Enahnced time/position display on Selection Toolbar

I have been using Audacity for quite a few years. I have, over the past couple of decades as a broadcast professional, also used a variety of other software for digital audio. My current project of digitizing a large collection of reel-to-reel analog recordings points out what I consider a deficiency of the Audacity user interface.

It may be that I’m missing the feature I desire. I have searched diligently but come up empty. If I have missed it, please let me know. What I am looking for is a way of making the selection information and, especially, the audio position more visible.

For example, here is a very busy screenshot from Adobe Audition

Despite the complexity, you can still see the time at a glance — the biggest text in the display — at the bottom center of the screen.

In my current project I am listening to these tapes as I record them with Audacity, while taking notes in real time as the digital copy is made. I have to take in, at a glance, the time code corresponding to what I’m listening to, and the current format of the time displayed on the selection toolbar is, I’m afraid, not very conducive to “at-a-glance” comprehension. (OK, some of it is my tired old eyes, but still…)

The time display feature of the user interface hasn’t changed that I recall since I started using Audacity, and the look, with each digit in a little box, may have been easy to code, but could use, in my opinion, considerable modernization and increased legibility. Also, perhaps it could be user-customizable, so you can keep the traditional look and feel while I might like, say, half-inch tall neon green digits.

I know nothing about the underlying code and whether any of this is feasible, or whether anyone else cares. But for me, this would be a great enhancement.

Thank you,
Mister_Art in Northern Virginia

In Audacity the current audio position is shown towards the left of the Selection Toolbar
Audio Position.png
Admittedly not as “brazenly in tour face” as you show us in Adobe Audition - but is this big enough for your use.

You can always reposition the Selection Toolbar or float it - see: https://alphamanual.audacityteam.org/man/Customizing_Toolbar_Layout


Years ago I had the same complaint so I modified the Audacity source code…
unfortunately, this is Audacity 2.0.6 and I have no idea what would be necessary to change 3.x to behave the same way. The Developers of Audacity are very resistant to adding interface enhancements (especially when they entail additions to Preferences). The above image is on a monitor with 1920 x 1080 resolution.

sHendricks made an Audacity-theme where the contrast of the numbers is higher, so easier to read, (but not bigger) …