I have a recording which has been divided into multiple sections using the “split clip” command (Ctrl-i). I would like to place the cursor at one of the intersections so that when I start playback it starts from there. Here’s what I’ve tried:
Click the clip boundary. This deletes the boundary, joining the clips to either side, and does not move the cursor. (in my opinion this is extremely unintuitive).
Click the transport bar above the boundary. This starts playback from the clip position, and does not move the cursor. If I stop and start playback it will start again from wherever the cursor is.
Disable quickplay and click the transport bar above the boundary. This has no effect (oddly the cursor still appears as a pointing hand, suggesting that clicking will have some effect).
Drag selection backwards to the clip boundary. This moves the cursor but also selects a region, which I don’t want. I can now do “Select none” to get what I want, but that’s a lot of steps for something so simple.
Keyboard shortcuts or menu commands. I’ve looked, but I can’t see anything that appears to do what I want.
What can I do to just move the cursor to a clip boundary?
Double click on the clip (on the blue wiggly waveform), then spacebar to play.
Double click on a clip selects the clip, and spacebar starts playback from the start of the selection.
(spacebar can also be used to stop playback, “P” to pause, or “X” to stop playback and leave the play position at the point that playback stopped)
Thanks, but as I mentioned, I would like to move the cursor without selecting a region. I’m finding it frustrating not being able to click on or even near a split without removing the split so I think in any case I shall make a feature request to the development team for some method to accomplish this.
Why? What’s wrong with selecting the audio that you want to play?
If you want to play from a specific point without making or changing the selection, then that is what “Quick Play” is for.
What exactly are you trying to do?
There are several reasons why one may wish to simply place the cursor rather than selecting an entire region between two boundaries, for example:
You wish to play from a boundary to the end of the project without stopping at the next boundary.
You wish to place the cursor close to, but not on, a boundary line
If you wish to place the cursor among a group of boundaries, they may be sufficiently dense or you may be sufficiently zoomed out that it is impossible to even double-click the region.
After some research I have found several workarounds for this problem:
Add a label track. Since boundary lines do not appear on boundary tracks you can place the cursor at the same point in time without deleting the boundary.
Select a region (by double-clicking or dragging) and press the left or right cursor buttons.
With Audacity 2.2 or above, hover over the boundary, press escape, a yellow line appears, you can now click to place the cursor without deleting the boundary (not useful for point 2)
I still find all these methods clunky and continue to believe that deleting a clicked boundary by default is an unfortunate interface design decision. It’s difficult to think of an analogous situation in other software where clicking somewhere in the work area with the default tool is a destructive action. The idea of changing this behaviour has been suggested before, though it appears to have been a polemic issue. https://forum.audacityteam.org/t/clicking-black-split-line-auto-merges-turn-off/36596/1
Audacity provides many ways to navigate a project, and many ways to make selections. The next version of Audacity includes even more, though I doubt it is possible to fully satisfy all users all of the time.