Preview Versions

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Revision as of 09:42, 13 October 2020 by PeterSampson (talk | contribs) (How we use Feedback: up to date)
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Audacity is experimenting with an early adopter's program.
Users who want to give us feedback can get early access to Preview Versions of Audacity that we are working on. We get feedback on the work in progress, and the feedback helps us shape what we eventually release much later to the general public.

How we use Feedback


Often we are working on features a year or more before the feature will be made available to the general public. For example, DarkAudacity had theming and new menus ready to use on Windows platform over a year before the dark theme was offered in Audacity itself.

We have work right now in progress on modules and on a wave magnifier. These features are still many months from official release. They don't go straight into Audacity, because we are still getting them right. We intend to make this work available in preview versions of Audacity. The preview versions are only intended for people who sign up as early adopters.

Feedback will help us:

  • Find and remove bugs.
  • Improve the design of features.

In the Early Adopter's Program we hope there will be a sense of excitement about the new work that is coming on stream, and that the community of early adopters will help us with feedback that helps us to progress the features.

How the Early Adopter's Program Works

People participating will sign up for the early adopter's program via our feedback address. We will keep you informed of news, good and bad. Communication needs to be two way, so that risks for early adopters are low, and the value to us of getting feedback early is high. We ask that early adopters export any newly recorded audio as wave before doing any editing work using the new features. This substantially reduces the risks. A bug may lose editing work, but is unlikely to lose the original recording. We will strive to make these preview releases safe to use.

Some key points:

  • If we find some devastating bug in a preview version, we email participants immediately to warn them of it.
    • This further reduces the likelihood of it causing a serious problem. It helps us to track down the bug too, as participants are on the look out for it.
  • We look for feedback on the design of new features.
    • In the past this has been particularly valuable from visually impaired users. Most developers have the perspective of a user with normal/good vision. Feedback from visually impaired users has led to Audacity having much better keyboard navigation than it otherwise would.

Planned Preview Versions in 2018

DarkAudacity (update)

Now with:

  • Smarter toolbars that look better, use space better, and give you more precision in settings.
  • More direct control over individual colours and greater clarity in the spectrogram.
  • Other top secret plans :-)

AudacityLabs (new)

A new preview release with:

  • Many features for Voice Over work.
  • New experimental work on MIDI.
  • Other top secret plans :-)

for More Committed Bug Hunters

We hope some early adopters will want to be more committed testers and help us find the exact sequence of actions that cause hard to reproduce bugs. Users who are particularly helpful with bug hunting will graduate to having bugzilla access so they can log bugs rather than have someone from Audacity log the bugs for them.

for More Committed Designers

We expect some early adopters will have strong opinions and will offer detailed ideas for design improvements. In some cases we will make the wiki design pages available so that people with design ideas can show screenshots and collaborate in refining the ideas.