I’ve been using audacity for years on Ubuntu and find it really helpful and pretty intuitive. Unfortunately, I have to migrate to Windows for work, which means I’m taking Audacity with me. Here I find a new behaviour that I struggle with, which is this: Clicking around the waveform keeps causing the selection bar to turn into a playback bar, where it will playback forwards or backwards, and basically follow the mouse around playing what’s under it. Is there a way to turn this behaviour off? I prefer to be able to wave the cursor around without it playing randomly.
Actually, it’s not mouse clicking that is doing this, but mouse-over movement - but sometimes, not always. This occurs particularly often when the play bar runs over the ‘page’ and a new section of waveform appears - then if I move my mouse, it jumps to there, or plays backwards if the mouse is moving from right to left. Very weird.
Please, if you need help, give us the full information from the pink panel at the top of the page, including all three Audacity version numbers.
It sounds to me that on Windows you have Audacity 2.1.1 or later and are CTRL-clicking in the waveform, which enables Scrubbing and Seeking. The only reason that would not happen on Linux is that you have an obsolete (pre-2.1.1) version of Audacity on your Linux system.
If assume you are pressing CTRL by accident but if you do want the old CTRL-click behaviour where the CTRL-click starts playback at the click position, and mouse movements do not affect playback, just perform an unmodified left-click in the Timeline instead: http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/timeline.html#tqp.