Audacity 3.0 finally lands after years of waiting

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It's been over nine years since Audacity (opens in new tab) last released a new numbered version of its free audio editor (opens in new tab) but fans of the open source software (opens in new tab) can now download Audacity 3.0.

Audacity is available for Windows, Mac and Linux and the software allows users to record, edit and apply post-processing effects to music, podcasts and other types of audio.

With the release of Audacity 3.0 (opens in new tab), the company has made a number of significant improvements to its software including adding new features, fixing over 160 bugs and introducing a brand new project file format.

Audacity 3.0

In previous versions of Audacity, when you went to save a project file, the software would create a .aup file which would tell it where all of the audio and other files associated with a project were located. However, if a user moved or deleted some of the audio files associated with a project, the project session wouldn't restore properly.

For this reason, the company has introduced a new file format called .aup3 in Audacity 3.0 which contains everything in a project including the audio files. At the same time, this new file format will also help the software run more quickly and recover automatically after a crash.

Audacity's James Crook provided further insight on its new file format in a blog post (opens in new tab) announcing the latest version of the software, saying:

“The technical detail is that we are using an open source database, SQLite3, to store everything in one .aup3 file. That all happens ‘behind the scenes’. SQLite3 is open source, and it is a delight to work with. Nevertheless, this was a huge change, and we decided it was too risky to include many other changes we wanted to make at the same time – so 3.0.0 is almost entirely about this big format change.”

It's also worth noting that after upgrading to the latest version, old Audacity projects will be automatically converted to .aup3, so it may be a good idea to back them up to the cloud (opens in new tab) or to an external hard drive (opens in new tab) first just to be safe. 

Via liliputing (opens in new tab)

Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.