audacity - Graphical cross-platform audio editor
audacity [ AUDIO-FILE ] ...
Audacity is a graphical audio editor. This man page does not describe
all of the features of Audacity or how to use it; for this, see the
html documentation that came with the program, which should be accessi-
ble from the Help menu. This man page describes the Unix-specific fea-
tures, including special files and environment variables.
The only command-line arguments Audacity takes are the names of audio
files to open. Audacity currently uses libsndfile to open many uncom-
pressed audio formats such as WAV, AIFF, and AU, and it can also be
linked to libmad and libvorbis to provide support for opening MP3 and
Ogg Vorbis files, respectively.
If you specify multiple files on the command-line, Audacity will import
all of them into the same project, which is convenient if you want to
Audacity is an interactive, graphical editor, not a batch-processing
tool. There are no options which make it easy to perform an operation
on a set of files. If you need to batch-process audio or do simple
edits from the command line, use sox.
Per user configuration file.
Default location of Audacity's temp directory, where <user> is
your username. If this location is not suitable (not enough
space in /tmp, for example), you should change the temp direc-
tory in the Preferences and restart Audacity. Audacity is a
disk-based editor, so the temp directory is very important: it
should always be on a fast disk with lots of free space.
Note that older versions of Audacity put the temp directory
inside of the user's home directory. This is undesirable on
many systems, and using some directory in /tmp is recommended.
Open the Preferences to check.
When looking for plug-ins, help files, localization files, or other
configuration files, Audacity searches the following locations, in this
Any directories in the AUDACITY_PATH environment variable will
be searched before anywhere else.
The system-wide Audacity documentation directory, where <prefix>
is usually /usr or /usr/local, depending on where the program
For localization files in particular (i.e. translations of Audacity
into other languages), Audacity also searches <prefix>/share/locale
Audacity supports two types of plug-ins on Unix: LADSPA and Nyquist
plug-ins. These are generally placed in a directory called plug-ins
somewhere on the search path (see above).
LADSPA plug-ins can either be in the plug-ins directory, or alterna-
tively in a ladspa directory on the search path if you choose to create
one. Audacity will also search the directories in the LADSPA_PATH
environment variable for additional LADSPA plug-ins.
Nyquist plug-ins can either be in the plug-ins directory, or alterna-
tively in a nyquist directory on the search path if you choose to cre-
Audacity is distributed under the GPL, however some of the libraries it
links to are distributed under other free licenses, including the LGPL
and BSD licenses.
See our website for details:
The most serious bug currently is that it does not gracefully handle
running out of disk space.
Primary contributors include Dominic Mazzoni, Joshua Haberman, Matt
Brubeck, Shane Mueller, and Brian Gunlogson, but dozens of others have
contributed, and Audacity would not be possible without wxWindows, lib-
sndfile, and many of the other libraries it is built upon. For the
most recent list of contributors and current email addresses, see our