If right now you were to open the Microsoft Store and look for the Audacity application —the famous (and in recent times controversial) audio editor— you would see that there are even seven ready-to-install options with names and icons identical or similar to those of said application. And another pair that, despite the difference in names, also use a similar icon.
Until a few days ago that search would only return you ‘fake Audacitys’, apps that don’t offer the same functionality as the original (or none at all)and that even so in several cases they charge 4.99 euros to the user who comes to them thinking that it is the legitimate application…
…despite the fact that it was already freely available on its website (remember that was released as open source software a whopping 22 years ago).
Now finally one of them – lucky to guess which one – is the real Audacity, “developed by the Muse Group and the open source Audacity community.” It has been announced by Martin Keary, product manager of Audacity, with the following tweet:
“Because of the ridiculous amount of fake ‘Audacity’ in the Microsoft Store, charging users for non-functional or very limited apps, I have now (finally) brought the name back and released the proper free version for the first time” .
Due to the ludicrous number of fake ‘Audacity’s on the Microsoft store, which charge users for non-functional or very limited applications, I’ve now (finally) taken the name back and have published the proper, free version for the first time.https://t.co/n3fd8AShSh
— Tantacrul (@Tantacrul) April 28, 2022
In case you were wondering, the correct one is the following —Keary acknowledges that, once uploaded, they decided retouch the logo to be able to “stand out more”, and added the check verde—:
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Get your act together, Microsoft
However, the question that we all ask ourselves —and that Keary has already been asked on Twitter— is very simple:
Shouldn’t Microsoft somehow verify what gets uploaded to its app store? How is it possible that the simultaneous existence of seven applications that use practically the same logo and name, and that also the user has no way of clearly distinguishing which is developed by a reputable company and/or community and which is not?
Keary has commented to his followers that one of his questions to Microsoft has been if they do not have the equivalent of the ‘blue check’ of Twitter. He still has no answer to that, but he has announced that the Muse Group is working with Microsoft on a promotion that will be launched in May “to help users realize that we are the real version”.
The ‘green check’ that accompanies the icon of the real Audacity is a mere graphic decoration added by its creators: Microsoft does not offer ways to ‘verify’ developers
At that point in the discussion, Has intervened the developer of the open source video editor Shotcut, giving ‘one of lime and one of sand’ to Microsoft:
“Microsoft removed at my request a fork of Shotcut that it was limited to doing a rebranding, for not adequately complying with the GPL. It’s hard to control this.”
“Then there are all those guides out there for sale, which are basically documents in app form. Some of them include a description that is a copy of ours and imply that you are downloading editing software“.
play it safe
In any case, remember that on the official website you have editions of Free downloadable Audacity for numerous operating systems and hardware architectures, including 32-bit and 64-bit Windows (the current version is 3.1.3.). And if the controversy over data collection still makes you suspicious, one of the various forks that emerged a year ago is still developing and in good health: Audacium.