What are the Different Types of Audio Editing Software?

Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth

Audio comes from the Latin root audire meaning “to hear,” and it means “sound.” Editing software is software designed to make various types of changes to media, text, etc. Audio editing software is editing software the focuses on the refinement and/or creation of digital sound files, and an audio editing software program may be referred to as an audio editor. There are a number of ways to categorize the different types of audio editing software.

Woman doing a handstand with a computer
Woman doing a handstand with a computer

Audio editing software can be freeware or paid software. Some audio editing software that is available for purchase has a free demo or trial version. Trial versions may be limited by the number of days they work or by the length of the recording that can be created/saved or by the number of sessions in which it can be used. Alternatively, paid software may have the ‘Save’ function disabled.

Another way audio editing software can be differentiated is by the file types it handles. Some audio editing software programs handle only one particular type of sound file, for example MP3. Others are equipped to work with a very large range of file types, including AIFF (Audio Interchange File Format), AVI (Audio Video Interleaved), MP2 and MP3 (Motion Picture Experts Group — MPEG — formats), OGG, VOX, WAV (Waveform Audio File Format, and WMA (Windows Media Audio). Some audio editing software can extract audio from a video file for the user to work with.

The existence and quality of help and support offerings is another distinction. Products differ in whether they provide written support in the form of FAQs, glossaries, a product manual, and tutorials. They may or may not also have technical support or forums to address user issues. And the software may or may not have regular updates.

Audio editing software is made for a variety of operating systems, including Windows® 2000, Windows® XP, Windows® 7, Vista®, Mac® OS X, and Linux. It may have only editing functions, or be capable of other tasks, like recording, converting, and burning. Audio editing software is often a standalone program, but audio editing features are sometimes included in software that also has video and image editing capabilities.

Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth

Mary Elizabeth is passionate about reading, writing, and research, and has a penchant for correcting misinformation on the Internet. In addition to contributing articles to wiseGEEK about art, literature, and music, Mary Elizabeth is a teacher, composer, and author. She has a B.A. from the University of Chicago’s writing program and an M.A. from the University of Vermont, and she has written books, study guides, and teacher materials on language and literature, as well as music composition content for Sibelius Software.

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Discussion Comments

Melonlity

Keep in mind that audio software that doesn't allow the user to convert to MP3 is of limited use. That's the most popular audio format on the planet, yet some audio software can only be used with very specific formats.

Odd, isn't it?

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