Software & Tools

Media Creation Lab

Software & Tools

The information below presents our "top picks" for software you can use to record, edit, and distribute your audio and video projects. Our emphasis is on tools that are free to use, easy to learn, and that respect your privacy and data rights. It's not intended to be an exhaustive list!

Audio Production

Top Recommendations for Audio Recording

Audacity

Windows | MacOS | Linux | Free | Open Source | Collects Data

For general audio recording and editing

A multi-track editor and audio recorder with a long list of features and plugins. Audacity is easy to learn, totally free, and has a strong user community.

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Anchor

Web-based | iOS | Android | Free | Shows Ads | Collects Data

For general audio recording and editing

A multi-track editor and audio recorder with a long list of features and plugins. Audacity is easy to learn, totally free, and has a strong user community.

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Other Options

Zoom

Windows | MacOS | iOS | Android | Linux | Free

Though it is intended for online meetings and classes, Zoom's "record" feature provides an easy way to capture audio!

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Recording a Zoom Meeting (Note: By default, Zoom will record audio and video. After the meeting is finished, you can discard the video file and keep the "audio only" file)

ZenCastr

Web-based | Free | Subscription option

ZenCastr is designed to support podcasters, and is great for multi-person recordings where people aren't physically colocated. This is a web-based tool for recording interviews, and the free version allows up to two guests.

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Android Voice Recorder

Android | Free

Android phones feature a built-in "Voice Recorder" app that you can use for simple audio recordings. You can connect an external microphone to your Android device to get better sound quality.

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How to Record on an Android using a built-in app (via Business Insider magazine)

iOS Voice Recorder

iOS | Free

Android phones feature a built-in "Voice Memos" app that you can use for simple audio recordings. The app also supports basic editing. You can connect an external microphone to your Android device to get better sound quality.

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Sodaphonic

Web-based | Free

This basic, single-track audio recorder and editor that runs entirely inside a web browser. It supports basic editing operations on a single audio file (trimming, editing, and basic effects).

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Top Recommendation for Audio Editing

Audacity

Windows | MacOS | Linux | Free | Open Source | Collects Data

A multi-track editor and audio recorder with a long list of features and plugins. Audacity is easy to learn, totally free, and has a strong user community.

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Other Options

GarageBand (for Apple desktops/laptops and mobile devices)

MacOS | iOS & iPadOS | Free

Apple's free audio recording and editing application is easy to use, and includes tools for composing music as well.

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Sodaphonic

Web-based | Free

This basic, single-track audio recorder and editor that runs entirely inside a web browser. It supports basic editing operations on a single audio file (trimming, editing, and basic effects).

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Top Recommendations for Audio Distribution

SoundCloud

Web-based | Free | Subscription Option | Collects Data

A free SoundCloud account gives you 180 minutes of uploaded audio. Additional storage space requires an ongoing subscription. Files may be shared publicly, or set to "private" and made visible only to people with a link that you supply.

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Anchor (for podcasts)

Web-based | iOS | Android | Free | Shows Ads | Collects Data

Anchor (owned by Spotify) provides a free platform for creating and distributing podcasts. Their online tools make it easy to build basic content, and include sample music and sound effects you can "drag and drop" into your episodes. You can create a podcast using nothing but your phone!

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Other Options

Google Drive

Web-based | Windows | MacOS | iOS | Android | Free | Collects Data

Google Drive can be used to store audio files, and to share links to those files. When an audio file is loaded in Google Drive, it can be played in a web browser or downloaded.

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Video Production

Top Recommendations for Video Recording

iOS Camera App

iOS | Free

Apple iOS' built-in camera application supports high-resolution video (depending on the iPhone model), time-lapse and slow-motion recording.

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Google Camera App

Android | Free

This is the "stock" camera app on many Android devices, but it works very well for basic video capture.

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Top Recommendations for Video Editing

OpenShot

Windows | MacOS | Linux | Free | Open Source

OpenShot is a totally-free, open source video editing tool whose easy-to-use interface is well-suited to simple video editing for those who are new to these kinds of tools. It has a small set of features, but can capably handle the needs of basic media creation projects.

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DaVinci Resolve

Windows | MacOS | Linux | Free

This free video editor is extremely popular among creators who do not have access to commercial tools like Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere. It is a fully featured video production tool, best-suited to those who already have experience with video editing, and includes advanced features for visual effects, animations, color grading, and compositing.

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Top Recommendations for Video Distribution

YouTube

Web-based | Free | Shows Ads | Collects Data

The world's most popular video sharing site; free and easy to use. Videos may be made public or private, and you may apply a Creative Commons-Attribution licence to your content.

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Other Options

Vimeo

Web-based | Free | Subscription Option

Ad-free, high-quality video hosting. Free accounts are limited to 500MB of uploads per week, and videos have limited privacy controls. Users can assign Creative Commons licences to their content.

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Google Drive

Web-based | Windows | MacOS | iOS | Android | Free | Collects Data

Google Drive can be used to store video files, and to share links to those files. When an video is loaded in Google Drive, it can be played directly in the web browser or downloaded.

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