Upper length bar playback problem [SOLVED]

Hi, when clicking on the upper length bar to start playing at the position I click on, if I wanna start playing in a close position to the last clicked position, a double-arrow icon appears and I can’t move to that position, so I have to select a further position, which is annoying. Here’s a picture to clarify it:

How can I get rid of that icon? I wanna click wherever I want in the bar so Audacity starts to playback, even if it’s 1 sec earlier from the last clicked zone. I hope you understand the problem, my english level is not perfect so I can’t explain it better.


There are several options. The best choice will depend on what you want to do.

One option is to zoom in closer: http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/zooming.html

Another option is to select the section that you want to play (http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/audacity_selection.html) then use the spacebar to start and stop play. The start of the selection may be adjusted by holding down the Shift key and dragging the edge of the selection, or by typing in the “Selection Start” box in the Selection Toolbar (http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/selection_toolbar.html).

Another option is to enable “Edit > Play Region > Lock”, then select the region that you want to play. The region will remain marked with a red “play region” arrow after playback stops and the region may be adjusted by dragging the end points of the play region (see here for more detail: http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/timeline.html)

Thanks steve.

Yeah, I know there are several options. Another one is using ctrl+click, which I think is the most efficient for this. BUT what I want is the easiest and fastest way to select a start section and play automatically.

The best option is the ctrl+click, you can select a very close section and works. But, you need 2 hands, so discarted.

The other one is the upper bar, but you can’t select a close section to the last one cause the double arrow appears. I mean, I wanna start listening to the song when the guitar comes. I select 1:43,87, but the guitar starts at 1:42,12, for example. With the ctrl+click is done, you “fail” the first selection, and correct it moving the mouse 2mm before. BUT, as I said, you need one hand in the keyboard, another in the mouse. So the perfect way is the upper bar, but once you’ve selected 1:43,xx, if you try to select 1:42, or 1:40, you can’t cause you are “too close” to the last selection and the double-arrow icon appears. So you need to go to the 1:38,xx.

Well, seems no big deal, but when you are listening to a lot of parts, you mistakenly use the double arrow and drag the selection, and you wish that double-arrow wouldn’t appear and change the function of the click in the upper bar.

To sum up, I’d like to use the ctrl+click option (you can select very close sections), but without using ctrl key, just clicking and automatically playing from there to the end (the upper bar does it perfectly, but you can’t correct 2-3 secs, which are the seconds I usually wanna correct cause my selection wasn’t accurate).

It also changes the cursor point which defeats part of the idea of clicking in the Timeline.

The obvious workaround to me is to zoom in further.

To me, the handles that appear when you hover close to the cursor in the Timeline are not very useful. They help you to create a temporary play region starting from the cursor, but that region does not play when you release the drag (you have to press SPACE to play it). I assume that to be a bug.

If we want the handles, I would suggest they only appear when you hover not higher than the height of the triangle to right of the cursor. If you hover higher than that then the mouse pointer changes to a hand and lets you click.


Yeah, that’s exactly what I want. The hand shouldn’t change to the double-arrow icon unless you are OVER the small line stick to the triangle. But right now the hand disappear when you are far away from the triangle.

Indeed, I don’t use that feature , if I wanna select a part of a track, I do it in the wav section, where you have obviously more accuracy.

What about delete that feature and make the upper bar just a “click and play” bar? It would be much more efficient and easier, cause I’ve never used that bar to select a part of a track.

Thanks GALE!

It might be a reasonable compromise to have grabbing of the end of the play region only when “Play Region > Lock” is enabled ?

What? I didn’t understand what you said :question:

I’ve created a bug report: http://bugzilla.audacityteam.org/show_bug.cgi?id=704 .

I marginally prefer (for discoverability) that the arrows appear when the pointer is a little way either side of the cursor, if so the pointer would change to a finger when you were above the height of the triangle. This would let you click absolutely on the cursor point if you wanted to, which I don’t see why you shouldn’t.


Oh, thanks a lot, Gale, that’s what I want. And your way is better, didn’t see that the upper bar is higher than the cursor-triangle itself. So with your method, we’re able to change wherever we want, including even a pixel from the current selection, lol . Pretty awesome, thanks a lot for the support and attention!

When this will be done? How much it takes till Audacity releases a new version? Just curiosity…

Another solution that I’ve found useful is to just click near where you want to be and then use the keyboard arrows to fine tune the required location. I believe the amount of movement using the keyboard arrows depends on the zoom level. But I use the keyboard arrows a lot to get exactly where I want.

Yeah, but why would you do 2 or more movements when you can do just 1?

Anyways, with the arrow keys I can’t go back, just ahead. So if I select 02:45,34 I’m not able to use the arrow keys to go to 02:43,35. And this is not what I want, cause if I got to use 2 hands, I totally go to the ctrl+click way, which is faster and more accuracy.

Yes when playback is stopped, LEFT arrow and RIGHT arrow move by 1 pixel. So if you are zoomed in, this amounts to a finer movement.

But when playing, LEFT and RIGHT seek backwards and forwards respectively a fixed amount irrespective of zoom, as set by “Short period” seek time in Playback Preferences .

And as rambomhtri notes, you can’t seek behind the playback cursor - we tried to do that but it creates other problems.


Well, it’s another way, but I still prefer the ctrl+click if I have to use 2 hands. The better solution is what Gale said in the (B) option of bug report. Keep me updated if the bug is fixed :wink:

I wouldn’t hold your breath that it will be fixed quickly but when it is, it will probably be mentioned in the README.txt and Release Notes for that version.


Oh, I just updated from 2.0.5 to 2.0.6 hoping this annoying issue was solved, but no. I’ll wait to 2.0.7 :cry:

Yeah, I want exactly that, and with your method I could click on above the cursor (triangle) and still have a finger pointer. This bug is bugging me big time :angry: . Any news?

As you said in the bug description, I’d go too for dicoverability fix.

This won’t be in 2.1.0 which is the number of the next release, though I reminded the others this was an issue just recently.

The fact is that “Quick-Play” is a bit of a jumble at the moment. You can do it by clicking in the Timeline (with a number of limitations like the one you mention) or by CTRL-click in the waveform (which is how I work round your issue). Yet probably we could do with one unified Quick-Play method and we don’t have proper smooth “scrubbing” of the playhead yet.

So really the whole thing wants to be rethought, but it is in our thoughts at the moment.


I now have a fix for this. It is too late for the next (2.1) release of Audacity but, subject to testing, will hopefully be in the release after that.
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That sounds useful, Steve. Can you make a comment in http://bugzilla.audacityteam.org/show_bug.cgi?id=704 about the fix?