Freeverse has released Sound Studio 3.5, which adds many new features of interest to all users of this excellent audio editor and recorder. Sound Studio has long been my favorite tool for editing audio files, whether I'm producing a podcast, trimming a file in my iTunes library, or recording my son's funny snore one night (and later removing the laptop fan noise from the recording - it's important to have high quality embarrassment material for when he's a teenager).
Among Sound Studio 3.5's many new features are the addition of new audio formats for opening and saving, including Apple Lossless, ADTS AAC, NeXT/Sun Audio, and Ogg Vorbis. In addition, Sound Studio now supports 8-, 16-, and 24-Kbps bit rates when saving MP3 format files.
For podcasters, Sound Studio has added the capability to manage all iTunes-supported tags, including the podcast bit that determines whether a file appears in the Podcasts section of iTunes or in the regular Music section. This is a major boon to me, since I would like to move podcasts I want to keep into my music collection and let all others automatically delete themselves after listening, something that's been difficult to accomplish so far. Now I can open the file in Sound Studio, toggle the appropriate checkbox and re-import the file into iTunes where it appears in my Music section rather than in the Podcasts section. The reverse approach enables you to move spoken audio files from the Music section into the Podcasts section, if you so desire.
Podcasters will also appreciate the fact that markers set by Sound Studio within audio files are now automatically saved as chapters in podcasts. In other words, when playing back in iTunes, the marker titles are listed within the Chapters menu and enable one to jump directly to that spot in the playback. (For more information on how to use Sound Studio for podcasting, see my ebook, "Take Control of Podcasting on the Mac.")
Other enhancements in Sound Studio 3.5 include new preferences for how scrolling occurs during playback, the capability to loop sound in filter previews (rather than requiring you to play the sound over and over as you make adjustments), and new AppleScript support for referencing individual tracks and changing the pan and volume of each track.
Finally, Sound Studio now provides an innovative way to set the beats per minute (BPM) of a track. BPM is a piece of metadata that appears in the iTunes tag editor and as part of the display grid of the main Sound Studio window; it can be useful for generating smart playlists of slow or fast music in iTunes. All you have to do to set the beats per minute is click a button in time with the rhythm of the music.
Sound Studio 3.5 costs $80, and upgrades are free to registered owners of 3.0 or higher. Special upgrade pricing for users of earlier versions is available as well, as is a free demo (a 10.2 MB download) for anyone who hasn't yet tried Sound Studio.
[Andy J. Williams Affleck built Dartmouth College's first Web site in 1993, created the original Web site for the sitcom Friends, and started a virtual community that's still around a decade later. When he's not producing his Podcrumbs podcast or working on "Take Control of Podcasting on the Mac," he's a senior project manager and accessible Web design expert.]