Audio Editor Pro 1.40 $39.95 MightSoft www.mightsoft.com
A good sound editor can be a truly useful and fun addition to your software toolbox. You can use it to trim the annoying introduction from an otherwise-great MP3 song, create your own Windows error sounds, or splice together a unique answering machine message. For those tasks and countless others, Audio Editor Pro does an admirable job.
The heart of the app is its waveform editor, which presents a visual representation of your sound file. If you've used any sort of waveform editor before, you'll be able to jump headlong into AEP. By selecting a portion of the audio, you can manipulate it in various ways. The Transform menu includes various tweaks, including Reverb, Fade, Flanger, and Stretch. The Filters menu provides Low and High Pass, Low and High Shelf, Ban Pass, and Notch filters.
A Spectral view lets you see the tonal range of your samples. When capturing samples from a mic or line-input source, you can have the app automatically apply filters to remove tape hiss or other spurious noise. I do have a few quibbles, however. You can't perform most functions, even something as simple as zooming in on a selection, while the program is playing back the audio. Also, expanding a selection to an area outside the current view could be easier, as you can't click and drag to scroll the view.
AEP works with MP3, WAV, WMA, Ogg Vorbis, plus other audio formats. Although it can open and save those formats directly, the package includes a simple app for converting between audio file formats, including batch conversions. There's also a basic CD ripper, but it didn't work well, failing to recognize a FireWire optical drive. The CDDB feature also didn't work for me.
Despite a few hiccups, AEP is a worthy sound editor. It doesn't demand a fast PC. A 400MHz CPU will get the job done, and you can "sample" the program for 15 days before buying it.
Reprinted with permission from Computer Power User magazine.