GSoC Ideas 2008

From Audacity Wiki
Revision as of 17:27, 16 March 2007 by James (talk | contribs) (updated after Google's GSoC 2007 announcement.)
Jump to: navigation, search

The Audacity Developer Team aren't part of Google Summer of Code 2007 but we want to be in 2008 and we are watching what happens in 2007 closely.

Please help us to get ready for the next round. It is never too early. Your ideas and enthusiasm will help us make it happen next year. You can contact us at this email address: [email protected]

If you're looking for a 2007 GSoC project on Audacity, wxWidgets are participating in GSoC 2007 and so are We use code from both, so indirectly work on those projects may benefit Audacity. If you have ideas for a project of that kind that you would like to do, we'd be keen to hear from you and discuss it with you, at the address above.

Other pages related to GSoC 2008 are:

  • Our proposed application to Google for mentoring status for 2008.
  • Our proposed application form for Google Summer of Code 2008 Students.


Below is a list of potential projects, but feel free to suggest your own ideas as well.

  • 1. Intuitive cross-fading (suggested by Matt Brubeck )

One of the most common operations people want to do when mixing audio is to smoothly transition between two sound clips. This is commonly called a cross-fade. This operation is technically possible in Audacity now, but it is very clunky, requiring multiple steps and no editability short of undoing the actions and starting again. We are looking for someone to implement a clean, intuitive, nondestructive cross-fade for Audacity. Audacity already has all of the infrastructure necessary to support implementing this operation nondestructively and we already have a clear plan for how it should work. The following webpage has a mockup of what we think the GUI might look like:

This feature, while seemingly small, would represent a huge boost in usability for Audacity. This feature is intimately related to several other UI enhancements that we have proposed: for example, one element of this proposed GUI is that clips "stick" to each other or "snap" into place when you push them together. Such a snap-to behavior would be great in several other circumstances, for example having a track stick to t=0, or to a point that lines up with another track.

We'd look for two early spinoffs from this work:

  • Ability for all effects to be faded in/out automatically. This can avoid clicks in some circumstances.
  • Label tracks to stick to the track above, so that they edit together.

  • 2. Play-Back Enhancements (First two parts suggested by James Crook)

Audacity lags behind commercial audio software in a number of details of its play back behaviour. Specific enhancements we would like a summer student to provide are:

  • No 'click' on start/stop/loop; At the moment there usually is an audible click when Audacity starts or stops playing a sound, or in iterations of playing a loop. A very short fade-in and fade-out applied only to playback should fix this.
  • Loop play adjusts dynamically to boundaries being moved; Finding the precise boundaries of a sound, for example an unwanted sound to be fixed, can be difficult with Audacity as it currently is. The location of the sound isn't obvious from the waveform. The new option would allow playing the sound in a loop, adjusting the boundaries to find out exactly where it starts and stops.
  • Vari-speed playback; Fast playback of sound allows sections of audio to be located more rapidly. Slow playback allows precise location (on timeline) of sound to be determined more accurately.
  • Drag-playback-cursor whilst playing; This requires changes to both playback and GUI. It is an extension of vari-speed playback and would make locating sound more rapid.
  • Play all 'labels' on the selected label tracks; Labels can be placed on the Audio both manually and automatically. This has many uses, one being the possibility of previewing a recording whilst skipping over periods of silence.