Audacity, the long-running open source, cross-platform audio editor, has been acquired by Muse Group. Founded in 1999, the free software program has been downloaded more than 100 million times to date.
In partnership with Audacity’s online open-source community, the new owners will be looking to expand the software’s feature set and update its ease of use. Dedicated designers and developers will be tasked to work on the software, but Audacity will remain free and open source, the new owner says.
Shepherding Audacity will be Martin Keary, recruited based on his efforts running MuseScore, an open-source music notation software that is also owned by Muse Group; Keary will oversee both brands. In a wide-ranging YouTube video detailing the history of Audacity, Keary noted that he will be interviewing users and creating online spaces to interact with those users in an effort to determine priorities and approaches to the program’s development going forward. Keary noted that the company will prepublish designs and updates so users can comment before widespread implementation, taking advantage of open source’s transparency.
Some early priorities as Audacity moves forward will be the addition of nondestructive, stackable VST effects, as well as user-experience updates with the aim of making features easier to find and use. In the video, other, more experimental ideas are suggested and teased, such as a 3D spectral editing prototype that, if developed, could possibly offer haptic spectral editing via a haptic glove. With these and other additions in mind, Muse Group will be looking to hire a number of senior developers and designers with experience in audio and music technology.
Audacity’s new parent company, Muse Group, is relatively new itself, having only opened its doors last week on April 26. Muse Group owns the brands Ultimate Guitar, MuseClass, ToneBridge and MuseScore, which together reach more than 350 million users in more than 60 countries. The company is led by chairman Eugeny Naidenov and CEO Michael Trutnev; Naidenov founded Ultimate Guitar in 1998. In total, Muse Group has more than 100 employees in a fully remote-working oriented workforce; the company is privately held with no investors or external shareholders.