Launching in 2000, the Audacity audio editor has been around for a very long time.
Used by millions of people around the world, it remains the most popular free audio editing software to this day, from hobbyists producing their first pieces of audio to professionals who simply don’t need anything else.
Yet concerns about the safety of Audacity have recently come into question, prompting people to ask – is Audacity safe? Am I at risk by installing it on your computer?
While recent decisions by the Audacity team have made this a reasonable concern, I’d like to address it more deeply within this article
Is Audacity Safe?
Here’s the truth.
Audacity is completely safe to download and install. Audacity is not a virus, doesn’t contain any spyware or malware, and will not compromise your machine in any way.
I shouldn’t need to explain why this is both worrisome, and a completely unwarranted invasion of privacy.
An Objective Look At The Situation
Poorly worded privacy policies aren’t anything new, nor are outcries about them.
It is common for businesses to use boilerplate text that covers hypothetical situations that would never end up happening.
Case in point, iTunes once had a clause stating that you couldn’t use the music player to create nuclear weapons.
Early in 2021, Audacity was bought out by a company called Muse Group. Muse Group also owns other audio-related software including:
Muse Group’s lawyers may have thrown in far more clauses than were necessary. Or, perhaps some were only required by certain governments (remember that Audacity is used worldwide.)
That being said, I certainly won’t be agreeing to the collection of my data, and neither should you.
If You’re Worried, Download An Older Version
The policy that sparked all of the debate has since been updated, but if that doesn’t bring any comfort to you than you can always download an older version of Audacity.
Audacity is free and open source software, meaning that anyone can fork it and create their own version. By the same token, all of the older versions of Audacity are still publicly available.
Audacity also claims that allowing telemetry will be completely optional, and off by default. This means that you will specifically have to opt-in in order for telemetry data to be collected.
Therefore, this entire situation isn’t really something you need to worry about.
Where Is The Safest Place To Download Audacity?
The safest place to download Audacity is always going to be the official website, AudacityTeam.org.
Here, you’ll find the official release from the developers themselves.
Downloads from other websites may contain additional bundled software that you may not want installed, which can be quite frustrating!
Here are detailed instructions on how to download and install Audacity.
Audacity has been loved for over two decades now.
Despite some recent worries, Audacity is as safe to use as it’s always been, and there’s no reason to avoid installing it on your computer if you’re in need of a free, powerful audio editor.
Enjoy the software!
– James McAllister