Praat ( Dutch speech, the spoken word ) is an open source program for phonetic signal analysis on base. It is being developed at the University of Amsterdam by Paul Boersma and David Weenink at the Institute of Phonetic Sciences. Praat is known for its versatile and modern analytical methods and has established itself in the area of language and communication studies as a quasi-standard. Praat is constantly being expanded and improved, with 10 to 20 versions per year are not uncommon.
Praat offers a wide variety of options, especially for script-based machining, custom scripts can be relatively easily integrated into the graphical interface. A simple experiment creation and results recording are possible as well as vector-based graphical representation of results. In addition to a fairly intuitive and clear usability, the appearance of spectrograms and the wide range of functions ( stems from the open- source idea, hence the regular and numerous updates), speaks for Praat free usability. Disadvantages of Praat include that only ever one file can be read at once, a long sound files are limited to machine, stereo files as well. There is a simple online manual and an active user group (see links).
Praat is available for Windows, Mac OS and Linux. In Debian systems Praat can be obtained via the package manager.