The Next Steps for Audio.com & Audacity

In this update, we wanted to share our future goals for Audio.com, including a focus on building a creator-first platform.

As audio.com has grown, we’ve realized — through in-depth research and discussions with our community — that many creators are interested in sophisticated cloud tools to help collaborate, sell, manage and distribute their work.

That’s why we’re planning to soon include a cloud-saving feature on audio.com that allows creators to work on Audacity projects that are saved directly to the cloud. This means that by signing in to Audio.com on any device, you can immediately continue working on your Audacity project. This feature will also provide a convenient way to share your projects with others, and get feedback instantly. It’s a first, exciting step in providing a space that enables audiophiles, podcasters and musicians to collaborate together.

Building this kind of capability is complicated, so we’ll soon launch a beta release to let you try it out and provide feedback. We expect to be releasing this Beta in mid-February.

We want to provide the best creator tools and services we can while still growing revenue to invest into our products. And while many audio.com features will remain free, the new cloud storage feature will incur additional costs for our team. So we will offer 5 projects completely free, but charge a small fee for usage beyond this amount.

Audacity will, of course, always remain 100% free and open source.

We’d love to hear your opinions about this, including the kinds of additional tools you think we should build. Thanks for your continued support,

Audacity & audio.com teams

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Im confused, we can already save from audacity to audio.com. Albeit with limited functionality.

What am i missing?

@stevelee The change would be adding support to cloud projects, not just cloud uploads. The difference is similar to MP3 vs AUP3 files - MP3/Share Audio is designed to listen back to the finished product, AUP3/Project cloud storage is for your work-in-progress projects.

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Exactly. You can just press ‘save’ and your work will be synced to the cloud. This also means you’ll be able to revert to previous versions if you lose work.

Got it. Yes useful. Better than cloud backed local drives.

Since you asked … (!)

I loathe so-called “cloud” storage and will never ever use it¹ for anything; so your proposed changes don’t affect me, other than by (IMHO) diverting your development time away from things I’d really like to see changed, to something I’ll never use or want to use.

(¹ The sole exception being the WeTransfer service, for the rare occasions when I have to send someone a file larger than their e-mail service will handle.)

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To be proactive, it’d be useful if you’d mention, say, your top three things you’d love to see changed. The majority of our team are not working on Cloud stuff and there are a lot of significant improvements we’re introducing over the coming 6 months.

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Hi Audacity,
Thanks for the awesome updates. As a musician in am happy to see these updates. But also as an audio engineer, i am slightly concerned if these changes my make a such a simple yet amazing tool more complex to use.

As an audio engineer i have really found the frequency spectrum and the level measurements, signal generators and other visualizations of audacity very useful.

I think what would be awesome is if we have a creator edition of audacity and a Scientific or engineering focused version of audacity.

Some of the tools that I think is missing or could use some improvement in current audacity version would be a suite of tools to compare 2 audio files more effectively like seen in Adobe Audition.

The ability to see 2 or more frequency spectra on the plot. Calculate the deltas between them. May be some other scientific tools for comparisons of audio signals like detecting glitches in audio or envelope detection, Euclidean distance between 2 signals or some measurement to analyze the similarity between 2 files. I feel the effect’s library in Audacity is so much richer compared the the analysis tools

We’re well aware how diverse Audacity’s userbase is. By the time we’ll get into the deep end of music production tools, we’ll also have workspaces in place. With workspaces, you’ll be able to switch between music, podcast and scientific workflows, and hide tools which aren’t relevant to the current task.

As for the availability of analyzers: Audacity supports Vamp analyzer plugins, many of which you can download here: Vamp Plugins

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@AudacityTeam, OK then, my top three “wants” are:

  1. GRIDLINES, PLEASE: both horizontal AND vertical. Vertical gridlines help to make pauses in audiobooks more consistent; and horizontal gridlines make it easier to visualise levels whilst editing. The ocenaudio UI admirably demonstrates how I would ideally like the audio workspace pane in Audacity to look. Obviously, the gridlines could be toggled on/off at any time, as in graphics editing programs.

