I would love to see an additional Button on the “No Audio Selected” dialog. After loading an audio file I often want to normalize it first. When I forget to Ctrl+A before trying to do so, the message that I have to select something will appear. In my oppinion it would be a great usability improvement to add a button that lets me select all of the active track and then normalize it automatically. Alternatively it could pretend all of the track was selected and normalize it.
OK, perhaps the idea in my initial post is not that stupid. Keep the message dialog but add a button to override it on purpose when the user doesn’t want to auto-select in the preferences. Would that fit into the operating concept of Audacity?
It’s not stupid at all.
However, it may not be the best solution.
An inherent problem with the proposed solution is that it will probably do the “wrong thing” if the project has more than one audio track (Audacity is a multi-track audio editor). Did you really want to apply the effect to the entire project, or just to the current track?
Taking a step back, why does the problem occur? Why is it so easy to “forget” to make a selection.
My guess is that this mostly happens immediately after importing a file:
Import a file
Apply an effect
Oops - nothing selected!
Isn’t it extremely likely that after importing a track, the user will want to do something with that newly imported track?
When we “Generate” a new track, the newly generated audio is selected, so we can immediately apply an effect. Why not do the same when importing?
Then we would have:
Import a file (the new track is selected automatically)