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My mother has about 100 hours of audio in a mix of MP3 and WAV files, the digitized versions of her vinyl records. Each file contains about 5 songs with a few seconds of (noisy) pause between them. My mother needs software for Windows XP with which she can listen to the files, find the gaps manually, split the files at the gaps found, reduce noise on each song, and export the songs to individual MP3 files.

My mother has very limited software user skills and affinity, and she doesn't speak English. The simpler the software, the better for her, even if noise reduction is worse than with a more sophisticated, but more complicated software. I'd prefer free software, freeware or shareware (which can do all above). Please recommend something much simpler than Audacity. The software should guide the user through the process, always showing the next few available steps, and being intuitive in the sense that there are only a few allowed actions and it's obvious what they are and how to activate them.

Which software would you recommend?

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5 Answers 5

Many CD burning software includes some vinyl digitizing software including gap detection and click removal. This software is usually pretty good and easy to use. Technically, it usually includes algorithms to remove clicks, popping and low frequency humming.

For example, you can get such a software as part of Nero Burning ROM or Roxio CD Spin Doctor

If you try to do the same thing manually, a few notes:

  • Noise removal is technically impossible and every algorithm out there will result in worse sound quality than the noisy original. (There is no way for an algorithm to figure out which part of the sound is music and which is noise. There are a few algorithms which can improve speech quality, but music quality always suffers. I work in this field and know this for certain)

  • However, click removal is totally possible and very helpful for vinyl recordings and will get rid of the most noticeable clicks and pops.

  • Vinyl recordings usually include some low-frequency humming due to the vinyl disk being uneven. You can get rid of that either with a low-pass filter or (better) a hum removal algorithm. The results are usually very satisfactory.

  • Background noise is most audible in gaps in the music. You can get rid of this noise by using a noise gate. A noise gate does not actually remove any noise, but it reduces the overall gain when there is no audio playing. This effectively turns off the audio in gaps, which makes background noise less noticeable.

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

It turns out that there is no easy-to-use software for that, at least nothing simpler than Audacity.

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She should be able to do this using Audacity.

It can run under many languages thanks to community translation efforts.

And it's pretty good at letting you manually mark up large audio files and split them up into smaller individual files: http://audacity.sourceforge.net/help/faq?s=files&i=split

I've done this a few times and it Just Worked.

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Thank you for the suggestion, but I'm afraid Audacity is too complicated for her. I'm looking for something simpler. –  pts Dec 24 '10 at 16:41

Check out Audacity. It is free. In fact, check out the answer to my previous question which details in clear steps as to how to do the splitting here.

It is simple. It is fun.

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Thank you for the suggestion, but I'm afraid Audacity is too complicated for her. I'm looking for something simpler. –  pts Dec 24 '10 at 16:41

Try Audacity

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Thank you for the suggestion, but I'm afraid Audacity is too complicated for her. I'm looking for something simpler. –  pts Dec 24 '10 at 16:41

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