Audacity is software that you can use to record your voice. It is installed and ready to use on machines in the Information Commons (Miles-Smith), MEWS (Dwight) and Language Resource Center (Ciruti), which has private rooms for recording. Audacity is also available to download to your personal computer for free. Below are instructions explaining how to install this software on your own computer. USB headphones with microphones are available to borrow at the Library Circulation Desk (Williston) and the LRC (Ciruti).
Step 1: Install the Audacity program file
- Visit http://audacity.sourceforge.net/
- This web page includes a yellow box listing the versions of Audacity available for your computer's operating system (i.e., Mac OS or Windows). If your computer's operating system version is compatible with the latest release of Audacity, LITS recommends that you click on the download link for the latest release (first item listed, 1.3.13 as of this writing). Not sure which operating system version your computer is running? Mac users see How do I find my operating system (OS) version? Windows users see Which version of the Windows operating system am I running?
- After selecting the appropriate Download Audacity link, you'll be taken to a new page where you'll find a Recommended Download section. Click on the Audacity link provided. Note: Windows users will see two links - most will likely need the first Audacity 1.3.13 installer link which works for Windows versions 2000, XP, Vista, and 7.
- Choose to Save File.
- Locate the file you just saved and double click to open it (unless you've changed your computer's default location for storing downloads, the file will most likely be in the Downloads folder). Mac users will find that running the audacity .dmg installer file will open a window showing an Audacity folder and Install.txt file. Drag the Audacity folder into your computer's Applications folder to install the software. Windows users, on opening the audacity .exe file, will be taken through a setup wizard to install Audacity - just accept all of the default options and close Audacity when finished.
Step 2: Install the LAME MP3 encoder
- Audacity does not come with the built-in ability to export audio recordings to MP3 files, but you can download and install an encoder file that will enable it to do so. Why is this extra step important? MP3 is one of the most commonly used audio file formats so you know whomever you share the file with, whatever their computer's set up, they will be able to play an MP3 file.
- Visit http://audacity.sourceforge.net/help/faq?s=install&item=lame-mp3
- Scroll to the section for your computer's operating system (Windows or Mac) and follow the instructions to install the LAME MP3 encoder.
Step 3: Configure Audacity's Preferences
- Open Audacity
- To view Audacity's Preferences, Mac users should go to the menu bar and click on Audacity > Preferences. Windows users click on Edit > Preferences.
- In the Audacity Preferences window that opens, click on the Recording item in the menu on the left side of the window.
- In the right side of the window, find and uncheck the box labeled "Overdub: Play other tracks while recording a new one."
- In the left side of the window, click on the Import/Export item.
- In the right side of the window, find the box labeled "Show Metadata Editor prior to export step." Unless you want to enter metadata (info like Artist Name, Track, Title, Year, Genre, etc.) for every audio file you record, uncheck this box.
- Click OK to save your changes and exit Audacity Preferences.
Step 4: Optional! Install the FFmpeg encoder
- Audacity does not come with the built-in ability to edit or export .wav audio files, the main audio format used on Windows, but you can download and install an encoder file that will enable it to import and export .wav files.
- Visit http://manual.audacityteam.org/index.php?title=FAQ:Installation_and_Plug-Ins#installffmpeg and follow the Download and Installation instructions you find there.
Audacity now installed? Now you are ready to record. Consult the LITS Audacity Quickstart Guide for tips on how to get started. Have fun!