Mouse & Keyboard behaviour changed?

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Mouse & Keyboard behaviour changed?

Permanent link to this post Posted by Gilmir » Fri Sep 02, 2016 3:32 pm

Hi,

I'm using Audactiy for several years already to edit voiceovers.
Recently I reinstalled Windows on my laptop and installed the latest version of Audacity. I don't remember which version I was using before, as it worked perfectly, so I didn't update it.

The newest version gives me some problems while editing which basically makes it completely unusable for me as it drops my workspeed by 30-50%.
Earlier mouse selection (click & dragging) was independent from keyboard shortcuts. This means that I could eg. drag the selection from the end of a short clip and press spacebar multiple times looking for the correct start of the clip. Now it seems that I have to release the mouse button every time I want to start playback. The same goes for zooming in / out (for which I have keyboard shortcuts), which also don't work together with the mouse.

Did I miss a setting I might change, or is it an "improvement" of the new interface? If that's unchangable - which version would I have to go back to get the old interface back?
By the way - it would be great if operations like muting (create silence) could also work while drag-selecting. I think that this also used to work some time but doesn't anymore on any version of Audacity I use.

Btw. I know that if I used Adobe Audition or such, I'd have all these interface features I described. But I like Audacity's simplicity. It's not so overwhelming if all you need are basic functions that are all you need for VO editing.
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Re: Mouse & Keyboard behaviour changed?

Permanent link to this post Posted by steve » Fri Sep 02, 2016 3:44 pm

Gilmir wrote:This means that I could eg. drag the selection from the end of a short clip and press spacebar multiple times looking for the correct start of the clip.

As far as I'm aware, that was not an intentional "feature", but rather a quirk in the version of WxWidgets that we were using. As that version of WxWidgets is now obsolete, and Audacity depends on WxWidgets, it had to be updated and that behaviour has disappeared (been "fixed" or however you want to describe it). However, there is a new (intentional) feature in Audacity called "Quick Play" (which has increased my productivity substantially).

The basic operation of Quick Play is that you click in Timeline (the time ruler at the top) and playback begins immediately. It has several other useful features, such as loop-playing selections, playing with or without changing the current selection, (optionally) 'freezing' the waveform to prevent scrolling and (optionally) locking/unlocking the current play region. You will find it documented here: http://manual.audacityteam.org/man/timeline.html#tqp
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Re: Mouse & Keyboard behaviour changed?

Permanent link to this post Posted by Gale Andrews » Sat Sep 03, 2016 1:39 pm

We do actually have an enhancement issue open for your core issue of using a shortcut to play while the mouse is down http://bugzilla.audacityteam.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1331 .

To consider all the implications of Widgets default-locking-out shortcuts with mouse down, of which you give other examples, we need time. So nothing is likely to change until at least the release after next. There is less risk of crash in the "lock out" (or at least, no need to code workarounds for any safety problems).

In Audacity 2.1.2 you can still zoom at the mouse pointer with mouse down by holding CTRL and using the mouse scroll wheel.

Let us know how you get on with Quick-Play. For what you want to do, I think a possible drawback is that you could accidentally start a new selection rather than contract/extend the old selection. Do you agree or disagree?

Mute, Silence Audio and Zoom by shortcut with mouse down all work in Audacity 2.1.1. Unfortunately our download partner FossHub is unable to serve older downloads at the moment but you can still obtain 2.1.1 here: http://gaclrecords.org.uk/legacy/.


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Re: Mouse & Keyboard behaviour changed?

Permanent link to this post Posted by Gilmir » Tue Sep 06, 2016 9:55 pm

Sorry for the late reply.

I simply installed 2.1.0 very soon after opening this thread. With this everything works as I like (and need).
In my own workflow, using the timeline for playback control is not really anything I would see as useful. The whole point for me is that I can effectively do two things at once - select with the mouse and practically simutaneously control the playback / mute selections or cut breaths etc. out. I don't usually spend a lot of time on one spot of the recording. Mostly (at least for me), editing VOs is a very quick task. Unless there's actually some kind of anomaly (harder edits), it's all routine and can be done very quickly. Working on larger projects (sometimes hours of audio), anything that saves time adds up to a really big difference.

