Showing linked white space.

This topic currently refers to the alpha version of Audacity only.
It also relates to the discussion in this topic:

When Sync-lock is on, selecting part of one track will show “link tiles” around the waveform on other tracks that are linked to it.
However, when working on multi-track projects, there may be no audio in the other track at that particular area (white space).
Linking does not currently show up on the track in white space.

Why does this matter?

In Audacity 1.3.13 alpha, create two new tracks.
In track 1 put some audio starting at time = 30 seconds (white space before it).
In track 2, put about a minute of audio starting at time = 0

Select in track 2 from time = 10 to 20 seconds.
If Sync-lock is not on, turn it on.
Press delete.

Not only is the audio cut out from track 2, but the equivalent portion of white space has been cut out from track 1 (causing the audio later in the track to move).

Gale has pointed out that “the sync-lock icon in the Track Panel tells you those unselected tracks are sync-locked”, but in the heat of an editing session I don’t think that it is sufficiently clear to avoid mistakes, even if you do know what is supposed to happen. For new users I think it is likely to cause a lot of confusion and frustration.

Sorry about posting too many/big images. I will restrain myself, but a picture is worth almost as much storage space as it requires to host it.

I agree with Steve’s perception about needing visual chains in the white space of a wave track. After all, it is treated just like audio as far as selection is concerned. In fact, I think that the concept should be made ubiquitous:

Disregarding linking, in the above if one deletes the selection the whitespace is also deleted and the audio moves left. I think the pink part of the whitespace should get dark grayed out just like the wave track.
not shown as selected.png

Just to note this has been committed now. But some comments since this topic was brought to my attention by a couple of people saying the feature is now there.

Using SVN HEAD if you select in the lower track, the Sync-Lock tiles will be shown behind the white space and the waveform (a slightly lighter grey behind the white space):
If you select in the upper track, its white space will have a lighter grey background than that which appears behind a waveform:
I’d argue distinguishing between the two greys is un-necessary and in itself confusing, but still…

Sync-Lock will be off by default so only used by power users. I would therefore still argue that Sync-Locked selections don’t really need to show tiles in white space because of the heavy visual impact (I think this looks much worse in the above image than yours). I’m sure I’ll be a lot happier with it though if we have a dotted border for the Sync-Locked selection which should allow us to space the tiles out a lot more. I think Al is minded to do both those things at the moment.


I transferred this former FR to this sectiobn from the forum as it is not really a FR. However I did not want to lose this discussion from the forum - hence its tr4ansfer. There is no really appropriate section for this in the forum - I think this is the closest. :confused: