Song Direction

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Gale Andrews
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Re: Song Direction

Post by Gale Andrews » Tue Sep 15, 2015 8:37 pm

Paul L wrote:
Gale Andrews wrote:Should you not be able to enable Scrub Play when already standard-playing, without having to click? Engaging the suggested Scrub Play button could do that, too.
That goes beyond user interface changes and would require more work to get the playback engine to cooperate.
It might be worth considering. But I assume if we change to a draggable bar or widget you may have to get the playback engine to switch to scrub seamlessly?
Paul L wrote:
Gale Andrews wrote:I say yet again, there should be an option to disable backwards scrub. With that option on, when you move the pointer backwards, forwards play automatically starts from there. Then there is no need to press SHIFT *and* have to move the pointer to restart playback from that new point. I would actually use scrubbing then (sorry Paul, but I find scroll-scrub too "fiddly"). Even then I would still find dragging something to scrub far more intuitive.
Scrub something. Move the mouse left, click, and move right again. Play restarts where you clicked. Is it good enough?

I don't understand the reference to SHIFT which is not part of scrubbing interface any more.
I forgot SHIFT was removed, but no for me I don't want to have to move the mouse again after click. If that click happened to be the place I wanted there is no need for me to move the mouse again.

I know it is not fashionable to say it, and I don't use fancy DAW's, but the scrub-play in VLC would be (mostly) good enough for me to find the place I want, and certainly completely intuitive.

I just can't get used to scrub play suspending when the playhead reaches the mouse pointer, and so constantly thinking ahead that I have to keep the mouse moving to prevent suspension.

No-one can do anything at suspension without moving the mouse again, so the only benefit I see in it is if you want to listen up to the pointer and stop. I'm sure that is very useful sometimes, but why force that behaviour on everyone, with no option or means to toggle what happens?

I could envisage that if we had no option for forwards play only (or if such option was off), but had a play-toggle, clicking the left mouse button when play was suspended at the pointer would restart playback in the direction it came from. Playback would continue until the mouse was moved and the playhead met the pointer again (or until the playhead reached the start or end of project).

If you were dragging with left mouse button down and play had suspended at the pointer, releasing the left mouse button would restart playback in the direction it came from.

If a "forwards play only" option was on, then the mouse click or release when play was suspended would play forwards even if the playback had been backwards.

Or we could have no play toggle. Just an option "Don't stop when scrub play reaches the pointer". Play suspends only when the playhead reaches the start or end of the project.

I quite like the play toggle idea, if it is feasible. But any of the above ideas would make a big usability improvement for me.
Paul L wrote:Do you say you would use scroll-scrub if it were not "fiddly" or that you just don't find it at all useful?
It is not useful to me personally, though I don't oppose it. I only feel tempted to use it because I can't live with play suspending at the pointer in standard scrub.
Paul L wrote:I presume there is no trouble avoiding it.
I do sometimes get it by mistake if I fumble-click. I would rather have it enabled it by holding a second modifier.
Paul L wrote:I think it is a nice option to have. A version of play that leaves the play head centered and scrolls the wave instead satisfies at least one old feature request, doesn't it?
Indeed, in the absence of standard playback having continuous scrolling, but I think that should still be done.


Gale
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Gale Andrews
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Re: Song Direction

Post by Gale Andrews » Tue Sep 15, 2015 9:08 pm

Paul L wrote:
waxcylinder wrote:A good start Paul (but only a start) would be to fix Bug #1053 http://bugzilla.audacityteam.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1053
where Gale suggest the left part of the Status Bar should say "Scrubbing" rather than "Playing" when in scrub mode (and possibly change to "Seeking" while in Seek mode). Plus as he also points out the central part of the Status bar message gives incorrect advice/information while in scrub/seek mode.
Part of that bug description is that you can't click and drag to select audio during scrub, but the status bar suggests you can.

Maybe the real problem is that we should reenable click and drag to select during scrub.

The reason we don't is that we need some way to switch between scrubbing and seeking, and decided on left click, among several not wholly satisfactory alternatives. I wanted to reject anything using a modifier key because it would conflict with the use of certain keystroke commands during playback, like ctrl-m to drop labels or shift-a to stop and set cursor.
If Enh: Allow keyboard to flexibly adjust the cursor or selection during playback or recording was fixed, the ability to drag-select during scrub would be less important than it is now - perhaps sometimes useful rather than essential.
Paul L wrote:My thinking now is that scrubbing and seeking should be controlled by mouse clicks in the horizontal time ruler, not in the track area. Though it could still be (as now) that seeking is a drag but scrubbing is not. Scrubbing could still change speed and direction in response to mouse motion events, no matter where the pointer goes.
I think we must retain a simple click in the Timeline, by default, plays from the click point to the end of the project, if a stop is not executed. No mouse movements should be allowed to prevent that.
Paul L wrote:Let us not forget too: http://bugzilla.audacityteam.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1079 "Scrubbing is stopped when a tool that is not Select is chosen"

