11Jun08: I have transferred the three votes from this thread to a pre-existing Feature Request for video support in the Wiki. I have retained this thread and moved it to Audio Processing section as it contains some useful hints/tips which others may benefit from.

Hi, i’m kind of new to Audacity, I had an old version but never bothered, and i recently decided I’d try it out properly. I think Audacity is great, it looks like it does all I need. Now I’m using Adobe Audition 1.5 (on Winows XP Pro SP2) but since Audacity is free (and a nice small download) and all it’s even better.

What i do in Audition 1.5 is I import video files and then go into multitrack view and add the video, video’s audio and a better audio file (I generally capture music videos, so CD audio is the ‘better’ audio i use). I then synchronise the better audio file to the video and make sure the audio I’m planning on using is the exact same length as the video’s original audio. Also, if the video contains audio that isn’t in the better audio file, i just copy that part from the video’s audio and paste it in the better audio so that you wouldn’t notice any glitch by the joins. Anyways. Once it’s synchronised I save the final audio file to .wav , and then use it as the audio for the video.

But I’m planning on doing this rather in Audacity. But to do that, i need to be able to put the video in as a track (obviously not going to edit the video) so i can playback the audio and video (in some preview window or something) and check if it’s well synchronised.
I have tried importing video, but it just extracts the audio and discards the video (and the extracted audio was all messed up, imported an AVI (XVID and MP3) and MPG (M1P and MP2), and both were messed up (don’t know why though) - I am using 1.3.3 beta.

Any chance such a feature will be implemented? Would be fantastic.

We could probably add video tracks support in the future, but rigth now no one seems to be encouraged enough to do it.

If you are on Linux, you can try using Xjadeo or any other JACK transport app to sync audio editor with video track while editing audio.

If you guys could add video audio editing into Audacity, I would love you for life. I just got back from a Flaming Lips concert and this video would be so amazing if only I could just mess around with the audio so there isn’t so much distortion. I was so close to the front that the amps completely destroyed the speakers on my Cannon S5.


Didn’t you get a simple video editing program with your camcorder? Load it and export the sound track into its own WAV sound file and then bring that into Audacity. Export the corrections from Audacity and marry that back into your video show.


He’s probably right. Nobody I know has ever captured the sound from a live concert. It’s too easy to distort the microphones on camcorders or overload the recording electronics. Once that happens, you have no music. You’re listening to the camcorder dying a slow, painful, and bloody death.

I was in the Editorial department and I saw they were cutting a live performance of a country and western band from here in LA. It was going very well…too well. I started asking questions and it turned out the band was performing just for the recording without their earthquake amplifiers and speakers. We were equalizing and putting the audience and screaming in later.

So if you can get Flaming Lips to perform just for you in a quiet room, you’d probably do OK.


Oh god video track would be good. I’m not aware of any free audio editing program that has a wide selection of plugins and the possibility to view video at the same time. I’m guessing that most of Audacity users are probably using it for music, but amateur and semi-professional film sound designers (like me) who aren’t just yet ready to invest on programs like Nuendo or Pro Tools would be really grateful if Audacity would have just one video track even without any video editing tools.

A lot of video editing programs allow you to import / export the audio track - even the free programs that you are given when you buy the camera. So edit your video, complete with the audio track, then export the audio and process / filter etc. in Audacity (just don’t change the length of the track), then import it back into the video.

For free video editing, check out

Processing, filttering, editing and creating sounds properly and on sync for a video is simply impossible withouth a video track. When processing the audio it’s important to see the video also so that you can see and hear right away does the sound fit to the video. It is also extremely tedious to do half of the sound designing with the video editor. Every time when the audio features of the video editor wouldn’t be enough you would have to export the audio tracks to Audacity, and I’m guessing that would be often.

Currently Audacity per se is pretty much useless to film sound designers. The world is full of amateur and semi-professional film makers who would find Audacity useful if it only had just one video track.

Try “Reaper” - it supports VST, so there’s loads of plug-ins, and I think it gives you the video window that you’re asking for.
It’s not FreeWare, but it’s very cheap, and you can try it out for as long as you like (possibly 30 days officially, but it doesn’t stop working).

I agree with Shubi. Audacity has EVERYTHING we need for a professional video editor: Multiple tracks, moving clips, changing their duration, splitting, joining, copying, reversing, etc. And it’s CROSS PLATFORM! The only thing lacking is the clips timeline and render windows.

So far all video editors for Linux simply ess eww cee kay (s. u. c. k.) big time. Here are my impressions:
Kdenlive: exporting problems unless you manage to compile the svn version, which is a heroic feat in itself due to low availability of the libraries used.
Cinelerra: Crashes, hangs, crashes, hangs. Awful UI. Lack of support for various formats. Oh, did I mention that it crashes and hangs?
Kino: Dude, where’s my timeline?
LiVES: Still very primitive.

