I was looking for a simple free audio editor mainly to chop songs up and make ringtones for my mobile, after trying a few basic free programs that were tricky to use and a little too basic, I gave up and went for a free demo version of MP3 Audio Editor, I have now got the full version of this program and use it quite regular.
What It Can Do (information from website)
Play, record, edit, mix, and analyze mp3 / audio files.
Make perfect digital copies of audio CD tracks using the CD Reader tool and save them in wav, wma, mp3, or ogg files.
Record audio from cassettes, vinyl records, radio, etc. through your computer's line-in.
Record dictation through a microphone or from DVD Player, WinAMP, RealPlayer, Windows Media Player and more.
Mp3 / audio editing functions include cut, copy, paste, delete, insert, silence, trim, mix and more.
Apply various effects (Amplify, Compressor, Delay, Equalize, Fade In and Fade Out, Flanger, Invert, Normalize, Phaser, Reverb, Reverse, Silence, Shrink, Stretch, Vibrato, etc.);
Batch processing supports up to 32000 files allowing you to apply effects and/or convert your files as a single function.
Real-time effect preview is supported.
Powerful noise reduction tool.
Easy to use bookmark and region manager.
Easy to use interface will get you started editing in just minutes.
Supports a number of file formats including wav (multiple codecs), mp3, wma, ogg and many more.
A Couple Of Examples
I know MP3 Audio Editor (MP3AE) is a very powerful editing tool and I have probably only scraped the surface of all the features of this software so here are a couple of examples of my audio editing.
Open up MP3AE and you get a very easy to follow interface which has all the editing options across the top, your load/save options down the left and a long "Sound Wave" bar in the main window, click open and find the file you want to edit and this is loaded into the sound wave bar within seconds, using the play options you can now play your track, I was editing "The Pogues" Fairytale of New York for a nice Christmas ringtone, i clicked the mouse along the sound bar until i found the part of the song i wanted to use then right click and select mark as start, this deletes all before that, then let it play on until were you want it to end and right click Mark as end, this deletes all after that, your now left with your selected music clip filling the sound bar.
Highlight the last part of clip and click on fade out and your MP3 file is ready to "save as" and and you are offered options for file type (MP3 WMA OGG etc) and quality/Bit rate, you can save it on your hard drive without it affecting your original MP3 file, but don't stop there as you can have a bit of fun and experiment first, try adding some echo or speed it up/slow it down, change the pitch so it sounds like The Chipmunks, you can review all the changes then accept or cancel them if you don't like them, once your happy with it save it and bluetooth to your phone.
On our regular family get togethers we usually play a board game or music/quiz games so i thought i would use MP3AE and make my own music quiz by slowing down/speeding up and generally distorting music clips, or mixing several short clips from 1 artist or several short intro's.
Following the same easy editing procedure as above i made 4 short clips of intro's from Blondie tracks then by clicking on "insert file" edited them all together into one file and saved as "Blondie intro" I speeded up several short clips of "Snow Patrol" track and joined them together as one track, I continued with this adding echo's, changing pitch and all manner of distortions until I had about 50 good quiz/clip files all saves with the answers in a little notepad with them, we played this quiz directly off my laptop but I could of easily burned it to a CDR and printed an answer sheet out, although quite time consuming this was a very good personalised quiz matching songs,artists and era's with family members.
I found MP3 Audio Editor very easy to use and i have not had to look at the instructions once as everything is very clearly marked and easy to understand, It's very fast when processing any changes you make and if you don't like the changes they can be easily reversed with one click, converting and saving is straightforward and you can make a ringtone in a few minutes, the wave bar in the main window that represents the track makes it easy to visually see exactly what you are doing with the MP3 track, I am no Pete Tong (top DJ) but have really enjoyed messing about with this little program and recommend anyone who wants to edit music or just make a few ringtones have a look at this.
Pentium 300 or above with at least 16MB RAM (32MB for 2000/XP, 512MB for Vista).
Download the trial version free.
Buy the personal edition for around £20
Buy the pro edition for around £32