I was thrilled to see your splendidly written article in the NYT today
about USB turntables, especially the mention of Audacity as venerable.
I'm sorry you consider the Audacity manual too geeky. We do our best to
make it comprehensible, and are working to improve it, but this is all
done on a volunteer basis, and none of us is a professional wordsmith.
Any suggestions are welcome. Some of the statements in the Ion FAQ are
incorrect, but we'll review it further to see how they explain it better.
As they mentioned, getting sound from the turntable to your speakers is
not an Audacity issue, and their recipe makes it work for all audio
I'm much more concerned that you (based on their instructions)
emphasized that Audacity cannot automatically separate songs, and that
each must be stored as a separate file. Both are incorrect.
My normal process for digitizing vinyl is:
1) Record the whole LP as one track. Optionally do other cleanup
(filters, click-pop removal).
2) In the Analyze menu, use the Silence Finder command, with the default
settings, to automatically put a label at each silence.
3) In the File menu, use the Export Multiple command to export each
labeled song to a separate file. I can either edit each label before I
do this, and Export Multiple will use those as file names, or there's an
option to export the labels with sequential numbering, so I could do the
renaming on the exported files, if preferred.
After step 3, you do have separate files, but that's not the issue,
that's what's desired (so that on your CD or MP3 player you can select
Apparently, Ion doesn't understand the Silence Finder and Export
Multiple commands. In their FAQ, they say "Audacity's track labling
[sic] and separation, that is described in great detail in the manual,
has nothing to do whatsoever with making a CD or tracks on a CD".
Perhaps it's an issue of making the Audacity manual more comprehensible
and complete on these points, but I think "Silence Finder" and "Export
Multiple" are very clear names, and if you try them, it's clear what
It's a shame that Ion's users, including you, have been following their
unnecessarily time-consuming and incorrect instructions. We've never
heard from them about this, or that they're planning to replace Audacity
for this reason. Gale, who handles a lot of our user help issues, was
contacted by Numark about their (identical?) product
I wrote them months ago, but haven't heard back. Under the impression
Numark is the parent company, I'm sorry I didn't also contact Ion
directly, but we added both products to our Bundlers page
(http://audacity.sourceforge.net/download/bundlers), and I'm cc-ing this
message to Ion's info and support email addresses.
If you have a contact at Ion, I'd very much appreciate it. We want to
discuss this with them. We hope we can resolve these misunderstandings,
and that they'll keep using Audacity. Incidentally, the reason Audacity
can't directly support MP3 is a licensing issue
(http://audacity.sourceforge.net/about/license), so whereas they've been
bundling Audacity for free, and the plug-in is free, they'll need to
start paying license fees (possibly indirectly through whoever is
supplying the replacement software) to Fraunhofer if they switch.
Is there a possibility of The NYT printing an erratum about this?