  2. A way to SPECIFY the directories where my VST plugins live, and thus, which ones I would like Audacity to use/scan/re-scan. For various reasons, my plugins are kinda scattered around and not all in one nice neat directory, hence: most of them are “invisible” to Audacity and I can’t use them. Supplemental: I don’t know if this can be done, but it would be good if Audacity is able to use 32-bit plugins as some of my Completely Indispensible VST plugins are 32-bit, and will never ever have a 64-bit version created. (I have the 32-bit build of Acoustica 7 on my PC, specifically so that I can use my 32-bit plugins.)

  3. A more rational way for users to create themes; or at minimum, a way to easily select desired colours for UI objects/elements. It would then be possible for non-C-coders to mask that wretched RMS ‘waveform-in-a-waveform,’ or set the UI’s colours to suit any vision impairments. (When I worked in corporate IT, we did have some users whose colour choices for things like terminal emulators seemed bizarre, but it taught me a VERY valuable lesson about NOT imposing colour choices on users, nor limiting them to a choice of a handful of “themes.”)

Thanks for reading, and perhaps some of those things can be addressed. Fingers crossed!

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@LWinterberg, Workspaces, eh? So Audacity will in time be more like Adobe Audition 3.0.1 (yes, the 2008 one, which STILL has the very best automated noise reduction and doesn’t use a ‘noise sample’) and will have like a dozen or more Workspace types, presumably with the ability for users to create their own Workspaces, based on the supplied ones?

I would suggest adding Audiobook to your music, podcast, and scientific/engineering workspaces list. And it’s good to know that despite Audacity generally becoming more DAW-like with every release (hey ho), that one will in future be able to get rid of things like multitracks, pitch and time adjustment, and similar unnecessary stuff, from the UI. :+1:

You kinda can have vertical gridlines now, but a bit in a hacky way. You need to change the time ruler to beats and measures mode. You can always snap to seconds or to whatever suits your needs best as well.

This is surely planned to be done soon

There is a 32 bit version of Audacity available, you can run it in a “portable mode” so it doesn’t mess up the config for the 64 bit one.

This is in my personal plans :slight_smile:

Can you clarify if you reserve the right to use our content stored/shared on Audio.com for any machine learning or derivative works? The creative industry is pretty spooked at the moment with other companies regarding how their data may have been used without their explicit permission - and some companies have hidden T&Cs which allow them to use our data to ‘improve their software’. Thanks for your help.

No intention to do anything like that. We’ll make sure it is clarified in the audio.com Privacy Policy

Thank you - that’s great.

So, one thing that confuses me (and maybe this is a whole can of worms), but it seems to me like it is a lot of resource dedication to potentially reinvent the wheel, so to speak, while also asking the community to “pay for another service” in a time when inflation is on the rise and there are already a proliferation of “streaming” and “cloud services”.

Seeing as there are already Cloud services like Google Drive, Drop Box, iCloud, etc., why is it necessary to build your own from the ground up for this? Would it not be more beneficial to simply add in hooks to tie into said services? What are the concerns? Is this more a question about “remaining FOSS” (which, technically, a paid cloud subscription wouldn’t be … it would technically be “OSS” :sweat_smile:)

Where is this community that you have in-depth discussions with?

I’ve found this forum, your Discord channel, your YouTube channel and your GitHub repository, but I can’t find where you engage with end users. Most of your posts here are “announcements”, which is not an effective way to learn what your customers want.

@jamz We hosted a survey on the main Audacity website for a while, and since then have been doing surveys on the general population and 1:1 user interviews in which these things got discussed, so pretty standard market research. We are very aware that just posting a survey in this forum (or discord, or YouTube, for that matter) isn’t going to map on the general user base.

@catterwaul I’m not sure integrating other services would have been any easier to be honest.