By the way - there is one single feature that works in Adobe Audition and I miss (a little bit) in Audacity - the ability to "pre cut" or "pre mute" a selection WHILE the playback is running. Basically - letting the clip play and seeing eg. breaths, cutting them out, before playback arrives at this point.
But it doesn't save nearly as much time as one might hope, so I still prefer Audacity's simplicity and ease of use, even if this one feature is definitely in favor of the "corporate sibling".
And I suppose this is way more complicated to implement than it might seem at first glance, so I don't really hope for something like this in the future ;)
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Re: Mouse & Keyboard behaviour changed?

Permanent link to this post Posted by Gale Andrews » Wed Sep 07, 2016 1:29 pm

Gilmir wrote:I simply installed 2.1.0 very soon after opening this thread. With this everything works as I like (and need).

Everything works as you described in 2.1.1 too.

Gilmir wrote:The whole point for me is that I can effectively do two things at once - select with the mouse and practically simutaneously control the playback

In Quick-Play you practically simultaneously start playback by releasing the mouse. For what you're doing you would have to right-click the Timeline and enable dragging selections. The selection then appears in the waveform and Timeline when you drag in the Timeline.

When you hover over the ending edge of the selection in the Timeline and you want to adjust that edge, drag to adjust then release the mouse and the new selection plays. You just have to be careful not to click and drag after the end of the selection otherwise the original selection will be replaced.

One thing I don't think you can do in the Timeline is play from or start a new selection that starts exactly at the ending edge of the previous selection. However you can still drag the selection back on itself in the waveform and then Quick-Play.

Gilmir wrote: mute selections

Do you mean silence (CTRL + L) ? In 2.1.2 you have to release the mouse (as well as stop playback).

Gilmir wrote:Working on larger projects (sometimes hours of audio), anything that saves time adds up to a really big difference.

I have always appreciated the importance of that. Unless you tried Quick-Play for long enough to get accustomed to it, you wouldn't know if you could use it or not.

Would it help if when you adjusted the selection during playback, the adjusted selection played without having to restart playback?

Gilmir wrote:there is one single feature that works in Adobe Audition and I miss (a little bit) in Audacity - the ability to "pre cut" or "pre mute" a selection WHILE the playback is running. Basically - letting the clip play and seeing eg. breaths, cutting them out, before playback arrives at this point.

Audacity cannot edit while playing at all.

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Re: Mouse & Keyboard behaviour changed?

Permanent link to this post Posted by steve » Wed Sep 07, 2016 1:35 pm

Gale Andrews wrote:One thing I don't think you can do in the Timeline is play from or start a new selection that starts exactly at the ending edge of the previous selection.

With dragging the selection enabled, click on the start of the old selection and drag to the right, past the old "end of selection" (which now becomes the start of the new selection) and keep dragging to where you want the new selection to end. Release the mouse button and playback will start from what was the previously the end of the old selection.
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Re: Mouse & Keyboard behaviour changed?

Permanent link to this post Posted by baillou2 » Sat Oct 22, 2016 5:13 pm

I agree with the OP. I've experience the same interruption in workflow. I do a lot of heavy editing and it's almost unbearable. Indeed I'd rather have the constant crashing back for the sake of being able to highlight and start/stop.
I use Ubuntu and so it's a little tricky finding an older version to install.
Can anyone point me in the direction of a 2.1.0 version?
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Re: Mouse & Keyboard behaviour changed?

Permanent link to this post Posted by Gale Andrews » Sun Oct 23, 2016 12:28 pm

baillou2 wrote:I agree with the OP. I've experience the same interruption in workflow. I do a lot of heavy editing and it's almost unbearable. Indeed I'd rather have the constant crashing back for the sake of being able to highlight and start/stop.
I use Ubuntu and so it's a little tricky finding an older version to install.
Can anyone point me in the direction of a 2.1.0 version?

It's difficult for us if users are not willing to try Timeline Quick-Play. Of course, it will be slower as you get used to it, and it can be easier to lose the selection you were adjusting.

Unfortunately users are sometimes reluctant to say what alternative behaviour would suit them when using the waveform. Would it help, or not, for playback to continue or restart itself when you adjust the selection, so you don't have to stop and restart with SPACE?

Do I assume you are on Ubuntu 16.04 using the packaged version of Audacity 2.1.2? I don't know how you would get 2.1.1 or 2.1.0 without compiling it, unless you downgraded to Ubuntu 14.10. First you must uninstall 2.1.2. Then you could try installing the 2.1.0 deb file for Ubuntu Handbook's PPA of Audacity: https://launchpad.net/~ubuntuhandbook1/+archive/ubuntu/audacity/+packages. I am not guaranteeing it would work. Compiling the 2.1.1 source tarball should work: https://github.com/audacity/audacity/releases.


