Audacity allows you to quickly and simply edit audio files, like podcasts or system sounds. It has all the basic filters and controls you need, including excellent noise reduction. It supports multiple tracks, reads and writes all popular audio file formats and is easily configured for recording your own sound fragments or podcasts.
For professional use, it can’t stand toe to toe with applications like Adobe Audition and it doesn’t compare to giants like ProTools, but then again that would be like comparing a text editor to a word processor.
pro: free, open, easy to learn, all the basics, integrated mp3 and ogg support.
con: no simultaneous multi-track recording, no integrated synthesizers.
verdict: [rate 4]