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LAME, which stands for LAME Ain't a n MP3 Encoder, is an open-source source code that can be installed on several ripping and audio encoding programs, such as Audacity, that allows MP3 files to be encoded, ripped, and decoded. LAME exists not as a program in itself but only as a code (and requires a C compiler), and includes such features as MPEG1, MPEG2 and MPEG2.5 Layer III encoding, CBR and VBR encoding, and faster MP3 encoding than other comparable encoders.
Audacity is the Photoshop of audiophiles, sound artists, DJs, and anyone interested in editing sound. Conceived as a tech project for Carnegie Mellon University, it had since exploded in popularity and as of December 2011 is the eleventh most downloaded program in Sourceforge.net, the leading repository of freeware, shareware, and open source programs. By definition, Audacity is a simple but powerful digital audio editor and recording software, and has received critical acclaim and positive response from its users and critics alike; it has gained the 2007 and 2009 Sourceforge Community Choice Award in the Best Project for Multimedia category.
Using Audacity, one can trim, normalize, add sound effects, sharpen, distort and more with standard audio files, even podcasts. It supports a wide variety of sound files, such as MP3s and FLACs, and can play these files as well; it also offers the ability for multitrack mixing, noise removal via sampling, pitch conversion without actually having to fiddle with the track’s speed, audio speed modification, recording, and even an audio spectrum analysis using Fourier transformation. In addition, it can import nearly every kind of audio file and export them (or save them) as other formats entirely – in essence converting them.