I’m sure someone can write a wrapper for video rendering for audacity. A video can have its basic properties (input file, beginning clip frame, ending clip frame, duration in frames and/or speed (reversed?), plus a stack of effects and transitions (which indicate origin frame - or time - , ending time, initial parameters and ending parameters. You don’t need to worry about the video effects, someone can work on that later. Heck, you don’t even need to worry about the video rendering itself.

This is the field of dreams for developers, guys! Build it, and THEY WILL COME! I I even thought of the name for the new project: Visuality. :smiley:

The only thing you need to do is implement the skeleton to have a usable interface so we can play with dummy clips (which do absolutely nothing) and we can even design our own movies. The rendered video file could just be a series of text commands that say “from frame x to y of clip z, do this” for the moment.

I’m sure there are a lot of developers out there (including me) that are waiting for a chance to work on a collaborative project to make a video editor. But we need the opportunity to have a working framework that tells us: “Hey, we need this module / plugin. Here are the specs, we already worked out the interface and the object details”. The rest can be handled by a backend. But we need the API and the working skeleton. Please guys, we BEG!! Please implement a video handling skeleton!

The kdenlive interface is pretty straightforward, they’re alrady working on one for kde4. i’m sure you can add it in a couple of weeks.
Also, there are wxWidgets controls for video. We could use them in the meantime.

So how will you get the developers? Easy! Just post the news. “Audacity editor goes video - developers wanted” on digg or slashdot, and you’ll get a rain of offers. Please consider it guys… you’ve done already a superb work with audio. I’ve been working on an AMV and 90% of the work was with audio. I wish i could edit the audio tracks along with the video just as I do with audacity. So… why not edit the video in it?

Plus - Audacity deserves a platinum award for stability - the only times it has crashed on me has been when I’ve used plugins. Or maybe one or two times, but it’s nearly rock solid for me. This has been a gigantic work. Adding video support should be a piece of cake if you leave the low level details for plugins and/or external commands.

Please consider guys. If you do, you’ll be the heroes of the entire linux multimedia community.


Perhaps when JACK support is better this will become a non-issue.

Choose your JACK enabled media player of choice,
Choose your JACK enabled audio editor of choice (Audacity)
Hit “Play” in Jack Control, and BINGO, Audacity with video.

That’s not exactly what I asked… for starters, I haven’t been able to get jack to run in my distro. Besides, this isn’t just about being able to sync video and audio while I hit “play”, what I’m saying is that Audacity has the potential to become THE nonlinear video editor for Linux. It’s an opportunity, why don’t you take it? Is it the number of people in the dev team? Is it the lack of time? Is it just “because I don’t feel like it”? How about making a poll for the existing users?

If you don’t want to add the features or are against the idea of turning audacity into a video editor, just say so and we can talk about a fork or another branch… but don’t just leave us like that… :frowning:

Right now audacity is leaps ahead video editors, because of the audio capabilities and the interface. This is not about what audacity is right now, but what it can become. Please consider. I’d really like an official statement on this, please.

Thank you.

I think you may be asking in the wrong place for “an official statement on this”.

Some of the developers pop in to this forum from time to time, but mostly they are busy … developing Audacity.
So the forum get’s left to enthusiastic users of Audacity, who do their best to help other users, who can then go on ond help others.

Audacity is an audio editor, and a very good one. There seems to be no plans from the Audacity team to branch out into supporting video. I hope that I don’t sound argumentative, I think you raise some good points for discussion, and for my contribution to this discussion I’m trying to indicate that the developers still have a lot of work to do with Audacity as an audio editor.

Audacity has become an official “Google Summer Of Code” project, which could lead to significant developments, but video support is not currently on the cards. You can see a list of current plans / priorities / ideas, here:

I’m quite excited about Audacity at the moment, because I have just had my first taste of success running Audacity with JACK, albeit very limited success, but success non the less. Audacity will run quite happily with JACK on the new version of Ubuntu, but unfortunately not with Jack Control, and it is rather flaky if you try to connect it to other apps. You can read about my “experiments” here if you are interested:

I think you may be underestimating the amount of development work that would be required - it would certainly be more than just adding a simple “wrapper for video rendering”. Audacity, as you know, is open source, so developers of video editing applications have access to the Audacity source code, but for reasons that are technically way over my head, they have not used Audacity as the basis for their code.

Perhaps someone will start a multi-media fork of Audacity, but I don’t see that it is likely to come from withing the Audacity team in the foreseeable future, there is still so much to be done within the parameters of the current project.

