Redistributing Audacity

I’m the webmaster at, and I’m shortly releasing an e-book called The Canon Project, a series of creative keyboard lesson using Pachelbel’s Canon to teach theory, composition and improvisation.
The project includes various backing tracks to play over, and Audacity’s shift-spacebar loop feature is a God-send! Rather than sending my clients off somewhere else to download Audacitty (another potential ‘do it later’ fail scenario), I’d like to bundle Audacity in my download.
I understand you are happy about this (thanks!). My question is, do I have to do anything other than simply put the Audacity folder that I myself download, into my product download folder?
Many thanks for your time !
Bob Chappell

There’s also a thing about mentioning the copyright, etc. etc., but I can’t immediately find it, and in any event, I’m not sure it applies to you. Looking.

The details for re-distributing Audacity are under
But I’m not sure if you really must include the full source code or if it is sufficient to tell the people where they can download the code.

The best way would be to link to the Audacity download page:
that way the latest version of Audacity, including any important bug fixes, will always be available to your readers.
It will also ensure that you don’t inadvertently breach copyright issues.
If you have specific questions regarding this, please write directly to the feedback e-mail address on this page:

Hi and thanks, but perhaps I haven’t made myself clear. My question really was, what do I have to put in my download so the redistributed Audacity installs properly on my customer’s computer? Just the folder I download, or something else as well?

Do all of your readers use Windows?

For Windows XP SP2 and later, all that you need to include is the “Recommended Download”
It is marked as:
Audacity 2.0 installer (.exe file, 19.8 MB, including help files) for Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7

This does not include the ability to Export as MP3.
For exporting MP3s the user will need to install a compatible version of LAME.
We do not distribute LAME ourselves due to potential licensing issues.

For importing/exporting WMA, AC3, AAC files, FFmpeg is required.
Again this is not something that we distribute ourselves.

Audacity natively supports (without any additional downloads), import and export in WAV, AIFF, OGG, FLAC formats and MP3 import only.

If some of your readers use Mac OS X they will need the “Recommended Download” from the Mac OS X page:
Audacity 2.0.0 (.dmg file, 27.5 MB, including help files) for OS X 10.4 or later (Universal Binary)

Again this does not include LAME or FFmpeg

Linux users are likely to have a suitable version of Audacity available from their Linux distribution repository.

Re. Licensing conditions, I quote:
“If you distribute our installers and do not modify them, this will fully comply,”
See here for the full text:

Surely not.

There is no uniform way how Audacity must be installed under different operating systems, so the answer is quite different and depends on what operating system the Audacity user is using, and wether the user has privileges on the particular system to install system software or not.

This means also that you would need to distribute:

  • The Windows Installer (for standard Windows installations at home) plus the Windows zip-Version (for environments like schools or sound studios, where the user has no privileges to install system software on the computer), both can be found under Recommended Downloads on the Audacity Windows download page.

  • The Mac dmg-Image (works for both situations), found on the Audacity Mac download page.

  • The full source code plus a link to CompilingAudacityForBeginners for Linux and Unix systems. The source code can be either found under Sourcecode on the Audacity homepage or can be checked out from the SVN repository.

Many Linux distributions provide precompiled Audacity packages in their download repositories and there are also prefabricated packages available for Fedora, Gentoo, Suse, and Ubuntu, linked from the Gnu/Linux section of the Audacity homepage.

I generally recommend Linux and Unix users to compile Audacity by themselves, because the resulting Audacity program is hardware optimized for the computer, where the Audacity program has been compiled. This means that with precompiled Audacity packages, chances are very low that Audacity is hardware optimized for the end-user’s computer, and audio dropouts are more likely than with a self-compiled Audacity program.

To describe how Audacity must be installed under all these systems is a book by itself, that still needs to be written. The reason is that all operating systems are still under development and chances are good (bad?) that things will change again during the next few years.

Please keep in mind that if you distribute Audacity together with a book, you frequently need to update the distributed Audacity version, because nobody can tell if an Audacity version of today still will work in a few years, because the functions of the underlying operating systems change frequently.

The history of music is several thousand years, the “history” of computer hardware (in its electronic form as used today) is only a few dozend years. Compared to music, computer technology is still in its infancy. People tend to forget this.

  • edgar

As you can see from the replies, it is much simpler to link to Audacity from your site than try to include software for Windows and Mac platforms, source code for Linux then keep them all maintained by periodically issuing reprints.

To link to Audacity on your site, the first time you mention the name “Audacity”, please follow it with the trademark symbol, which you can do by typing “®” (without the quotes). Please include a link back to our home page: .

If you would like to use an image of the Audacity logo on your site, please use one of these which includes our trademark:

rectangular white background Photoshop format 506 x 200:

rectangular transparent Photoshop format 506 x 200:

square white background Photoshop format 253 x 100:

rectangular transparent PNG 506 x 200:

rectangular transparent PNG 253 x 100:

square transparent PNG 163 x 159:

square white background PNG 163 x 159: .