Audacity is introducing Telemetry, but in a good way

Martin Brinkmann
May 7, 2021
Music and Video

Future versions of the open source cross-platform audio editor will make use of Telemetry to improve development of the application.

Imagine the following scenario: the ownership of a popular program changes and one of the first new things that will get added is Telemetry. Most users would probably assume the worst, that Telemetry is added for marketing purposes or worse.

In the case of Audacity, that is not the case. There are two main ways that developers introduce Telemetry into an application: the first makes it opt-out, so that all users of the application who upgrade to the new version or install it will have data collected and transferred to the developer. The second way makes the data collecting opt-in, which means that users will have to enable Telemetry willingly before data is collected and transferred.

Audacity's collecting of Telemetry will make use of the second option. In other words: nothing gets collected and submitted by default.

But why Telemetry in the first place? The developers explain that they need some data to make informed decisions. In one of the provided examples, the developers state that Telemetry would help them make educated decisions in regards to removing support for old versions to upgrade important components that these older versions don't support anymore. In another, the developers use the data to determine the extend of a critical issue that has been reported to them. Should development focus on an emergency fix because the issue could potentially affected a lot of users, or is affecting few users only?

As far as Telemetry is concerned, it will be opt-in and disabled by default, only included in the official GitHub releases and not when developers compile Audacity from source.

Audacity plans to use two providers, Google and Yandex initially. Google with Google Analytics to collect the following information:

  • Session start and end
  • Errors, including errors from the sqlite3 engine, as we need to debug corruption issues reported on the Audacity forum
  • Usage of effects, sound generators, analysis tools, so we can prioritize future improvements.
  • Usage of file formats for import and export
  • OS and Audacity versions

Yandex with Yandex Metrica to "correctly estimate the daily active users correctly". The developers revealed that they are open when it comes to changing solutions if the same level of information is provided.

Now You: do you allow Telemetry in any of your programs or apps?

Audacity is introducing Telemetry, but in a good way
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Audacity is introducing Telemetry, but in a good way
Future versions of the open source cross-platform audio editor will make use of Telemetry to improve development of the application.
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  1. Anonymous said on August 1, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Why not make use of the mplayer.conf?

  2. Mike J said on August 1, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    Huh, I have never even seen this “font cache” pane; videos play at once for me, using VLC & XP SP3.

    1. Martin said on August 1, 2010 at 3:39 pm

      Mike, in theory this should have only been displayed once to you, at the very first video that you played with VLC. The time this window is displayed depends largely on the number of fonts in your font directory.

      1. Mike J said on August 2, 2010 at 2:30 pm

        huh, I lucked out for a change?? Amazing!!
        Apparently VLC keeps this info through version updates, but I didn’t see this message after a fresh OS install about 8 weeks ago, & a new VLC.

  3. myo said on August 1, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    yes, yes, i have the same problem. sometimes, VLC crashes when it is playing .mov file.

  4. Kishore said on August 13, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    Buidling font Cache pop-up


    Open VLC player.

    On Menu Bar:


    (at bottom – left side)
    Show settings — ALL

    Open: Video
    Click: Subtitles/OSD (This is now highlited, not opened)
    Text rendering module – change this to “Dummy font renderer function”


    Re-open – done.
    Progam will no longer look outside self for fonts

    Source –

    1. Martin said on August 13, 2010 at 3:10 pm

      Great tip, thanks a lot Kishore.

  5. javier said on August 14, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    @Kishore, I’ll try your tips, but does this mean it will no longer show subtitles either?
    I do use subtitles, but the fontcache dialog box pops up (almost) everytime I play a file.

    Could this be related to the fonts I have installed? Or if I add/remove fonts to my system?

    I’ll try to do a fresh install also, if your tips does no work. I’ll post back here later…


  6. Kishore said on August 15, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    @ Javier, The trick i posted will show up subtitles too. If not,

  7. Kishore said on August 15, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    @ Javier, The trick i posted will show up subtitles too. If not,Dont worry, VLC is currently sorting out this issue and the next version will be out soon.

    No probs @ Martin !! Its my pleasure

  8. Ted said on October 22, 2010 at 3:57 am

    Try running LC with administrator privileges. That seemed to fix it for me

  9. Evan said on December 8, 2013 at 1:48 am

    I am using SMplayer 0.8.6 (64-bit) (Portable Edition) on Windows 7 x64. Even with the -nofontconfig parameter in place SMplayer still scans the fonts. Also, I have enabled normal subtitles and it is still scanning fonts before playing a video. Also, it does this every time the player opens a video after a system restart (only the fist video played).

  10. Mike Williams said on September 6, 2023 at 1:26 pm

    Does that mean that only instrumental versions of songs will be available for non-paying users?

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