Visual indication when recording is in progress

Many times I have started Audacity recording and forgotten about it, not remembering it was running until 8,12 or even 24 hours later. At stereo CD audio quality bit rates, with the temp files being saved in 32-bit floating point and consuming disk space at the rate of about 1.2 GB/hr, and with the default temp files location on the boot drive it is not inconceivable that Audacity could use up all available space on the C: drive and crash Windows.

I record on a different data drive and set the temp files to that drive to avoid this risk. However many browsers and other applications signal that they are “ready” or need attention by flashing the button on the task bar alternating colors at 1 Hz. It would seem helpful if Audacity flashed its button at a much slower rate when recording, such as once every 5 or 10 seconds, to remind the user that the program is recording.

If there is any audio being recorded the recording meter will show activity.
Also the recoding position cursor will be moving and the recorded waveform will be seen to step to the left each time the cursor gets to the extreme right (unless you have disabled that visual indication).
You could always set an alarm clock or cooking timer as a reminder whenever you record.

I use my PC for other things. Audacity is not in the foreground on screen when I’m doing other things. Of course if I dedicated a separate PC with a screen of its own to recording I would not fail to notice that it was running. It would be obvious for the reason you stated.

Is your intention to record until the disk is almost full, or do you have a set time limit where you would want Audacity to stop recording?
If you do know approximately how long you want to record, there are a lot of stopwatch/timer apps on the net that could be an easy solution. Most allow you to set a sound file to play and also include a visual indicator that pops up to the front.

So say you want to record for 4 hours - long enough for you to forget what you are doing. Start the recording and then set your timer for 4 hours at the same time. So long as you are within earshot of the computer, you’ll get notified!

This does suggest an improvement to Audacity that may be useful: timed recordings - the ability to set a time limit after which audacity stops recording automatically.

That is already available, though it does require that you set an end time before you start recording.

Can’t believe I missed that!!
Thanks Steve.

Thanks for your replies.

I know about the Transport Timer function. I use it often. It’s not suitable for the purposes for which I am suggesting the need for a visual indication that recording is in progress. There simply are many occasions where the duration is unpredictable, for example when recording a meeting, a broadcast of an open ended nature or a telephone call. The latter is a situation where I frequently forget that Audacity is recording until much later due to other tasks that become known in the course of the telephone conversation.

No, I have no interest in recording until the disk is almost full.

But while we’re on the subject, the Transport Timer function has a serious drawback I intended to address separately: If you set Audacity to record automatically and observe that the record level needs to be adjusted you cannot do so without stopping the recording and restarting it manually. That’s a very big limitation IMO. I will re-post this separately as a new topic, together with other issues with the Timer function.

I don’t really see that a slowly blinking icon is really going to help very much if neither the normal icon in the task bar or a sticky note on the monitor screen suffice as a reminder. Human nature being what it is the brain can quickly become accustomed to the blinking icon so that it no longer sees it, whereas for other users that don’t forget what they’re doing it would probably be a constant irritation.

You can’t have it both ways: If I would become accustomed to it and fail to notice it, it would not be a constant annoyance to others since they would too. When something happens to a tab in one of my browsers and it starts blinking, I notice it.

That’s not what I’m saying :smiley:
“I” would find it unnecessary and irritating.
“You” could put a post-it note on your monitor, which I would expect to be as effective as a flashing icon, much less work for the Audacity developers (none at all) and no irritation for users such as myself. If the post-it does not work for you, then I doubt that a flashing icon would work either.
(but I was trying to say that more politely so as to avoid any offence - none intended :wink:).

I guess you know more about me than I know about myself! (Or you think you do.)

I post Post-It Notes on my monitor to record programs or do other things and rarely notice them until it’s too late because they are static. When one of my task bar tabs starts flashing I notice it immediately.

I apologise if I presume too much, I merely wished to indicate that some people may find a flashing icon to be an annoyance and some people may grow accustomed to them.

Are they flashing continuously for hours?