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VO4TA: Free? The "Audacity"!

Audacity is a free piece of software that allows you to edit multitrack audio very very easily. Even easier than Garage Band.  For the neophyte I often suggest Audacity.  (Especially for the PC.)

You download it.  It's not very big.  And what's more: it's totally free.  Like free lunch or free beer.  Not free like try now and upgrade later.  Like free forever free. Including updates.  

Another free (totally free) piece of software is called All To MP3.  What THAT does is convert any (well, any I've found) type of file to an MP3 by dragging and dropping into a window.  This has real advantages if you want to take the audio off of a video file and download it to an audio player.

For getting video off of YouTube any number of extensions for Firefox are great.  One is Video Download Helper. It places a button on your browser window.  And you can pull down a video file of, say, a commercial.

And (wait for it) - it's FREE!

Now imagine this scenario.  On YouTube you search and find a commercial with a Fair Balance agreement at the end you want to spend time listening to and transcribe for practice.

So, you pull down the video with Video Download Helper creating a video file.  Audacity won't open it.

So you drag it into All to MP3 which turns that video file into a smaller, easy to manage MP3 file.  

Then you pull that MP3 into Audacity where you cut out the 30 seconds of music and script at the beginning of the spot so you can just pay attention to the Fair / Balance read at the end.

It might seem complicated on paper, but it's not at all.  And it's totally free.  You just need a decent speed connection and a little work and time put in with the software.  

Hugh P. Klitzke blogs at

He doesn't have a product endorsement contract so he can talk about anything he wants.  Especially if it's free! (As in Free Ride or Free Hugs or Free Advice).  

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This is a personal weblog.  The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own and are not those of any of my employers.


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