Even free software has a price. One must read the "fine" manual (RTFM) in
order to get the most out of an application. In this case, Audacity's
manual is an online wiki.
See URL: <http://manual.audacityteam.org/man/Main_Page>.
As has already been pointed out, Audacity can "make" a WAV file, but one
has to use the "Export" function instead of the "Save" function.
See URL: <http://manual.audacityteam.org/man/Export>
It also as an "Export Multiple" function so that the tracks loaded in
Audacity can be saved as multiple audio files.
See URL: <http://manual.audacityteam.org/man/Export_Multiple>
It can also batch process audio files using script/macro files called
See URL: <http://manual.audacityteam.org/man/Apply_Chain>
See URL: <http://manual.audacityteam.org/man/Edit_Chains>
It can "Export" AC3, AIFF, AMR (NB), FLAC 16-bit, GSM 6.10 WAV, M4A, MP2,
MP3, Ogg Vorbis, WAV ADPCM (4-bit), WAV A-Law/U-Law (8-bit), WAV 16-bit
PCM, and WMA audio files.
See URL: <http://manual.audacityteam.org/man/File_Export_Dialog>
It can "Import" WAV, AIFF, FLAC, IRCAM, MP2, MP3 and OGG files.
See URL: <http://tinyurl.com/6h3o7gb>
Original URL: <http://manual.audacityteam.org/man/Tutorial_-_Basics
As to Audacity's native file format (*.AU), breaking a recording into many
small (proprietary) chunks has its advantages. Small files are easier to
load into and process in memory, and, I expect, this improves the
reliability of the software. Editing large files probably becomes a disk
intensive process (many, many read/write cycles), but reliability is
maintained. Motherboards and operating systems have RAM limitations,
typically a few gigabytes (though servers appear to max out at 128GB),
while hard drives now have capacities of terabytes.
I cannot speak to Audacity's suitability as an "archival" tool. I use it
mostly to edit podcasts I download, so my needs are simple. It does have
a "pop & click" filter, but I cannot judge all of its effects on a
recording. One thing the current version (1.3.12-beta (Unicode)) does
*not* do is downsample in batch mode (using "Chains"). It is a feature
that has been requested on the wiki, but if demand is not high, it may not
appear in the next stable release (2.0).
Audacity may not be the best solution for a given organization, but if it
does what you want, you can't beat the price.
> On 3/4/2011 4:45 PM, ADRIAN COSENTINI wrote:
> > Gee, looks like Audacity is really the wrong way to go. Doesn't
> > even make "wav" files, never mind BWF!
> > Try "WaveLab" Yeah it's a bit pricey but at least your data will
> > last.
> > Adrian