Proposal Stop "Here"

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Revision as of 12:39, 28 November 2016 by PeterSampson (talk | contribs) (The Problem: ... shortcut '''SHIFT + A''' (changed to the simpler '''X''' for 2.1.3 onwards))
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Proposal pages help us get from feature requests into actual plans. This page is a proposal to provide a graphical method for Stopping with setting cursor at stop point.
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

At present the Stop button and its shortcut Space return the play cursor to the original position where playing or recording started i.e. it move the play cursor back to the edit cursor. Many users find this behavior un-intuitive and expect and want the play cursor to remain where it was when they pressed the Stop button to stop playing, recording or scrubbing.

We do have a command Transport>Play/Stop and Set Cursor and its shortcut SHIFT + A (changed to the simpler X for 2.1.3 onwards) but there is no corresponding button for this action in the Transport Toolbar. This is a particular problem for the soon to be released scrubbing feature where the Shift key is used as a modifier to move from scrubbing to seek mode.

This proposal is tracked in Enhancement #988

Proposed Feature


Provide an additional stop button in the Transport Toolbar for Stop and Set Cursor.


Create a new Preference in Preferences>Interface to toggle the existing stop button's behavior: Stop and Set Cursor "on" or "off" probably with the default set to "off" so as not to cause a regression, but "on" is a strong contender for default. "off" is likely to be the least contentious but also the least useful for scrubbing.

  • Gale 29May15: I assume that for VI users, turning this preference on would also map the Play/Stop shortcut to Play/Stop and Set Cursor, so that by default, pressing SPACE would then set the cursor at the stop position and SHIFT + A would set back to the cursor?


Just as Play and Record buttons behave differently with modifier key state, so too could Stop. I (Paul) suggest Ctrl to avoid conflicting with the Shift modifier that causes scrub to seek instead. See also bug 990 which may be something to do with the SHIFT + A conflict?

Developer/QA Backing

  • Peter I strongly favor option-2 - it is the least intrusive and avoids button clutter on the Transport Toolbar (albeit at the expense ogf an additional preference)
  • PRL I proposed option 3.
  • Gale: I don't favour any of these as a solution (though IMO option 1 has merit on its own terms if we had smaller buttons). There are use also cases where you *do* want to go back to the original play position because that is the edit position. VI users can't easily click buttons so they need the Play/Stop and Set Cursor shortcut to work. They may not want to have to go into Preferences to toggle what SPACE does (if the Preference does that). Why don't we have CTRL without click seek when scrubbing? Do we ever need to seek while instantaneously zooming with the scroll wheel?

Use Cases

1) Users familiar with tape decks, PVRs etc. are totally familiar with the head and the tape or disc remaining co-located when they press the Stop button on the device and then starting again from the same point

2) User is scrubbing, locates required position in audio, wants to stop and set the cursor there. Can't use Shift+A and the command is too clumsy to be quick enough.


Sufficient detail exists in the Proposed Feature section above.

GUI Examples

Not required for Option-2

Previous Feature Requests relating to this proposal

Stop and set cursor: (5 votes) makes the default action of Stop button to set cursor at stop point; this means SHIFT + A stops and resets cursor to starting position.