Gale 18Apr10: Thanks for your edits. Is there a reason for giving more than one vote to an item when you add it? You did this back in 2006 and again today. Votes have been reduced to one vote per item. If you are representing a group of individuals who all wish to vote for the same feature, then it may be OK. If so, please provide details below.
Yes. The reason I add more votes is that I have been working with groups and organizations to get them to adopt Audacity, and then I promote it and train people to use it. I have actually been very tentative in adding more votes - I could with reason have added many more.
I am the producer of WINGS: Women's International News Gathering Service, a syndicated weekly radio program that works with women radio producers around the world. One of the things I do is recommend software and hardware, and teach - sometimes in person, but more often online or telephone - women to make better audio productions.
One of the first times I heard about Audacity was quite a few years ago in the tech committee afer-conference of the Grassroots Radio Conference in the US, where we received a review of Audacity from a woman who trained community radio news teams in New York and Washington DC. I was then the North America representative to the Women's International Network of AMARC - the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters - and I was eager to promote a free and open-source audio editing software internationally. However, the reviewer said that Audacity was just not good enough at that time.
A few years later, I was an artist in residence at the Full Moon Audio Art Camp on the East Coast of Canada. There, I had the opportunity to immerse myself in learning Audacity - I chose that because I wanted to know why it was not considered good enough for community radio use. Well, I found out. It was fun to try using it, but it crashed constantly.
A few years later, at a Canadian campus-community radio conference, I attended a demonstration of Audacity editing by the news director of CKUT in Montreal. She seemed to be doing well with it. However, the team producing coverage of the conference was using Audacity and it crashed on several of them.
I became the Vice President for North America of AMARC, and that gave me the opportunity to attend the two World Summits on the Information Society in Geneva and Tunis. In Geneva, AMARC was involved with an African Village telecentre display that had all open source software. Open source was a huge issue there. I don't think Audacity was part of the display, but it increased my commitment to keep an eye on Audacity.
Since November 2002, I've been the Spoken Word/ Public Affairs Coordinator at CJSF-FM, the campus radio station at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby BC Canada. A few years ago, we got a Production Coordinator who was willing to teach Audacity, and we started recommending it because it was free, but with caveats. I learned more about it in order to teach our volunteers to use it. Lately, I've been doing one-on-one coaching sessions on Audacity for several new volunteers a week. This week, one of them was about 20 years old and one was about 75 years old. I was responsible for a senior centre in Vancouver putting Audacity into the computer in their radio studio, and for getting about 20 elder women trained to use it for their radio and oral history projects.
While people are glad to have Audacity, they and I still want some features that would enable more efficient use for spoken word editing. I've been very pleased with improvements over the Beta versions, and I'm currently using 3.12 to produce most of my own internationally syndicated radio programs - but I still have to switch over to Soundforge for some features, and I still mourn the loss of some of the features I had in Micro Sound, which I used for many years.
If there's a way I could become more personally involved in the further development of Audacity than just putting some votes up on a wiki, I would like to do it. But yes, I represent an ongoing usage and training stream that has become dependent on Audacity and would like to see it improve in ways that would help us.
We still VERY MUCH need labels that stick to or overlay the tracks. I would love to talk with the developers more.