The reason for that complaint: I make scrubbing and seeking available in selection tool only, because ctrl-click in the track area has other meanings in other tools, and while we might accept the forfeit of left click to select, I did not want to forfeit left click in other tools -- so a tool switch would make change to seeking impossible, so it was better just to ban scrubbing when you switch. This reasoning isn't pretty! Again it suggests to me that the clicks to scrub and seek might be better done in the time ruler, leaving all the other clicks and modified clicks in the tracks in whatever tools free to keep their old meanings. Then without that conflict, it would make sense to allow scrubbing in the ruler no matter what the tool is.
Yes. But until then we could simply prevent tool changing when scrubbing was on.

Paul L wrote:
And fix Bug #1052: http://bugzilla.audacityteam.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1052
No visual indication whether CTRL has initiated scrubbing or not (to which Andreas' experience in this thread was added yesterday as a use case).
Do we make a new cursor that looks like a scrub-brush? Maybe that's too "cute" but a cursor change would be nice. It could also become binoculars for seeking.
Unlike the developers, I am not personally a fan of buttons changing icons for type of playback.

Or do you mean change the mouse pointer? But we would not want to do that if we ever allowed scrubbing in different tools.

I still like the idea of displaying the playhead as soon as scrubbing is on, before the pointer is moved for the first time. Is that possible?

Gale
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Paul L
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Re: Song Direction

Post by Paul L » Thu Sep 17, 2015 4:33 pm

Gale, it seems you just need the left click in the time ruler. What do you want scrubbing to do for you, that you can't do by that means? I know you do not like backwards play, and you don't like it that play stops at the cursor. (I thought it was good for scrub to do that as an aid to setting your selection boundaries by ear. Find the right stopping place, stop play, and click again). You don't find scroll scrubbing useful.

What part of scrubbing does that leave? It does leave variable speed with mouse wheel and it does leave seeking by holding the mouse button down. So are you saying you like those new features but want an interface you like better?

I do not propose to eliminate any features of the time ruler, but perhaps some key-modified or double clicks can be used there to redesign the scrubbing user interface.

waxcylinder
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Re: Song Direction

Post by waxcylinder » Thu Sep 17, 2015 4:58 pm

Paul L wrote:I do not propose to eliminate any features of the time ruler, but perhaps some key-modified or double clicks can be used there to redesign the scrubbing user interface.
My *strong* advice would be to ignore use of the Timeline ruler for scrubbing - leaving the Timeline for QuickPlay and restricting scrubbing gestures to the waveform itself. This, for my money, will keep the interface cleaner (without you losing or removing functionality.

I disagree with Gale about removing backwards scrubbing, I definitely want to keep it (that's how scrubbing worked on tape decks) - and I agree with Paul that if you just want forward play to find your audio, then the Timeline QuickPlay is ideal for that - it's what I use most of the time.

But I still really would like a scrub button in the Transport Toolbar - and I do like Paul's idea for a different cursor while scrubbing.

Peter.
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Gale Andrews
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Re: Song Direction

Post by Gale Andrews » Thu Sep 17, 2015 6:39 pm

waxcylinder wrote:I disagree with Gale about removing backwards scrubbing
Nowhere have I said that I want to remove it, only that forwards-only could be an off-by-default option. Yes of course, many may want the analogy with back and forth tape head movement.

The current method does have some advantages. We can scrub back and forward without holding the mouse button down. But for me, audio playing backwards is a distraction (I will not be exporting backwards audio). It's a delay to finding the part I want. I can remove the delay if I drag-seek with mouse down, but then I lose the benefit of not having to hold the mouse down and I still have to move the pointer again to resume playback.

If we had a "forwards play only" option then for example, moving the mouse backwards by five seconds if I want to hear a point five seconds previous would simply play forwards from there. Two separate operations are saved. I do not need to click. I do not need to move the mouse again after moving the mouse back.

I could as I proposed live without disabling backwards play if there was a way to click to resume play when it suspended at the pointer. If you simply want to play forward from the spot you found, is click not easier than Stop and restart standard playback, or drag the mouse off the end of the project?
Paul L wrote:Gale, it seems you just need the left click in the time ruler. What do you want scrubbing to do for you, that you can't do by that means?
As you said, I can't change speed that way nor drag-seek, which is sometimes nice. Yes, I really like the speed change. :)

If there was "forwards scrubbing only" then when I want to play from a previous point I would not need to click as would be needed for Timeline Quick-Play.

