Proposal: Earlier Disk Over-run Warnings

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Revision as of 12:25, 19 October 2017 by PeterSampson (talk | contribs) (Proposed Feature: typos)
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Proposal pages help us get from feature requests into actual plans. This page is a proposal to increase Audacity's resiliance to situations where disk over-run causes problems
Proposal pages are used on an ongoing basis by the Audacity development team and are open to edits from visitors to the wiki. They are a good way to get community feedback on a proposal.


  • Note: Proposals for Google Summer of Code projects are significantly different in structure, are submitted via Google's web app and may or may not have a corresponding proposal page.


The Problem

Bug #437 relates to this issue and is where it was originally reported. The fix for Bug #437 provides traps just as Audacity is about to run out of space for Recording, project Saves, and Exports - an error message is popped up and Audacity will clean up after such unsuccessful Saves or Exports. Recording will cleanly stop with a partial project.

  1. Although a recording that runs out of space now provides the iser with a partial project, we could be more helpful by providing earlier warnings. There is the recording time left that shows in the Status bar - but we know that many people overlook the Status Bar
  2. The Save Project commands when running out of space only reports when the failure occurs (which could be many minutes later) - Audacity could check before starting the Save that there is sufficient space.
  3. Export too, when running out of space only reports when the failure occurs (which could be many minutes later) - Audacity could check before starting the Export that there is sufficient space.
  4. Import can easily be asked to import a data set that is too large for the available disk space.
  5. The Generate and Effect plug-ins are capable of generating large amounts of audio data with the potential for disk overrun, this is not handled cleanly.
  6. Copy & Paste and Repeat are also capable of generating large amounts of data.
  7. Even seemingly innocuous commands have the potential to produce sufficient data to overfill the disk.

Proposed Feature

A suitable headroom buffer to be defined. This should be user-settable but deep in Preferences and with a sensible default of 50-100MB say.

  • For Recording activities:
    1. Check before recording starts that there is more space available than the headroom buffer
    2. While recording takes place check the available disk space
    3. If and when it reaches the headroom buffer size: Audacity stops with an error message
      • A three-level "traffic-light" green->amber->red warning could be provided ahead of reaching the headroom buffer


  • Save commands
    1. check that the volume of data to be created, based on current settings will not overfill the disk capacity minus the headroom buffer
    2. if so disallow the Save with a suitable error message and advise tth user to free up some disk space and try again
    3. Particularly a problem if the user has not pre-saved the project and is occupying space in the Audacity Temp directory (which is only cleaned up after the Save is made)
    4. Particualtly a problem too if the user has enough space for a Save but not a Save As - we may want to advise them to make a Save and then free up some disk space.


  • Export
    1. check that the volume of data to be created, based on current settings and exported filetype, will not overfill the disk capacity minus the headroom buffer
    2. if so disallow the export with a suitable error message


  • Import
    1. check that the volume of data, based on current settings and imported file-type, will not overfill the disk capacity minus the headroom buffer
    2. if so disallow the import with an error message


  • Generators and effects
    1. Check before the plug-in starts that there is more space available than the headroom buffer
    2. check that the volume of data, based on current settings, will not overfill the disk capacity minus the headroom buffer
    3. If we want to be really secure we would need to check as the plug-in progresses that we are not exceeding the headroom (in case the estimate was inaccurate) and if so stop the plug-in gracefully with an error message.


  • Copy & Paste
Neither of these commands appears to generate any noticeable extra disk occupancy, the assumption is that they are using pointers. However once you manipulate the copied data with an effect then the disk size occupancy does increase - but that should be trapped under Generators and effects above.


  • All other commands - in fact all commands
    1. Before the command is implemented in any way check that we have more available space than the headroom buffer.
    2. If not then inhibit the command and display an error message


  • Regular checking
    1. It may be beneficial that, while Audacity is idling, it makes periodic checks to see if disk-space is being eroded (by other applications) and if so display a suitable "out of space" error message that the user will see on their return to Audacity,

Developer/QA Backing

  • Peter: particularly for Save, Export and Import commands as it would mean we could stop the command from even starting to implement if there would be insufficient space.

    It is likely that Recording may be dealt with adequately if and when Bug #437 is fixed.

Use Cases

  • User sets off a recording with insufficient disk space. Audacity appears to the user to continue to work recording properly. But when they reaccess their project they find that the recording is corrupted.
  • User genrerates a tone say with insufficient disk space. It appears to the user that this has been completed successfully. An error only occurs when the user tries to save the project - and that is a pretty opaque un-informative over-technical error message,

Tables for analysis and subsequent tracking

I would suggest that we use these tables to track the progess as part of Bug #437 rather than raising separate Bugzilla entries for each table entry (there are seventy of them).

