Proposal Timer Record Improvements Phase-2

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Revision as of 16:52, 24 February 2019 by PeterSampson (talk | contribs) (Previous Feature Requests relating to this proposal: typos)
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Proposal pages help us get from feature requests into actual plans. This page is a proposal to improve Timer Record
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 Problems

There are many existing feature requests for Timer Record lodged in the Wiki relating to usability improvements. For example:

  • The current implementation of Timer Record operates as an "unattended recording" rather than a proper timed recording in that most of Audacity's recording controls are unavailable to the user once a "Timer Record" has been initiated. In particular the levels cannot be re-adjusted once Timer Record has been initiated but also but also the zoom level and resizing of tracks cannot be accessed. Also labels and markers cannot be dropped. This is a prominent feature request.

Proposed Features

  1. Timer Record to enable access to the normal set of recording controls.
  2. Ability to change the event times
    • The above two to be an option that the user can turn on
  3. Add a Timer Stop to be available for manually initiated recording.

Developer/QA Backing

  • Peter Sampson: I support full access to the controls during Timer Record, including adding the ability to alter the end-time or duration of the timed recording
    • Gale 25Feb15: I think the lockout while recording is over-enforced. I can see no good reason to dispense with metering and access to Mixer Toolbar. Perhaps, input/output sliders should be available in both the Waiting to Start and Record Progress dialogues. Perhaps a button in the Record Progress dialogue to Add Label at Playback Position.
      • Peter 10Apr16: I'm quite liking Gale's idea of a "button in the Record Progress dialogue to Add Label at Playback Position". If we did implement that then I would like to be able to add text the the label and not just drop an empty label it that is at all possible.

Use Cases

  1. Access to controls: User uses Timer Record while they are active on their computer (on other, non-Audacity, tasks) so that they do not forget to start a live FM broadcast capture from the radio at a time in the future. In that case they need access to the recording controls.
  2. Timer Stop: User has activated a long recording process manually and then has to leave the computer unattended. Timer Stop would provide a safety measure so Audacity does not record endlessly until the hard drive is full and the recorded session becomes jeopardized.

Details

  • Controls: Timer Record to facilitate availability of all the normal set of Audacity recording controls:
  1. use of the Mixer Toolbar sliders to adjust the signal level
  2. drop markers/labels with Ctrl+B and Ctrl+M,
  3. zoom in/out,
  4. pause and un-pause recording (Note that this merely temporarily interrupts the recording; it does not extend the recording time),
  5. change the track size,
  6. rename the track,
  7. change the waveform display type.


  • Labels: Timer Record to facilitate creation of labels while recording
  1. Ctrl + B for labeling cursor position
  2. Ctrl + M for labeling current record position
  3. Edit labels
  4. Label deletion via context menu


  • Ability to change the event times:
    • Add the ability to change (extend or shorten) the recording stop time during recording. Would require a modification to the "Audacity Timer Record Progress" dialog box.
    • Add the ability to change (extend or shorten) the recording stop time or the start time while waiting to record. Would require a modification to the "... Waiting for Start" dialog box.
      • This is less critical than the ability to change while the recording is ongoing as the user has the workaround of Cancelling the waiting Timer Record dialog and setting up a fresh Timer Record.
    • Would need to invoke the "Error handling (or warning) on potential disk full situation" if and when that is implemented


  • Access to be a user-option
    • The above items should be an option that the user can opt to turn on
    • Either from within the Timer Record setup dialog - or as a Recording Preference.


  • Add a Timer Stop to be available for manually initiated recording.
    • Provide a Timer Stop to be available for a manually initiated recording to be stopped after a settable time, possibly implemented by making the Timer Record dialog available after recording has been initiated.
    • Presumably this could be implemented by providing access for the user to the Timer Record setup dialog while a recording is active.


  • Ability to minimize the Timer record Window
    • Timer Record to behave like a proper Windows window so that it can be minimized to the Applications bar with the minimize button in the Audacity window.
      • Gale: Bug 104 relates to this.
      • Gale: It would be quite odd on Windows to be able to minimize an app having a modal window (though Ubuntu allows it). So making Timer Record dialog modeless (for the current project) would be one solution.


GUI Examples

TBP

Previous Feature Requests relating to this proposal

  • Access to progress or record controls: (16 votes)
    • Both dialogs should be modeless for current project, allowing access to same controls available during standard recording (16 votes) This lets you change levels, pause manually, drop a label, zoom in/out or resize tracks, plus it lets Audacity on Windows be minimised while Timer Record is in progress.
    • Waiting for Start dialog should be modeless for all (or at least, other) projects: (5 votes) allowing to work normally until recording starts
      This raises all manner of issues about what happens if user is in the middle of playing / exporting when recording is due to start.

      Peter 15Mar16: My PVR deals with this by giving me a ten and five minute warning of a scheduled recording or channel change. If I ignore it the recording or channel change takes precedence at the prescribed time.

      Peter 04Feb17:Mark Young has dealt with this in 2.1.3 by ensuring that for Timer Record the user must have that sole project open. No other projects can be open when setting up a Timer Record - and none can be opened after the Timer Record is set up.

For further detail see Timer Record enhancements