Audacity is now possible Spyware

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Hook, Jul 4, 2021.

  1. Hook

    Hook Her Clack is Worse Than Her Bite

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    And the main office is in Russia...

    https://fosspost.org/audacity-is-now-a-spyware/

    This might be Headline News if this were an audio or FOSS site. I've used Audacity for years for doing my radio show. Now a new company has just taken over and is changing their privacy policies.

    It's not clear to me that what they are doing is any worse than many others, they just may be more upfront about it. But the language in which they clearly are willing to provide anything to all sorts of people-- state actors, prospective buyers, etc.-- with nothing much more than a nudge and a wink is a little chilling.

    Always hate seeing these things happen to things that started out as part of the FOSS community. I rely heavily on Audacity, but am currently reviewing a couple of other packages to see if they can do what I need. I don't need anything like a full mixing board in my house, so I should succeed. In the meantime, I'l keep using my older version of Audacity which doesn't automatically update. Don't know if that offers any protection or not. It depends on whether a software update is needed to create the telemetry. I don't know.

    I could always use it on a computer without an internet connection. :vbwink: :vbrolleyes:
     
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  2. raspabalsa

    raspabalsa Brain stuck BogoMipping

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    I very seldom use Audacity, perhaps once every few months, and mostly to convert music I download from YouTube and elsewhere into some other format. I just checked, and I have version 2.3.1 from February 2019. I don't plan, or need, to update it. It's good to know I should not update it anymore.

    I agree that this is "just business" for a lot of devs and marketing companies. I think it's much more common for Android apps than for PC or other platforms. Several apps I used to like (games, image viewers, etc) were purchased by Cheetah Mobile or other ad companies, and I just stopped using them when I became aware of the public uproar. I wonder how many more may have met a similar fate without me noticing it.
     
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  3. Mi An

    Mi An Hyperfocal

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    Audacity is the only audio editor I've ever used, though even more rarely than raspy. Probably the only current install I have is on an old pc I haven't even booted up this year, and that install is probably several years old, but I'll look into whether I should be worried/uninstall. Appreciate the head's up.
     
  4. Hook

    Hook Her Clack is Worse Than Her Bite

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    Mine is the latest version-- because I only just moved to my relatively new (almost 2 years old) Thinkpad T570 as my primary computer. However it is still a version from before the takeover which only happened a couple of weeks ago. It is really hard to find a substitute because I only do a couple of things and Audacity makes those things amazingly simple. Mostly I create the voice segments for my radio show (which is produced as if it were live, but it is prerecorded). So I need to record voice audio with an studio microphone while monitoring the sound on headphones, then I need to apply a couple of effects to create a more professional, broadcast quality sound and then I need to edit the sequences to make me sound like a smooth talker that doesn't go um every 20 seconds. :vbgrin: Actually I leave a few ums and other flaws in just so I don't sound like a robot. :vbwink: The other thing I do is record my sound checks, which should be straight forward, but involves some tricks because I send them out to a handful of people and I want them to sound just as it would on the radio.

    These are mostly very easy in Audacity. No doubt, part of why it is easy is I've been using the program since 2010. Still, after looking, most audio programs are trying to be something grander and really over-complicate things. I found one program that may work out called ocenaudio, but the UI is not nearly as nice and there are a few wrinkles I would have to adjust to (microphone has to be removed to do playback, for example) Another that came recommended is Reaper Audio. It has a 60 day free trial so I will play with it a bit, but it is like going from MS Paint to Photoshop. Yikes. :vbeek: All I want to do is record some voice folks. :vbrolleyes:

    Audacity is really the best balance of layers of functions where you can get as complex as you want with a simple, usable UI. I really have to figure out how much I care that a multinational corporation with offices in Russia knows I am doing voice segments for a radio show, although, presumably I've given the program permission to work with media files on my computer. I don't know if I care, after the breaches I've been in.
     
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  5. raspabalsa

    raspabalsa Brain stuck BogoMipping

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    Could you, I don't know, try to get on their good graces by playing the Soviet State Anthem at the beginning of each show? Just sayin'... :confused: ;)
     
  6. jigwashere

    jigwashere Mobile Deity

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  7. Hook

    Hook Her Clack is Worse Than Her Bite

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    That's helpful. I had pretty much decided I would continue to use it. It works batter than anything else and the time and energy required to switch over is pretty time consuming. The Engadget write-up makes it pretty clear that not upgrading, at least until there is a more secure fork, should make most of the concerns moot. The advantage of it being open source is that it can be forked (most of the alternatives I found that had any promise were closed sorce, so who knows what they are doing).
     
  8. EdmundDantes

    EdmundDantes Mobile Deity

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    So odd. Not long ago, I downloaded the installer for Audacity 2.4.2, but hadn't installed it yet!
     
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