Audacity Runs Surprisingly Well In Your Browser

Audacity is an extremely popular open source audio editor, with hundreds of millions of downloads on the books. But due to some controversy over changes the Muse Group wanted to implement when they took ownership of the project back in 2021, the userbase has fractured somewhat. Some users simply stick with an older version of the program, while others have switched over to one of the forks that have popped up in the last couple of years.

The Wavacity project by [Adam Hilss] is a bit of both. It looks and feels just like an older version of Audacity (specifically, 3.0.0). But the trick here is that he’s managed to get it working with WebAssembly (WASM) so you can run it in your browser. Impressively, it even works on mobile devices. Though the Audacity UI, which already carries the sort of baggage you’d expect from a program that’s more than 20 years old, is hardly suited to a touch screen.

[Adam] had already ported the wxWidgets and PortAudio libraries over to WASM back in 2022 as part of another project, and was looking for other programs to demonstrate them with. Given the popularity of Audacity, it was a natural choice for webificiation. The final result works remarkably well, to the point you might actually forget it’s running on a tab on your browser.

There’s an understandable debate about moving all of our software into the browser, but if you’re going to do it, the WASM route does seem pretty promising. We previously covered how it was used to bring OpenSCAD to the web with similarly impressive results.

Thanks to [James Newton] for the tip.

13 thoughts on “Audacity Runs Surprisingly Well In Your Browser

    1. It ain’t over till your OS is written in Javascript, your balances are stored in cookies, your ‘self wrecking’ car runs node and btards can stuff world government ballot boxes with scripts. (spit)

    1. Whay? Because this kind of apps can save you when you are on the go and have to use public computers or corporate computers where you aren’t allowed to install anything,

    2. This particular case seems to be ‘because I can’ but for the more commercial offerings, how else can software companies charge you for every second of useage, monitor your every click, monetise your workflow (can you imagine, AI Clippy, “I see you have written two business related letters this month but you only have a home licence, would you like help upgrading to an enterprise version?”) and then cut you off at a second’s notice for non payment, misuse etc. without fear of you cracking, patching, pirating or sharing their product?

  1. Whats the fuss about? I did install it fresh on a fresh Win 10 and found the WASAPI choice missing which allows recording from the web. If that’s the case I know Jack and Windows will pass.

  2. The blowup a few years ago about Audacity was a lot of smoke without much of a fire. They tried to implement telemetry but didn’t when the community responded negatively. Then there was a privacy policy update which people raged about – but it was almost entirely based on BS assumptions. I’ve checked the code on the repo and there’s nothing fishy happening there. The privacy policy was rewritten and seems perfectly fine to me. No IPs stored. That’s all I want.

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