Audio Editor Pro
Since CoolEdit got eaten by Adobe, I've been searching for a full-featured audio editor with an affordable price and support for editing a variety of audio file types. The free application Audacity comes close, but lacks key features, like support for CD ripping and WMA editing. Sure, other tools will perform these tasks, but having an end-to-end editing experience in one application makes work flow smoothly. When I got a press release about Audio Editor Pro last week, I got excited.
Audio Editor Pro includes the basic features I expect in any audio editing app. Support for things like stereo audio tracks, inserting silence, recording from an input source, noise filtering, a solid selection of software effects, and the ability to zoom in on the timeline are features I take for granted. CD ripping comes standard in Windows Media Player, but I can only choose WMA as the format. With the Audio Editor Pro CD Ripper, the ripping options include MP3, MP2, WAV, OGG, VOX, and RAW formats, in addition to WMA support.
Batch conversion of audio files between any of the supported formats makes generating necessary output painless. This feature alone typically costs about half the price of the entire editing app. For original creations, adding ID3 tags allows you to add full audio metadata, while also making the correction of poorly tagged files easier with integrated tag editing.
The interface for Audio Editor Pro is more intuitive than most editing apps. There are enough toolbar buttons to make accessing frequently used features a snap, without overloading the visual interface. Adding track markers during the edit process even includes a sort of history list, which makes jumping to a specific point on the timeline a simple matter. All effects are accessible via keyboard shortcuts, which are difficult to remember initially, but ultimately speed navigation of the editing window.
Audio Editor Pro is my new recommendation for consumers wanting to edit stereo audio tracks. If support for either DirectX or VST plugins is added, Audio Editor Pro will completely fill the void created when CoolEdit 2000 vanished from the market.