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.
There’s an option in Preferences to automatically “Select All” when no audio is selected.
See: Select all audio, if selection required:
No problem, we’re here to try and help
Be careful with that option enabled. It is easy to accidentally delete all the audio in your project. If it happens don’t panic, just select Edit > Undo Delete.
That said, I agree it would be a great convenience to have a button that says “Select All and Continue” in that dialog (that appears for all non-real-time effects when no audio is selected).
Maybe there could be a hint on the message that the behaviour is configurable.
Try clicking the “?” (help button)
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)
Apply an effect
Big smile, everyone is happy.
I second this suggestion.
As Steve pointed out with there being multiple tracks, any solution would require some thought. Perhaps instead of a single “Apply to All” option, an “Apply to Track” or “Apply to Project” option would show up if there was no selected part of a track.
Automatically making any imported track selected by default is a good idea, but more often than not, I will trim whatever I’ve imported before going to apply an effect.
Allowing users to make this default behavior is great and having any newly imported track be automatically selected would be useful, but It would certainly be more user-friendly to have the option in the dialog than not.