Ocenaudio in iTunes design serves as a replacement. Not keen on Audacity? After a change of ownership in 2021, the open-source software reaped negative headlines because of considered use of Google Analytics.
The key data of the audio editing app “Ocenaudio” sound similar to those of Audacity – which is the dominant recording and MP3 editing software on the free market. Thus, Ocenaudio exists in a Windows, Linux and Mac version, as well as a portable edition for Windows. Audacity is open source, but the competing solution discussed in this article is not, to our knowledge – it is freeware. The Ocenaudio provider sees its work as a cross-platform, easy-to-use, fast and functional audio editor. It is intended for editing and analyzing sound files. Some functions would also appeal to advanced users. Technically, the app is based on the Ocen framework. It is a library aimed at simplifying and standardizing the development of audio manipulation and analysis applications on multiple platforms.
The vendor promises that Ocenaudio will always remain responsive, even with many files open. Time-consuming tasks such as opening and saving files or applying effects are said to run in the background, leaving user PCs free to do other things. There shall be no limit to the length or amount of audio files. The memory management system keeps files open without wasting memory. Even with several hours of sequence material, editing operations (copy, cut, paste) are almost instantaneous, according to the manufacturer. Enough of the preface, below you’ll find practical info: What does the latest update iteration improve, how do you convert local music files, and how do you succeed in auditive fine-tuning of files?
This is what is in the 3.11.27 update
The Ocenaudio project website states three improvements in the changelog for the new program version 3.11.27, including a fix for resizing regions in the program. If needed, take a look at the change log of past Ocenaudio versions online as well.
Ocenaudio: Guide with the most important tips
Do you have a file in mind that you want to edit? Drag it from Windows Explorer into the Ocenaudio interface. Repeat this with a second, third file if necessary. If you have imported more than one file, you will find an entry for each element in the left part of the program. This section in the app is used to manage your files. Click on the file names listed there to switch to the object you want to audit (or where you first want to listen in). If you wish, you can move the audio entries to improve the clarity. The search field above the files list allows you to quickly find an element by entering a file name.
Clicking on an audio file entry brings the element in question into focus so that you can play it back on a test basis using the space bar. Double-clicking on the entry of the desired audio piece is required to also update the visualization in the right Ocenaudio window section. Cosmetic individualization can be done using a menu bar item at the top: Select “View” to switch between the visualization variants “Waveform”, “Spectrogram” and “Waveform & Spectrogram”. You can do this even faster using the keyboard: The key combinations of choice are Ctrl-1, Ctrl-2 and Ctrl-3. Or you can click on one of the three icons on the left in the above toolbar near the audio graphic. Depending on whether “Waveform View”, “Spectrogram View” or “Waveform and Spectrogram View” is currently active, it will light up blue there.
Practical tips of Ocenaudio audio editor
Do you want to convert an imported file, but you don’t want to spend time editing it? In this case, press Ctrl-Shift-S to call up a Save As dialog. Here you can choose the desired alternative file type from a drop-down menu. For example, you can turn an MP3 file into an OGG file. It is even possible to create an MP4 performance from an MP3 object. MP4 is a container format for videos.
Such a file lacks a video image part and visually you see black, but the MP3 content you pour into an MP4 file is audible in the latter. An even more convenient way to call up Ocenaudio’s export or its conversion is to right-click on one of the audio snippet entries you have imported via file import: In the context menu you then go to “Save as”.
Apply effects and practical multiple selection
This is how you edit audio: If you want to remove a part of your audio sequences, select it with the mouse and press the Del key. If you only want to keep the selection and discard everything else, export only that – the click sequence is “File > Save Selection”.
Would you like to make use of the “Invert selection” function that you may know from Windows Explorer? This feature in Ocenaudio allows you to deselect the selected part and make the unselected part selected. Ctrl-Shift-i is the hotkey you need. If you omit a key, the shortcut is Ctrl-i: this opens an audio properties window that shows you technical info about the currently loaded file (sample rate, channels, resolution, length et cetera).
