Transport control between windows

Quick question:

When working with multiple windows I used to be able to switch windows and hit the “Play” button again. It would stop the play on the previous window and then I could begin playing/controlling the current window.

In the new version, all other windows are just “locked” until I find the window that’s playing and stop it.

Which is only a problem when I’m working on bouncing back and forth between several projects at once, or, say, cherry-picking sounds out of a library file, but when I’m trying to compare multiple files (audition to first installment of a VO, to current working script) I run up against it as an inconvenience, as it’s force of habit to thumb through other windows while the one I’m listening to is playing.

Is there a way in the preferences to re-enable this feature, where I could hit Stop or Play in another window and have it effectively release the monopoly the other window has on the transport, or it it completely deprecated?


No, there is no setting for that. It was never intended that the transport controls in one project window would control transport in another project window.

Ah. I see. Thanks very much for the info. :slight_smile:

The nice side-effect was that you could stop another window, and release its hold on the current one you were on without switching back, and then forth again.

The really bad side effect was that you could accidentally destroy an in-progress recording that’s running in a background window.

Personally I advise against having multiple projects open at the same time. As someone that works on the code, I get to see how much could go wrong when running multiple projects. As someone that regularly uses Audacity, I see that having multiple projects open simultaneously is very rarely necessary, and, in nearly all cases, working with multiple tracks in a single project window is safer, more efficient, and less likely to lead to mistakes or lost data.

Huh. I guess so, but I’ve never actually run into that. I mean I guess if you were actively recording in one window, it could be a problem, but usually we’re capturing direct from mic interfaces, not from, say, a cassette deck or something that’s going to just run in the background.

Different methods of using it I guess. The way we operate here, we end up needing about 5 or 6 different (very small, but sometimes up to even 10+) projects open at once, and it never really became a problem. It was just a handy way to stop playback in one window without having to switch to it. As for using multi-track, that becomes a problem, because then you’d need to separate them BACK out again before sending them off to the individual clients/customers they’re intended for, so you’d be using multiple windows anyhoo. :laughing:

That said, I do appreciate the insight. I realize not everyone uses the program the same way we do (in fact, I’d be willing to bet we’re the outlier on that poll) but it was a handy feature, and I do miss it. It saved a nice bit of time to be able to stop a window without having to find it. In future releases, maybe they’ll change the icon of the active window to show which one is playing - would be a fun feature. :smiley:


Out of interest, why do you need many projects open at once?

Are you aware of “Export Multiple”?

Sure! :slight_smile:

I’d venture to say we’re not your typical users.

We work on small VA/VO files for multiple clients at once, and usually record them all in one go. That’s one file, but we separate them out and work on them afterward.

Sometimes one file takes 3 or 4 hours to work on, but another job comes up in the meantime, and it’s a little 10-minute dealie. So we just pop open a 3rd window for that.

Basically we record 3 or 4 scripts, do basic noise reduction and then separate them out into individual files most of the time, which would be 2 working windows, minimum. HOWEVER! It’s not linear work sometimes. Sometimes there’s SFX or screaming, which is handled at the end of the file (so you’re not recording with stripped out cords,) and sometimes we have to shift focus from one active working file to another to meet a deadline.

Occasionally we have to wait for feedback from a client before we can continue to work on their particular file, so we switch to working on a different one so as not to waste time.

Of course we SAVE the projects, but it’s nice to have them all open, so you can just pick up where you left off.

Plus, occasionally, there’s a standard pool of VFX in a file I like to keep open. (I, personally, prefer not to shriek, yell, or scream more than I have to, so I’ve got a decent library of stuff like that, so I don’t have to strip out my vocal cords every time a job says “[angry screeching]”

It’s also handy to have a “Scratch pad” window open so that you can use it to edit 2 or 3 takes together into a good one, (or making a good take out of 2 bad ones on a difficult file,) and you’re not looking back and forth between 7 or 8 takes for the good ones, nor working in an active window with 3 hours of recorded audio. In the scratch pad window, you can jump around easily with Home/End, but in a 3 hour file it becomes a bit easier to lose track of where you are, if you’re zoomed way in, sewing multiple people’s lines together.

When you get moving back and forth from the big, multi-project file, the main working project, and the VFX and scratch-pad windows, and any incidentals, it was handy to have the transport be able to stop another window playing. :slight_smile:

And in all this, I never even THOUGHT of what’d happen if you were recording from, say, a tape deck in the background. :smiley:

Also, before anyone asks about the multi-line bit in the scratch pad: we don’t do the final cut. We ship it off the the sound engineers, so we’re not going to wind up with a multi-track file at the end. We’re producing, SPECIFICALLY, single-channel mono tone-separated reels for the sound engineers to use in their own projects.

OH!! But I forgot to clarify: we DO use multitrack features for putting one client’s files together. We also usually record each track with 2 mics to circumvent technical noise and SPL peaking. Muting unnecessary tracks for other client’s files in the same project window, and keeping track of which track was which would get REALLY tedious.

Again, we’ve got a bit of an unusual set of circumstances for the software. :laughing:

Thanks for the description. I agree, not a common workflow.

It sounds like an ideal solution in your case would be some kind of “project manager” that allowed you to quickly view / control / access multiple projects and files at a glance. A similar query came up recently where someone was asking about managing a library of audio clips.

From a software development point of view, I much prefer features that are designed to perform a function, than “accidental” features that just happen to work for some workflows but were never actually intended. In the former case, the feature can be properly documented and maintained. :wink:

Believe you me, I’m on board with that! heheh. In addition to the studio, I’ve run an IT/programming company for a lot of years, (used to program a lot in VFP - mostly database stuff) and you would not BELIEVE the creative ways my clients came up with of using/subverting/destroying my programs! :laughing:

It was a couple years before I got into the mindset of “well, if this is how they expect it to work, it’ll be easier to change the program than to change them,” but it was still always a balancing act.

Of course, as a programmer, I also realize you’re absolutely correct - a nice convenience for me poses an unintended workflow risk for 99.9% of other users, and so it makes sense to keep within the main user’s base.

If I wasn’t so lazy I COULD compile a custom copy but… that seems a bit extravagant, and a further unnecessary gotcha. “Special” versions of software floating randomly around are to be avoided at all costs, in my experience. You never know how they’re going to behave in someone else’s hands. :smiley:

That said, a project manager might be the way to go. OR! I could whip up a universal transport control app. Have it grab the active one, and have it set to “always on top” so long as an Audacity window had window focus. Not a bad idea at all! Maybe add some other cool features like file access, library index, listing, browsing. :slight_smile:

Now the problem is finding time to whip it up…