Originally Posted by bermuda
Audacity is indeed free, and while I don't like it as an audio editor, it's great for decoding/converting certain audio files
Bermuda, I haven't tried the other editors so I can't compare. I've heard good things about the other programs you mentioned.
I used to use CoolEdit - now taken over by Adobe and called Audition - but lost it when I got a new PC. It wasn't a big learning curve when I switched to using Audacity and I didn't lose much functionality, but I'm only using a small portion of what the programs can do.