder and the optional FFmpeg library. Neither of these components are required to use Audacity. Neither of these components are included in Audacity (as supplied by us) due to possible copyright/patent claims in some countries. You can read more about these components here and decide if you wish to install them or not:
I don’t know what “email notice” you are referring to.

“Hard Limiter” and “SC4” are “LADSPA” plugins. Audacity includes a number of plugins to provide effects. These plugins are part of the standard Audacity distribution and are all free and all are licensed under terms that are compatible with the GPL v2 license (the license terms that Audacity is released under. Redirecting to:

Additional plugins that work with Audacity are also available.

Here’s an example of the email notice:
buanzo AT audacityteam DOT org
11:40 (40 minutes ago)

to me

Hello jmdraft,

You are receiving this notification because you are watching the topic,
“Free or Trial Version?” at “Audacity Forum”. This topic has received a
reply by steve since your last visit. You can use the following link to
view the replies made, no more notifications will be sent until you visit
the topic.

If you want to view the newest post made since your last visit, click the
following link:

Ah, that makes sense now. “Buanzo” is a network security expert who looks after much of the website stuff for us, including installing this forum.

Happy New Year!
Where are you folks?

On computers at home or on the road.

We are all volunteers, so there is no bricks and mortar “Audacity office building”.