Spek: Simple Acoustic Spectrum Analyzer

If you’re looking a simple, free & open source audio spectrum analyzer software that can be used in GNU/Linux, MS Windows and Mac OS X, then “Spek” might fit your needs.

But, if it’s a tool that has a lot of features (audio filters etc) that you need, then you’ll be disappointed with “Spek”, as it doesn’t have any!.

However, it does have few benefits of its own, that some other tools might not have. Such as a wide variety of audio codec support, lightweight and faster spectrum generation times etc.

Main features …

*. Uses the powerful “ffmpeg” multimedia library as the “engine” for creating the spectrum. And as a result, it supports almost all the popular audio codecs (including lossless codecs according to the developers) such as : MP3, Ogg Vorbis, WAV, FLAC, AAC, WMA etc.

*. As mentioned before, one notable thing about “Spek” is that, it’s speed!. I threw a couple of audio files at it and it generated spectrum outputs fast (not like lightning fast ;-), but it’s notable when comparing with some other tools).


*. Shows “Hertz” values at left side and the “Decibel” to the right side of the graph and the length of the audio file at the bottom.

*. Prints few details of the source file such as: the Codec name, frequency level, channels, bitrate and the name of the file.

*. Another cool thing about “Spek” is that, whenever you resize its window, the graphs is also resized automatically to fit into the new scale (without loosing the quality).

*. Save spectrum as a “PNG” image.

If interested, you can get binaries of “Spek” for Windows, Mac OS X and GNU/Linux (source packages) by visiting this “Spek’s” home page.

Easy installation instructions for Ubuntu users …

I don’t know if there are pre-built packages for other GNU/Linux distributions, but if you use Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin and 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot, then you can install “Spek” by simply entering the below command in your Terminal window.

sudo apt-get install spek

If you use 11.04 Natty Narwhal and 10.10, then use the below commands instead (don’t think it has pre-built packages for other versions). Thanks Alexander for the PPA.

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:alexk/spek

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install spek

As mentioned before, if you want a utility that comes with a lot of features (such as the ability to filter out certain frequencies etc) then you’d be better off with something else. But that being said, you might wanna try it first before forming an opinion, because there’s “something” about it … ;-). Good luck.

An RHCE, 'Linux' user with 14+ years of experience. Extreme lover of Linux and FOSS. He is passionate to test every Linux distribution & compare with the previous release to write in-depth articles to help the FOSS community.

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