I want to remove or speed up small sections of silence in an audio recording, corresponding to the breaks between sentences and paragraphs.

I have some audio files for a book that I need to listen to for a class. In order to reduce the amount of time taken to listen to the book, I have sped the audio up in my audio player to as fast as I can understand it, but it will still take too long to listen to the book.

In this case, the person who recorded the book leaves rather long gaps between sentences and paragraphs. How can I remove/speed up just those gaps between words to allow me to listen to it in less time?

Any answer needs to be usable on Ubuntu 15.04. I would prefer a solution that doesn't cost me any money and is free-as-in-freedom, but neither of those is a deal-breaker.

  • Is using Reaper an option? Sep 22, 2015 at 7:53
  • @MichaelHansenBuur If it doesn't support Ubuntu, then its not an option. If it does, it is. Sep 22, 2015 at 14:02
  • The Audacity option should be fine then :-) Sep 22, 2015 at 14:26

1 Answer 1


Audacity has a Truncate Silence effect (Effect > Truncate Silence...) which should be able to do what you want:

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There are many other alternatives in other applications - but these are for Windows or OSX. I'll list them here for other users with same question but different host/OS needs:

  • I will try this! Sep 23, 2015 at 0:06
  • This worked like a charm! (Sorry, lost track of the question until now...) Jul 20, 2016 at 13:22

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