BOOK REVIEW: Getting Started with Audacity 1.3

I podcast, so when I was contacted by the wonderful people at Packt Publishing to review a new book on the use of the open-source audio multi-track recording and editing program Audacity, I said, “OF COURSE!” and, I was sent a review copy of Getting Started with Audacity 1.3 by Bethony HIitola.

(A note to all you Windows and Linux users, don’t let the fact that a mac was used in the production of the book dissuade you from using this book. Audacity is a cross platform application.)

The book is directed towards the new to podcasting who are looking for an easy and uncomplicated application for producing podcasts, and while reading the book, I found a solution to my own Skype recording issues (sorry AudioHijack). Getting Started with Audacity 1.3 is written in a clean and concise manner that may put off a more experienced podcaster or producer as it doesn’t delve into sample rates and the more arcane and esoteric areas of recording and editing.

Being focused on the new to podcasting, the book uses screencaps and exercises to get the new user familiar with the process of recording, editing and finishing the podcast. One of the many highly useful tips that the book gives, is a how-to for timed recording – an automatic start/stop. For example, you have a 25 minute interview planned, you can set it to stop recording after that time, although should the interview be rolling along, there is the risk of losing anything beyond the set time. To get around that – set the timer to end at 45 or 60 minutes.should it run less, then simply stop the recording. From there, the reader is walked through the process of editing, adding silence, music and other effects to create a finished and airworthy podcast.

All in all, a very good, very useful introduction to Audacity.