Transport buttons makes Audacity lock up while in focus

Hey all y’all, name’s Rem. I’m using Windows 7 with Audacity 2.1.3. Before this I was using 2.1.1, if I recall correctly. In both of these versions I have experienced a very strange bug that’s disrupting my workflow. I’ve _re_installed Audacity 2.1.3 twice now - that is, one upgrade from 2.1.1 and then two fresh installs - and it has not fixed the bug.

So initially it appeared that the transport toolbar and the tools toolbar were both unresponsive. It’s just the buttons - stop, pause, play, skip to beginning, skip to end, and all the tools buttons. They do not function when they are clicked. The keyboard shortcuts for these functions still work, and it’s kind of usable that way. But if I click any one of the aforementioned buttons, at any point while I’m using Audacity, the button doesn’t do anything, and then Audacity locks up silently. It doesn’t even gray out or tell me it’s unresponsive, it just fails to respond to any further interaction, keyboard or mouse. Even the close button doesn’t work, and I had to use the Task Manager to kill the process. Thankfully I haven’t lost any significant work so far.

However, I discovered that it was possible to break out of the lock-up by putting another window in focus - say, Windows Explorer - and then using the keyboard shortcut I wanted to use. The close button responds if I press it when Audacity is unfocused, which saves me the trouble of having to kill the process. So now the issue is actually that if I click any of the butons in the transport toolbar or the tools toolbar, Audacity locks up until the windows loses focus. I thought it might be because I was working too quickly, so after starting the program, I waited a good minute in case it had to buffer a codec library or some other unknown counterintuitive feature, just in case. But that wasn’t it. It also doesn’t matter what the content of the file I’m working with is. This bug occurs whether I drag and drop an mp3 into the editor or I generate a new sine tone track. Menu items such as volume, the drop-down effects lists, the controls on individual tracks, and seeking to specific locations within tracks by clicking with the mouse, all still work as expected as long as Audacity isn’t locked up. Also the Audacity window can’t be moved or brought into focus by clicking on the title bar while it’s locked up.

Altogether, having to work around this is a very inefficient workflow, or more plainly, it stinks. Those are the buttons I use the most. I first noticed this error on August 16th.

Another confounding thing is that I have a dual monitor setup, and for a time, no more than a week, Audacity worked as expected when the window was displayed on one of the monitors, but not when it was displayed on the other. Now it does not work as expected on either monitor.

I’m not sure if this issue is only isolated to Audacity on my computer, because I have had similar (not identical) issues with a select few functions in a select few unrelated programs, such as pressing “record” in my Logitech Webcam control software. But if this is an Audacity problem, how do I fix it? As I’ve said, reinstallation from scratch did not solve the problem, multiple times. And if it isn’t an Audacity problem, my tentative guess is that this is actually a mouse driver issue, but I don’t know how that would be the case, because my Bamboo drawing tablet’s pen also fails to interact with Audacity as expected (though it successfully presses the record button for my Logitech Webcam)…

Thanks for any help you can provide.

As far as I’m aware, Audacity does not yet fully support dual monitors.
If Audacity is running on the ‘main’ monitor and focus is in that monitor, then Audacity ‘should’ function correctly. Is it possible that your workaround works because it is restoring focus to the correct monitor?

Hi, Steve. I’m not sure why dual monitors would be a case that requires specifically programmed support (except for remembering the position of the window after exiting). I’ve had two monitors longer than I’ve ever used any version of Audacity, and Audacity has handled both of them well until the middle of last month. I have tested whether the monitor setup is the issue by putting Audacity on one monitor and Windows Explorer on the other, and then swapping them, and the problem appears to be symmetrical - the same thing happens either way. But now I’ll try disabling one of my monitors completely and see if my issue is fixed.

Nope, the issue still occurs with only my primary monitor connected.

If you do a quick Internet search for “wxwidgets dual monitor problems” you will find there is no shortage of issues. Audacity is built using the wxWidgets framework.

Does this problem always / only occur when Windows Explorer is open?

I don’t believe the issue is related to Windows Explorer. I have used Windows Explorer as an example. But it does this regardless of what program is used as the other window, or if Windows Explorer is open. The wxWidgets bugs are interesting, but this bug arose for me rapidly and without precedent.

Oh, I just realized I left out a fragment in my OP. Losing focus ends the lock-up, but I have to focus on Audacity again before using the key commands.

I get where you’re going, though - I also get the sense this is a conflict with another program. On the guess that it might be related to my mouse, I’m going to try uninstalling my mouse and using a different one, and see if that makes a difference.

It turns out the issue was indeed my mouse drivers, for whatever reason. Uninstalling the drivers, rebooting, and reinstalling them solved the problem. Thanks for your help, Steve.