Easier to see selections

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aud2019user
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Easier to see selections

Post by aud2019user » Tue Mar 26, 2019 7:08 am

Hi, glad to see the 2.3.1 release, now 1+ reason to move to Linux...

I use the Dark Theme; sadly selections in highly compressed waves are impossible to see (in my monitor at least).
In no-so compressed waves it's easier but still not good.
So please consider eg my proposal of colors (I doubt you would make them totally user selectable, at least in the short term).

[as an aside, anyway, could you please put the picture for the Dark Theme in the customization Wiki? (for other changes; from the Wiki, I think there are no 'squares' for the selection colors, only for the regular wave colors; the selection seems is hardcoded as a whitish layer on top.)]

[The Dark Theme is good not only for darkness sake, but blue light eg. from monitors has been shown to be bad for biorhytm (specially at night) and bad for the eyes]
selecClear.jpg
selecClear.jpg (85.75 KiB) Viewed 1234 times
Thanks.

steve
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Re: Easier to see selections

Post by steve » Tue Mar 26, 2019 3:08 pm

aud2019user wrote:
Tue Mar 26, 2019 7:08 am
but blue light eg. from monitors has been shown to be bad for biorhytm (specially at night)
I imagine that listening to sound that looks like that is not very good for biorhythm either :?

If you have the track set to "Waveform (dB)" view, try setting it to normal "Waveform" view.
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aud2019user
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Re: Easier to see selections

Post by aud2019user » Tue Mar 26, 2019 6:01 pm

The screenshot is taken in normal "Waveform" view, not in "Waveform (dB)" view, wich I never use.

And it sounds perfectly fine, maybe you are used to look at Waveforms of your own recordings or of Classical music, but this kind of compression is very common in modern comercial music, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loudness_war

In fact there are many recordings that are *more* compressed than the picture I posted (at low zooms it looks basically 'flat' at the borders with no whatsoever distinguishable variation, 0 grey part to help seeing the selections).


It doesn't sound 'superloud', simple there is no much variation in average volume, no low volume untill the end's fade out.

steve
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Re: Easier to see selections

Post by steve » Tue Mar 26, 2019 7:51 pm

Given that you can see absolutely no detail in the waveform at that zoom level with that amount of compression, why does it matter if you can't see exactly where the edges of the selection are?

I normally use the light theme as I find it easier to see what I need to see. In this extremely compressed track, I've no idea which beat of the bar the selection starts on (I'd need to zoom in a long way for that), but I can clearly see that I've selected approximately 30 s to 1:00, and a quick glance at the Selection Toolbar shows that the selection is precisely 30.388 s to 1m 2.359 s.

track.png
track.png (16.09 KiB) Viewed 1194 times
When I zoom in close enough that it actually matters what I can see, there is no problem seeing the edges of the selection:

trackb.png
trackb.png (17.93 KiB) Viewed 1194 times
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aud2019user
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Re: Easier to see selections

Post by aud2019user » Tue Mar 26, 2019 9:15 pm

Many edition operations can be made at lower zooms, no need to go to the 'beat of the bar' level, and it's very annoying and stressing to the eyes to try to see where the selection starts-ends in the wave, one should not have to resort to look up at the ruler/ look at numbers/whatever unless wanted to do so, not out of necessity from lack of a very simple visual design thing.

Some audio editors are actually very extreme eg the colors of the central and outer parts of the wave are flipped so it's always very clear and immediately viewable what is selected, sort of like this
selecClear2.jpg
selecClear2.jpg (7.12 KiB) Viewed 1189 times
(or the user just choose whatever colors, but i understand that's much to ask now).

Having clear selections in the waveform is nothing extraordinary, the strange thing is how is it not so now in Audacity.

steve
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Re: Easier to see selections

Post by steve » Wed Mar 27, 2019 12:10 pm

Thanks for your comments aud2019user. To some extent I have been "devil's advocate" in order to gauge the strength of argument.
Personally I agree that it would be helpful to make the selected region more clear, and have previously argued the same case myself.

I think the strongest case for this is when a project has multiple tracks and the waveform is very dense in all tracks. For example, compare the two images below:

tracks001.png
Current version of Audacity
tracks001.png (17.42 KiB) Viewed 1160 times
tracks002.png
Enhanced waveform color when selected
tracks002.png (17.04 KiB) Viewed 1160 times

In the second image, I think it is much easier to see the selected region in track 2.
In this example, I have just increased the lightness and contrast of the waveform color - the same could be done whatever the waveform color, though for a very light waveform color (in a custom theme), we either accept that selections won't show up so well, or Audacity would need to calculate a darker color for selected audio.

I'm less keen on having vertical lines for a couple of reasons:
1) A black line would not show up so well on dark waveforms (some of the waveform color options are quite dark).
2) It would conflict with the yellow "boundary snap" lines (see: https://manual.audacityteam.org/man/bou ... uides.html)


Would you be happy with this wording of a proposed enhancement:
Change color of waveform when selected, not just the waveform background. This would improve the visibility of the selected region, especially when editing high amplitude, highly compressed audio and full scale test tones.
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waxcylinder
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Re: Easier to see selections

Post by waxcylinder » Wed Mar 27, 2019 12:59 pm

steve wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 12:10 pm
Would you be happy with this wording of a proposed enhancement:
Change color of waveform when selected, not just the waveform background. This would improve the visibility of the selected region, especially when editing high amplitude, highly compressed audio and full scale test tones.
+1

I would

WC
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aud2019user
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Re: Easier to see selections

Post by aud2019user » Wed Mar 27, 2019 6:29 pm

Yes, it's fine, either lightening the wave more like in your example (or darkening it more for Dark Themes, maybe a selectable option) would work.
I agree that it's better without lines, as long as the colors contrast enough.

Maybe with pictures in the entry or a link to this thread to give the developers a reference so they don't go again too subtle with the changes.

Thanks.

steve
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Re: Easier to see selections

Post by steve » Wed Mar 27, 2019 9:30 pm

aud2019user wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 6:29 pm
Maybe with pictures in the entry or a link to this thread
I've put a link to this thread.
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steve
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Re: Easier to see selections

Post by steve » Wed Mar 27, 2019 9:32 pm

waxcylinder wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 12:59 pm
+1

I would
I've added your "vote" too.
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