Plans to add Telemetry to the open source audio editor Audacity have been dropped according to a new post on the project's official GitHub repository.

The intention to add Telemetry was revealed in a post on the site in early May 2021. There, developers revealed that they wanted to introduce Telemetry in Audacity to focus development resources better.

The revelation came at an inappropriate moment, just days after it was revealed that project leadership changed.

The developers planned to ship future versions of Audacity with Telemetry turned off, so that no data would be transferred unless users of the application would toggle the setting first.

Another point of criticism that was leveled at the decision makers was that third-party solutions by Google and Yandex were selected out of convenience.

A post by the new project leader highlights that the team was caught by surprise by the negative response to the plan.

audacity 3.0.0 audio editor

The decision has been made that Telemetry won't be included in Audacity after all. The proposed Telemetry feature won't be implemented after all.

The team is still interested in in error reports, as these are critical when it comes to the addressing of issues. Audacity will include an option to send error reports to the team if a SQLite error, application crash or non-fatal exception is detected.

Users are in control when it comes to the sending of the report, which will include the following:

  • An option to view the complete error report data before it is sent
  • For crashes and errors, it will send the OS used
  • For crashes it will send CPU data, like number of cores
  • Equally prominent buttons to “send” or “don’t send” this particular error report
  • A checkbox (unchecked by default) offering to remember the user’s decision and do the same for future error reports without asking
  • The decision for future error reports can be changed in Preferences at any time

Error reports that are sent are stored in a self-hosted Sentry database "on a server located in the EU".

Audacity will also check for new versions of the program on system start to inform users about new versions. Update checking can be disabled in the settings and in the dialog that pops up when a new version has been discovered, once the changes land in Audacity.

The check reveals the IP address, operating system version and Audacity version to Audacity. The raw IP address won't be logged, but a non-reversible hash of the IP address will be logged to improve the accuracy of "the daily statistics". Data is stored in an EU country and won't be transferred to third-parties.

Now You: what is your take on the development?

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