Free tool of the week: Audacity for nonprofit podcasters

flickr/zoomar

flickr/zoomar

 

Free, open source software is true blessing for nonprofits. Luckily there’s more and more of it out there.

If you’re into podcasting or considering it as a communications channel in the future, you should know about Audacity—free software for audio editing that works for Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, GNU/Linux, and other operating systems. They just issued a new beta version, but are still recommending that all but advanced users stick with version 1.2.6. The Audacity site offers lots of support through a wiki , tutorials, tips, FAQ, and user forums.

Among other things, you can use Audacity to

  • record live audio
  • convert tapes and records into digital recordings or CDs
  • edit MP3 (and other types of) sound files
  • cut, copy, splice or mix sounds together
  • change the speed or pitch of a recording

Another great freebie for DIY podcasters is the Levelator, a simple-to-use tool that adjusts audio levels within your podcast to even out volume and make it sound more professional. Users call it technical magic. During recordings, volume levels often change—when someone turns away from the mic, when they are farther from the mic than someone else, or when someone has a softer voice. The Levalator evens out all those variations and yields a much better sounding file.

For more terrific tips about podcasts, check out the webinar presentation that Corey Pudhorodsky, host and producer of 501c3cast, did for TechSoup and NTEN. 

CC photo credit: zoomar

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