Edit: Unfortunately, the images originally included in this post are gone, because of hosting problems in late 2009. My apologies.
I had the very unusual opportunity last night to try out Audacity because I needed a program that would record a two-minute reading from a book, and make an mp3 out of it. The circumstances are somewhat unusual and not worth explaining; what was interesting is that Audacity actually did a very good job with that brief task.
That’s the Arch version; the Ubuntu version was nearly identical and worked the same. I actually wanted to use my ugly K6-2 for the task, just to be flippant, but the hard drive in that machine whines so loudly that it was being picked up by the microphone. What is the deal with 4200rpm drives?!
I rarely need or use a sound editor, but this one worked acceptably well and was easy to figure out. The interface is arranged neatly with all the major tools in one area, and a good list of filters and gimmicks for the truly audiophilic.
And really, aside from that I didn’t dig too deeply, so I won’t be terribly critical. The only suggestion would be a little smoother interface — the shaded playback controls are nice, but they don’t seem to mesh well with the bezeled buttons and controls elsewhere. It looks like it’s having an identity crisis, or maybe the GUI is undergoing a transformation and I got the half-Bill Bixby, half-Lou Ferrigno version.
Anyway, I can’t find any faults with it in the short time I used it. If you need a straightforward, easy-to-use audio recorder, I can recommend it. Nicely done.