On the other hand, I can see the use of JACK to have many advantages, one of which being to allow soundtracks to be synchronized to video. It may even allow inputs from multiple devices (a much requested feature), the use of multiple Aux send and returns, and real-time effects (a very frequently requested feature) by porting outputs from Audacity into other applications such as Jack Rack then back into Audacity. JACK could possibly be a key to a modular approach to nonlinear video editing - allowing the video part to be developed by those teams that specialize in video, and audio editing to be developed in Audacity, and these two “modules” to work together.

Thank you very much for your answers, and for clarifying a lot of things. I’d also like to apologize for my demanding attitude - it’s just that I get easily carried on, and frankly I’m desperate because of the multiple failing projects at video editing and modding audacity seems like a very good idea IMO. Maybe i’ll play with a local copy if i get the time.

In any case thanks for replying.

I do a bit of video editing myself (at work), but that’s on a Windows machine. There’s a lot of bad editors for Windows as well, but I’ve finally got something reliable - Adobe Premier on a computer specifically built for media production.

It’s very difficult to get a good, stable platform for video editing without throwing money at it, and even then you need to aim carefully which direction you throw the money. I’ve heard good things about Cinelerra, though I’ve not tried it myself. Lack of support for every video codec is no big deal for serious video work - just about every pro level video editing program sticks with its own native format, and if necessary you convert everything to the format that suits the program. You say that Cinelerra is not stable, but I had just the same problem with commercial Windows editors until I got my current set up - in fact I had to get a new PC for it because Premier would not even install on my old one (which was only 12 months old at the time).


a little more clarification - I have recently accepted a task from the developers to take the feature requests from the forum her, noting the amount of support that each gets, and consolidate them in the Audacitity Wiki for the developers. I have one aother task to do first and will get to this consolidation in the next week or so (but it will be a longish task !)

With regards to “demanding attitude” - my mother always used to say “if you don’t ask - you don’t get…” not that I always got what I asked for.

But please rest assured that Video editing will be one of the items that will get carried across with many votes - I seem to remember several previous threads in this section of the form on exactly the same issue. But that of course is no guarantee that the developers will accept the task - they may not have the technical expertise and they may not have the manpower.


I am producing a DVD, and need to replace poor quality sound recorded on the video camera with high quality sound independantly recorded through a sound mixer.
I’m using Nero Vission Essentials to combine the two, and can adjust video’s audio and mixer audio volumes independantly.
Unfortunately, NVE only allows the positioning of audio with an accuracy of 0.04 s.
I’ve been using Audacity to record the movie playback via wav input, one track a recording of camera sound, another track a recording of mixer sound.
Then I need to manually syncronise the start time of each track (because I don’t think Audacity has a sync-record function), but the start of the playback is s easy enough to pick in Audacity.

Initially, these two tracks are only roughly syncronised, and the delay might be a second or two. In some cases, I can visually inspect the wave form recorded from each track, and measure syncronisation error accurately - a precise number of samples.
But sometimes finding this syncronisation error accurately is real challenge, because there were no clear pops or claps in the recording to use as syncronisation landmarks, and the wave forms are too hard to recognise visually in the camera sound as sound is heavy with background noise. What I’d really love is some analysis algorithm to compare two tracks, and tell me what the syncronisation error is! With this, I could simply crop the correct number of samples from my mixer wave file to achieve perfect syncronisation in Nero Vission Essentials. Any ideas?

Oh, sure. We’ll get right on this video thing.

You know that television in the US doesn’t run at an even time rate, right? Time-of-day never comes out right for us. So with the HiDef formats out there (We were going to support HiDef, right? That’s all there is going to be left come beginning of next year) your choice of video frame rates is:


The three wacky, oddball numbers never come out even, and they were designed that way. I rounded them off for you, and those are normal for television in the US. Those are the framerates, sisters, and cousins of NTSC.

If you don’t use those numbers, you accumulate one frame out of lip sync about once a minute. I’ll spare you the math to get the real number, but that one’s good to go with. It causes no end of grief in grown-up video editors and will cause us grief, too.

Of course we’ll be supporting SMPTE Timecode as well as DV Framecode, right? No? You know that’s going to come up. Drop Frame and Non-Drop Frame, so that’s four different variations.

You thought getting two audio tracks to synchronize was difficult…

My other hat says “Los Angeles Final Cut Pro User Group.” I always thought it was a shame that the acronym doesn’t make an English word. The closest we ever got was Laff-See-Pug.


hi all - is there any update on a VST video plug in or like?? Thanks :stuck_out_tongue:

In the last few days, I’ve been using Final Cut Pro to edit audio, but it was my original plan to Audacity, and I would love if there was a video preview (not video editing) feature; this would allow finer editing, and without constantly transferring between applications.

However, I think it would far more preferable if Audacity introduced a non-destructive infrastructure.


That would be a completely new program (total rewrite from scratch, with different objectives).