There's nothing wrong (IMO) with an XP install that is either clean, or cleaned enough of any problems that it is not unstable. I'm running lower-specced XP, at home, right now. Isolated from any network, because it doesn't need any, and though it is permacomplaining that the installed AV is out of date (by maybe five years!), there's probably no need even for
the AV, for any foreseeable future, except to stop it permacomplaining that there is no AV.
You might or might not have problems with an XP reinstall of going through the Product Key Authorisation/whatever, for one or other reason, but there are also tools that can help with that, if you're careful.
Whichever way, I wouldn't argue against you getting Linux on there, instead. I'm not a big fan of the *buntu flavors, myself, but that's not for any reasons I could fully justify. And I similarly don't think my own preferred Linuxes are necessarily suited to your case, so I'll let others guide you.
But if you have a spare HDD around (and even buying another 500GB drive for the purpose might be a worthwhile investment! Or whatever the best size/cost ratio is that you can get...) I'd swap that in (keep the current one, now extracted, safe until you know you don't have to) and see what a fresh XP or
demands of you to work well with your hardware/etc, without losing the ability to get back to the original system (i.e. disk) if it all turns out to be a waste of time for whatever reason.
And, even if things go perfectly, you've now got a second (i.e. the original) disk that you can in as a secondary drive, buff up a different system, use as 'external HDD' with a handy USB dongle, or whatever...
(I have also used Audacity to convert non-computer audio to MP3/etc. I've not seen any problems with it on all kinds of system, though I stuck with XP mostly so I may have missed some peculiarity of later-version Hardware Abstraction Layer nonsense, depending on your specifics. I've not yet found out how to get a Raspberry Pi to perform this task without buying an additional USB audio-in dongle thing that I can't be bothered to get, but as it's nit important I've not lost any sleep over it.)1
Because trying a Live distro, of whatever flavour(s) you can get, will show you if the interface/utility of the distro is well-suited to tour needs, but might need retesting without the bottleneck of the Liveness before pronouncing it useful.