Veteran audio editor Audacity has been purchased by Muse Group, although its new management has pledged to keep the platform free and open source.

An explanatory video was posted by Martin Keary (aka Tantacrul) at MuseScore, the content of which was confirmed by the Audacity team over the weekend.

“We’re scared and excited,” the team behind the decades-old platform squeaked. “We hope you are too.”

Muse Group itself launched last week and the likes of Ultimate Guitar and Tonebridge are among its brands. It also includes MuseClass, still in closed beta, and MuseScore. Keary is head of product for the latter, which was founded back in 2008 and acquired by Ultimate Guitar in 2018.

Ultimate Guitar, founded in 1998 and with a user count it says exceeds 300 million users, is the big beast in the room. Audacity, which will now be managed by Keary, lays claim to more than 200 million downloads (although the true number is a little difficult to pin down and could be considerably larger).

The cross-platform Audacity received a major update (to version 3.0) in March, nearly 20 years since version 1.0 debuted. Among the features were a new file format, analyzer, and raft of bug fixes.

Keary was keen to reassure the platform’s community that it would be remaining free and open source, factors in the tool’s popularity. He also announced plans to hire “a few key positions for senior developers or designers who have experience in audio or music tech.”

Non-destructive stackable Virtual Studio Technology (VST) effects are also on the cards as well as some tinkering with Audacity’s user interface – “making things easier to find and use,” explained Keary.

The latter is probably no bad thing. “Make it look less Windows 95, for the love of god,” said one user. Screenshots secreted among Keary’s video hint that that wish may soon be granted. ®



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