Apple gets raves for its multimedia software, but the engine behind it — QuickTime — runs on Windows as well. For just $30, you can add recording, editing, and exporting capabilities by upgrading the free QuickTime Player to QuickTime Pro (see quicktime.com). I use QuickTime Pro to record voice-overs because its modest CPU hit doesn't trigger my Mac's fans. It's also handy for grabbing excerpts from long audio files because it doesn't have to draw the waveform first. And its multitrack architecture lets you layer numerous audio, video, and text files.
The secret is to open each file in a separate QuickTime player, copy the part you want, then paste it into a master movie file. Paste normally, and the files will line up sequentially. Paste with the Add To Movie command, and QuickTime will overlay the new file at the current playback point. Paste with the Add To Selection & Scale command, and it will time-stretch the new file to fit. (For more about David Battino's work, visit batmosphere.com.)
QuickTime Pro lets you combine media files quickly. The author made this captioned movie (see Web Clip 1) by importing 16 still images and then overlaying two audio files and a text file.