With scrubbing I am in the waves and can see more easily "what I am doing" without the distractions of Timeline numbers, an extra playback cursor and a vertical white line (I know I asked for that vertical line, but that was because we removed Quick Play in the waveform).
Paul L wrote:you don't like it that play stops at the cursor. (I thought it was good for scrub to do that as an aid to setting your selection boundaries by ear.
Yes, but I may not have found the place for the boundary yet. Until I do, I must constantly worry about keeping the mouse moving forwards instead of concentrating on listening.
Paul L wrote: Find the right stopping place, stop play, and click again.

If we had play-toggle, I don't need to stop play, only click and don't move the mouse.
Paul L wrote:So are you saying you like those new features but want an interface you like better?
Yes. I want to go back to a previous place and hear from there with less physical effort than now. I want an option to never stop when the playhead reaches the pointer, or to be able to click to resume play when that happens.
Paul L wrote:I do not propose to eliminate any features of the time ruler, but perhaps some key-modified or double clicks can be used there to redesign the scrubbing user interface.
I have some reservations, as Peter does. Mine would be the physical Timeline elements distracting me from the waveform.

Also fumbled single-click can easily become double-click or vice-versa. We don't have many options for modified Timeline clicks - we already use CTRL and SHIFT with drag in the Timeline for Cut Preview and Loop Play respectively.


Gale
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Re: Song Direction

Post by Paul L » Thu Sep 17, 2015 7:33 pm

waxcylinder wrote:
Paul L wrote:I do not propose to eliminate any features of the time ruler, but perhaps some key-modified or double clicks can be used there to redesign the scrubbing user interface.
My *strong* advice would be to ignore use of the Timeline ruler for scrubbing - leaving the Timeline for QuickPlay and restricting scrubbing gestures to the waveform itself. This, for my money, will keep the interface cleaner (without you losing or removing functionality.

I disagree with Gale about removing backwards scrubbing, I definitely want to keep it (that's how scrubbing worked on tape decks) - and I agree with Paul that if you just want forward play to find your audio, then the Timeline QuickPlay is ideal for that - it's what I use most of the time.

But I still really would like a scrub button in the Transport Toolbar - and I do like Paul's idea for a different cursor while scrubbing.

Peter.
I remind you the downside of present choices is restricting scrubbing to the select tool. I would like it to work in the multi-tool. But too many mouse clicks are already taken to do other things in that tool.

Gale Andrews
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Re: Song Direction

Post by Gale Andrews » Thu Sep 17, 2015 8:10 pm

Paul L wrote:I remind you the downside of present choices is restricting scrubbing to the select tool. I would like it to work in the multi-tool. But too many mouse clicks are already taken to do other things in that tool.
I agree scrubbing should ideally work in Multi-tool. However I want my eyes to be focused on the waveform, not up as far as the Timeline.

Even if we don't reinvent scrub by dragging on a separate "scrub bar" between Timeline and waves, you could click some widget on the playhead, or some button elsewhere to initiate scrubbing, rather than CTRL-click in the waveform. That was never very discoverable when it did Quick Play, and even now it is easy to miss the Status Bar messages.


Gale
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Re: Song Direction

Post by steve » Fri Sep 18, 2015 10:59 am

Paul L wrote:I remind you the downside of present choices is restricting scrubbing to the select tool. I would like it to work in the multi-tool. But too many mouse clicks are already taken to do other things in that tool.
I don't understand why you were strongly opposed to having a "scrubbing tool" (the tried and tested solution in other applications) and then effectively gave us a "scrubbing tool" by re-purposing the "selection tool". That seems to offer the worst of both options imo :(.
Had you accepted the tried and tested solution, making it fully accessible would have been trivial.
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waxcylinder
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Re: Song Direction

Post by waxcylinder » Fri Sep 18, 2015 12:52 pm

Paul L wrote:I remind you the downside of present choices is restricting scrubbing to the select tool. I would like it to work in the multi-tool. But too many mouse clicks are already taken to do other things in that tool.
What Steve says - and I can't for the life of me see why scrubbing shouldn't work whatever tool is currently in effect :? :o

The Play and record functions are entirely neutral as to the user's tool choice - and what's more you can change tool while Play or Record are active ! 8-)

Peter.
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Re: Song Direction

Post by waxcylinder » Fri Sep 18, 2015 1:12 pm

And what disappoints me most is that we have now missed the opportunity to fix these scrubbing issues for 2.1.2 - so we will issue a second release with a sub-optimal implementation of scrubbing :(
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