Talk:Completed Proposal: Improvements to Scrubbing - Phase-2

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Revision as of 13:13, 2 October 2015 by PeterSampson (talk | contribs) (added Steve's email re cursor position)
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James' email

James wrote in an email 29Sep15:


Play and record are indeed modes too, just ones users are much more familiar with. As we improve Audacity I/we would like to be able to do more things we currently can't do in those modes, but that is nice to have, not an urgent problem. The problem with scrubbing being a mode is more serious.

With play and record the cursor is moving and either sound is coming out or new waveform is being drawn. With scrubbing, if the cursor has caught up with the mouse, it isn't as clear that the user is in a mode. Sure, the play button is down, but that does look a bit as if play is active but for some reason stuck. Attempting to select a region won't work, whereas it does work in play. To a user not familiar with scrubbing it looks as if Audacity is broken.

Some random clicking around won't get the user out of the mode that they don't really know they are in.


A solution that would work for my use of scrubbing is that we go out of scrubbing as soon as we release the left mouse, (or release middle wheel - and middle click as well as ctrl-left-click activates scrubbing). That might defeat some of how you use scrubbing. It would though completely satisfy me that scrubbing was no longer 'a mode a user could be trapped in'.

Other alternative design features that could make this mode more OK:

  • Change the green triangle on the cursor, so indicating that it is not recording, nor playing, but some other mode.
  • Change the green triangle on the play button to indicate scrubbing-play (in both cases possibly a double headed triangle would work, indicating bi-directional). Combined these give a clue that clicking on transport buttons could help.
  • Make selecting a region of more than 10 pixels take us out of scrubbing (selecting is probably one of the first things a stuck user would do)
  • Make ESC take us out of scrubbing.
  • Make clicking outside the track take us out of scrubbing.

These are not prescriptive, they are just possible approaches to the problem. Hopefully there is something in the suggestions that from your perspective does not damage scrubbing in any way, and that I and Steve would be happy with as solving the problems for the stuck-in-scrubbing users.

Steve's email 02Oct15

As I understand it, the purpose of scrubbing is to enable the user to locate a specific point in time for editing. Perhaps I'm not using it the way it is intended, but for me, I find the exact spot that I want to edit, the playback cursor is exactly in the right place, but as soon as I stop scrub playback the cursor position is no longer there - it has jumped back to the previous playback position.

OK, so "I" know that there are some special key bindings available, but I've been using Audacity for over a decade.

Shouldn't the default behaviour be that when the user stops scrubbing, the playback cursor remains at its current position?

What should happen if there was a Selection when scrub mode was started?