Ocenaudio instructions continued
When selecting, keep the key combination [Ctrl]+[Plus] in mind: This zooms you in closer. This way you inflate the display and have to cover more mouse scrolling distances to navigate elsewhere on the visualization. However, it is easier to make fine-granular markings. These are not only used to cut out unwanted parts, above all a mouse selection is suitable for targeted sequence manipulations: After all, you probably don’t want to apply effects to all audio, but only to fragments. With [Ctrl]+[Minus] you can reduce the zoom level again.
The multiple selection is a plus point compared to Audacity. With Ocenaudio, you establish a second, third et cetera sequence selection via mouse if desired. Hold down the Ctrl key and draw another frame with the mouse cursor elsewhere than where there is already an audio part marker. If desired, it works otherwise in Audacity fashion to move the mouse cursor to the left or right edge of one (the only or one of several) marker(s). Then the mouse cursor turns into a double arrow in Ocenaudio (in Audacity: into a hand with pointing finger) and you drag the mouse cursor while holding down the cursor key in the corresponding direction to extend the border. The advantage of multiple selection: By pressing the space bar, you listen to only these places (one after the other). Furthermore, you apply a selected effect only to these blocks and to nothing else.
Voice recording and effect examples
If you like to hear yourself, record your own voice. The red recording button at the top left starts a recording studio session. You can access it particularly quickly with the [R] key. Don’t you want to add your own voice or singing to the currently open file content? Then it is best to create a separate editing section: Press Ctrl-N to have Ocenaudio add a new “untitled” audio track entry in the left-hand management bar.
Regardless of your scaling, you draw from a certain repertoire in the menu bar under “Effects”. The “Silence” option there, for example, overlays your previously selected audio passage so that nothing more can be heard here. The “Effects > Reverse” option seems interesting. For example, if you speak the Pokémon name Arbok, thanks to this effect you will hear it as what Arbok is a reference to: cobra. You can create delay and reverb effects by choosing Effects > Delay and selecting Delay or Reverb from the cascading menu. In an opening window, you will find sliders for configuration, enriched by a pre-listening button. Audacity sends its regards.
Want a different pitch? If you want to sound like Mickey Mouse, you can do so under “Effects”: under “Time and Pitch > Set Time/Pitch”. Other advantages of Ocenaudio are noise reduction and support for VST plug-ins.
Is WAV better than MP3?
The spectrogram function in Ocenaudio is not just a cosmetic gimmick, but sometimes actually useful. Ctrl-2 switches this view on. The whole thing helped us for research for another article to judge the quality of ripped audio files.
With the tool “CDex” we copied an audio CD song once in MP3 format, once in WAV format to the PC SSD. WAV promises a higher quality compared to MP3. The file size is appropriately larger. But is the quality really better? And is it possible to improve the auditory quality of an MP3 file by converting a local MP3 file to WAV format, which can also be done with CDex?
Native ripping in WAV format with CDex
An MP3 encoder removes inaudible parts from audio data. But even sound professionals don’t always notice the differences between MP3 and WAV music. Ocenaudio made the technical differences between our ripped MP3 and WAV files clear. In the upper area, only the WAV file had certain visualization lines; the MP3 object had black emblazoned there.
As expected, a conversion from MP3 to WAV did not bring any improvement: The procedure did not conjure up any auditory details. The resulting WAV file was almost as truncated in terms of information as the underlying MP3. A conclusion: Only native ripping in WAV format with CDex brings the full technically comprehensible sound quality. Whether your ears perceive it is another matter.
Ocenaudio in test: Conclusion – Audacity vs. Ocenaudio and alternatives
Ocenaudio combines many possibilities paired with largely pleasant operation. We give Audacity the larger feature set, but Ocenaudio audio editor offers a few advantages, such as a multiple selection of audio sequences. By the way, Audacity has fallen out of favor in parts of the user community: After a change of ownership in 2021, the app made negative noise in terms of data protection due to the considered use of Google Analytics. Ocenaudio does not completely replace Audacity, but serves as a high-performance supplement – and should score points with iTunes sympathizers due to the similar futuristic design as Apple’s media player.
Ocenaudio editor alternative
Depending on your requirements, Ocenaudio might be enough. If you want to move away from Audacity for whatever reason, you can find another good music customization software besides Ocenaudio: Tenacity. The application is based on Audacity and is open source, but currently still “beta”. Once upon a time, the program was “alpha”, i.e. even more immature.
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