How best to install 3.2.2 alongside 2.4.2?

2.4.2 on M1 Mac Monterey

Hoping someone with more than one Audacity version on their mac can advise.

If I update my OS to Ventura, it will likely break my beloved 2.4.2, so I want to try out a separate 3.2.2 installation without affecting my existing 2.4.2 instance (or its many .aup + _data projects) at all. Then I can give it a proper go before deciding whether to update my OS and migrate all the projects to .aup3, or wait.

I tried 3.2.1 on an ancient creaking machine, but it was too slow to give it a fair crack.

Can I just install 3.2.2 in its own named folder within Applications from the DMG? I’ve read various posts and a manual page (which I now can’t find) but am not quite clear how to make sure that the two versions don’t interfere with each other.

Since everything is backed up, I suppose I could just install 3.2.2, try it out then roll back if it doesn’t work out, but I’d prefer to be able to compare it to 2.4.2 more directly if possible.

My practice is to rename the old versions, that way you don’t have to bury them in folders. So rename your current version of Audacity to “Audacity 242” (or similar), then simply install the latest Audacity.

A word of warning. When 3.2.2 encounters an older settings file it resets it. In particular, when switching between versions you will find that the arrangement of the toolbars is messed up. The solution to this is to create a place for Audacity 3.2.2 to keep its settings file, separate from version 2.4.2. To do this, right-click on the version 3.2.2 icon and choose “Show package contents”. Open the “Contents” folder. Inside the Contents folder create a new folder named “Portable Settings”.

I quite like version 3.2.2: particularly the grab bars for moving clips and the realtime effects.

– Bill

Brilliant, thanks Bill.

Since I’m mainly using 2.4.2 and have it named as Audacity in routing software, I’ve renamed 3.2.2 instead and (prob unnecessarily) installed it in its own folder, portable settings created within contents as you advised.

No annoyances so far, except that existing .aup projects open in 3.2.2 unless told otherwise - no big deal.

Yes, I think I’ll enjoy the grab bar too. Just need to work out how to adapt to this non-destructive editing.

Windows guy here.

One other item to note, especially if other users might be reading this post. On Windows, and possibly on MacOS, when Audacity starts up, it asks the operating system if any other copies of Audacity might already be running. If so, the newly started Audacity exits, but wakes up the previous running copy. Because of this behavior you cannot have two different versions of Audacity running concurrently. This can result in a little confusion.

Fortunately, the toolbars for 2.4.2 and 3.2.2 are sufficiently different, that you should be able to tell within a few moments, which version is actually running.