For the unaware, Audacity is a free and open source multi-track audio editor and recorder for Windows, Mac, and Linux. It was acquired by Muse Group (owner of the music notation software ‘MuseScore’ and the online ‘Ultimate Guitar’ community) in April this year and, as part of the acquisition, Muse Group gained the rights to the trademark but promised that “the tens of millions of users of Audacity can rest assured that the software will remain forever free and open source.”
A month after the acquisition, Muse Group announced that it planned on adding basic telemetry collection to Audacity. The company planned on using the data to identify issues with application instability, estimate the size of its user base, make informed decisions on which OS versions to support, and estimate the impact of the new file format introduced in Audacity 3.0. To do so, the company also planned to implement Google Analytics and Yandex Metrica. But it promised that all the data collection would be “strictly optional and disabled by default.”
Several Audacity users were displeased with Muse Group’s decision to introduce telemetry into Audacity and believed that the company could use the data to profile users or sell it to third parties. Due to the backlash, the Audacity team announced that it had dropped the proposed telemetry features. However, it planned on implementing error reporting and the ability to check for updates regardless.