Editing Digital Audio Like Reel-to-Reel
Dan asks, "I'm looking for a simple audio editor that is somewhat like an old tape recorder where you could move the reel back and forth and hear where you are and where you wanted to cut - I want to do WAV and MP3 - any suggestions?"
Fortunately today's audio editing tools don't require a razorblade and some glue to piece your audio clips back together during the editing process, but the concept of finding a spot you want to cut is basically the same. Virtually every basic editor offers this type of functionality. Things start looking different depending on how many tracks you want to edit at the same time and how many extra processing options you need for things like dynamics processing and effects.
For basic two-track stereo editing, WavePad is a free solution for simple editing. You can edit a file by scrolling to the point where you want to make a cut, selecting the section of audio you want to cut and hitting the delete key. Unlike editing tape, you can always undo your edit without damaging the original (or better yet, do your edits on a copy of the original). A comparable pay solution is Sony's SoundForge.
For multi-track editing, Audacity is my free solution of choice. It works for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X, offers virtually unlimited tracks and includes a handful of useful processing options, in addition to performing simple edits. Similar to the other options in this category, simply locate the section of audio you want to cut, select that section and delete.