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Re: Mouse & Keyboard behaviour changed?

Permanent link to this post Posted by mbagby » Thu Nov 17, 2016 3:55 pm

I agree with Gilmir and others and have suffered the same drop in productivity caused by the change in the space bar behavior. I don't know how others produce or edit audio books and other narratives, but here--step-by-step--is how I normally edit using Audacity.

Recording is almost always unsupervised. The performer/narrator is alone in a booth or home studio. There is no engineer or other supervisor present. The performer/narrator records the piece and uploads the unedited, unprocessed tracks to the editor. In many cases, the performer is also the editor, and at this point takes off one hat and puts on another.

DURING RECORDING:
1. When the narrator makes a mistake while reading the text, they stop and use a "dog clicker" that places a highly visible edit mark on the timeline.
2. They pause, then go back a line or two and repeat the text. If they have corrected their mistake, they keep going until they make another mistake and repeat this process. Some readers are better than others, but it is not unusual to have dozens of mistakes in a fifteen or twenty minute book chapter. During this process, Audacity never stops, but runs continuously from the time the narrator starts the chapter or section until done.

DURING EDITING:
3. When I open the chapter file to edit it, I move to the front of the file (Home) and zoom in (Control 1) or out (Control 3) until I have the pattern at a size comfortable for editing.
4. I look for the first dog click and zoom into it to make a repair.
5. Most times, I can tell where the mistake and the correction are because the words have similar if not identical patterns. The mistake is on one side of the dog click and the correction is on the other.
6. Using the mouse, I insert a start point between the dog click and the correction.
7. I tap the spacebar once and hear a quick snippet of the correct text. I tap again to stop. The cursor remains at the insertion point.
8. I drag the mouse left from that point and highlight the section to be removed. The highlighted area includes the dog click, so it will also be removed. With the selection made, I now tap the spacebar to check that I've made the correct start point for the deletion. This is a very quick moment, almost intuitive. You can often verify the spot with one word or even a syllable. If it is the correct place, I quickly stop play with the space bar.
9. Having verified my selection, I tap "Z" to align the wave form and avoid an audible click at the edit point, then tap Delete. The correction is now complete.
10. I have the option to listen to the edit, but most editors will tell you they move on to the next mistake without doing so.

While this process above looks complicated, believe me when I say that I can fly through it. The keystrokes, the processes, all become second nature.

The changes that have been made to the space bar function (for whatever reason) have thrown this process under bus.

As others have done, I will look for a legacy version to re-install, because my business has come to a standstill.
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Re: Mouse & Keyboard behaviour changed?

Permanent link to this post Posted by steve » Fri Nov 18, 2016 1:23 am

mbagby wrote:The changes that have been made to the space bar function (for whatever reason) have thrown this process under bus.

Your workflow is very similar to what I do, but I don't see why the change in keyboard control has "thrown the process under a bus". Surely if you have simply held down the mouse button too long, causing playback to not start when you press the spacebar, all you need to do is to tap the spacebar again (after releasing the mouse button). I do appreciate that even a small change like this can be annoying if it goes against "muscle memory" (aka "habit"), but if you, like myself, repeat this action hundreds of times a day, then surely it only takes a few hours, or a couple of days at most, to "reprogram" the muscle memory?

When I first started using Audacity, I found the mouse wheel behaviour (scrolling and zooming) incredibly annoying because they were the opposite way round from the other audio editor that I had been using, and this was an action that I performed hundreds of times a day. If I'd had the choice, I would have gone back to the old program, but this was in a work environment and I didn't have the choice. A week later I had to go back to the "other" program, and found that to be "incredibly annoying". Without realising, over just a few days, I had become so familiar with the "new" way of scrolling and zooming that the "old" way felt horribly awkward. Without noticing, I had retrained my muscle memory to the "new" method, and I've been happily using Audacity ever since.

Of course, if you prefer to go back to the old version that you are familiar with, then that's your choice, but my advice would be to stick with the new version and let your muscle memory reprogram itself. The fact is, this would not be a problem if Audacity had always been like this. It's only unfamiliarity that makes it a problem.
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