File Menu

Command  % extra Needs trapping Assigned to Fixed Tested Resolved
New TBP  ??? no no no
Open depends on data size and settings almost certainly no no no
Close TBP  ??? no no no
Save Project may be a lot if Temp files in use Yes - critical no no no
Save Project As as much as the existing project Yes - critical no no no
Save Compressed Copy of Project Project TBP yes - probably critical no no no
Check Dependencies TBP  ??? no no no
Edit Metadata Tags TBP  ??? no no no
Import depends on file size & type almost certainly no no no
Export (various) file size calculable almost certainly no no no
Apply Chain TRICKY probably no no no
Edit Chains TBP probably no no no
Page Setup TBP  ??? no no no
Print TBP  ??? no no no

Edit Menu

Command  % extra Needs trapping Assigned to Fixed Tested Resolved
Cut TBP  ??? no no no
Delete TBP  ??? no no no
Copy none probably not no no no
Paste none probably not no no no
Duplicate calculable almost certainly no no no
Labelled Audio>Copy none probably not no no no

Transport Menu

Command  % extra Needs trapping Assigned to Fixed Tested Resolved
Record open-ended yes - critical bug #437 ongoing yes #437 now has an error tr
Timer Record calculable yes - critical Mark Young Yes setup trap ok warning on setup ok and in 2.1.3
Timer Record (Export) calculable yes - critical not assigned no no no
Record New Track open-ended yes - critical Bug #437 ongoing yes #437 now has an error trap

Tracks Menu

This set of commands could be seen as far less critical to trap then the Record and Save commands so sould probably be ignored.

Command  % extra Needs trapping Assigned to Fixed Tested Resolved
Stereo Track to Mono probably calculable maybe no no no
Mix and Render probably calculable maybe no no no
Mix and Render to new Track probably calculable maybe no no no
Resample probably calculable maybe no no no

Generate Menu

This set of commands could be seen as far less critical to trap then the Record and Save commands so sould probably be ignored.

Command  % extra Needs trapping Assigned to Fixed Tested Resolved
Chirp calculable maybe no no no
DTMF Tone calculable maybe no no no
Noise calculable maybe no no no
Silence calculable maybe no no no
Tone calculable maybe no no no
Click Track calculable maybe no no no
Pluck calculable maybe no no no
Risset Drum calculable maybe no no no

Effect Menu

This set of commands could be seen as far less critical to trap then the Record and Save commands so sould probably be ignored.

Command  % extra Needs trapping Assigned to Fixed Tested Resolved
Amplify 100% maybe no no no
Auto Duck TBP maybe no no no
Bass & Treble 107% - used more while working maybe no no no
Change Pitch 100% maybe no no no
Change Speed varies with % change maybe no no no
Change Tempo varies with % change maybe no no no
Click Removal varies maybe no no no
Compressor 100% maybe no no no
Echo 100% maybe no no no
Equalization 100% maybe no no no
Fade In 100% maybe no no no
Fade Out 100% maybe no no no
Invert 100% maybe no no no
Leveller 100% maybe no no no
Noise Reduction 100% maybe no no no
Normalize 100% maybe no no no
Nyquist Prompt  ???  ??? no no no
Paulstretch massive maybe no no no
Phaser 100% maybe no no no
Repair TBP maybe no no no
Repeat 0% maybe no no no
Reverb 100% maybe no no no
Reverse 100% maybe no no no
Sliding Time Scale/Pitch Shift 100% maybe no no no
Truncate Silence varies by amount of silence maybe no no no
Wahwah 100% maybe no no no

Effect Menu below the line

This set of commands could be seen as far less critical to trap then the Record and Save commands so sould probably be ignored.

Command  % extra Needs trapping Assigned to Fixed Tested Resolved
Adjustable Fade 100% maybe no no no
Clip Fix 100% maybe no no no
Crossfade Clips adds length of fade maybe no no no
Crossfade Tracks adds length of fade maybe no no no
Delay 100% maybe no no no
High Pass Filter 100% maybe no no no
Limiter 100% maybe no no no
Low Pass Filter 100% maybe no no no
Notch Filter 100% maybe no no no
SC4 100% maybe no no no
Spectral edit multi tool 100% maybe no no no
Spectral edit parametric EQ 95% maybe no no no
Spectral edit shelves 100% maybe no no no
Studio Fade Out 100% maybe no no no
Tremolo 100% maybe no no no
Vocal Reduction and Isolation 100% maybe no no no
Vocal Remover 50% maybe no no no
Vocoder 50% maybe no no no

Analyze Menu

This set of commands could be seen as far less critical to trap then the Record and Save commands so sould probably be ignored.

Command  % extra Needs trapping Assigned to Fixed Tested Resolved
Contrast TBP maybe no no no
Plot Spectrum TBP maybe no no no
Find Clipping TBP maybe no no no
Beat Finder TBP maybe no no no
Regular Interval Labels TBP maybe no no no
Sample Data Export TBP maybe no no no
Silence Finder TBP maybe no no no
Sound Finder TBP maybe no no no

Generate/Effect/Analyze Menus

This set of commands could be seen as far less critical to trap then the Record and Save commands so sould probably be ignored.

Command  % extra Needs trapping Assigned to Fixed Tested Resolved
Add / Remove Plug-ins varies maybe no no no

Details

TBP


GUI Examples

TBP


Previous Feature Requests relating to this proposal

  • Disk use limit for recording (11 votes)
    • Option to Disable (1 votes)
  • Disk space check before exporting: (16 votes) - including indication of expected size of export, and choice to export partial file or cancel if insufficient space available. Would stop user exporting WAV files over the 2/4 GB limit, MP3s in excess of ringtone limits etc.
      Could only indicate that space was available at time of checking, could never guarantee the file would be completed if other disk events occurred. However Audacity 2.x does now have a warning if WAV/AIFF exports are not completed.