Talk:Completed Proposal Action edits when in Pause mode

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Revision as of 21:03, 13 January 2015 by Galeandrews (talk | contribs) (Reply to Peter about Play and Unpause)
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Jan2015. Start a new section in Feb

Doing sections by month, hopefully this will save us work distilling arguments down. At some point the discussions we had in feb 2015 will be only of historic interest. Current discussions will be clearly separate.


  • James: what does 'armed' actually mean? As far as I can see Audacity can go straight into recording/playing without being armed.
  • James: an implementation detail is that at the moment play/record make a glitch sound on the headphones when you press them whereas pause release doesn't. That's a bug rather than an essential distinction and is because play and record re-initialise the sound card and portaudio cannot do that silently. This bug is also why on some machines that take a long time to reinitialise their sound cards record could be slower than releasing pause. On the new trackpanel there is no click as the sound card runs all the time once it has been started. This is also good for monitoring as that doesn't have to keep being restarted.
    • Gale 13Jan15: "Armed" means what you guessed in your longer paragraph directly above. If those practical reasons why people prefer to "arm" are resolved, then the reasons for a Pause button that keeps transport going are negligible (down to habit/use in other DAW's). Fixing those bugs also saves us fixing the problem that the play or record cursor carries on going for a while after Pause is issued, so that SHIFT + A then sets the cursor too far to right.

      The reasons for a Pause button that toggles stop / restart from the stop point are still strong I think.

Restart position Play versus Pause

  • James: IF the distinctive difference in play/record cursor behaviour between pause and play/record is felt to be sufficiently important, we can add cursor setting menu commands that go back/forward one cursor set position.
    • Gale 13Jan15: Seems like an extra step for something that is built in now. If you were playing a selection it is probably just as likely you want to apply an effect/edit to that selection as trim the selection to start from where playback sets down.
    • Peter 13Jan15: many of our users (those who "get" the tape recorder idiom) get confused when using Stop during playback to find that when pressing Play that playing reverts to playing from where the current cursor position is rather than starting again from where they stopped (it catches me out from time to time).
    • Gale 13Jan15: Then I suggest we let those users use Pause to stop and set cursor and Unpause to resume. When they see Unpause does that, they should not expect Play to do same as Unpause.

The start/end of track buttons

  • James: The start/end of track buttons are low utility for their area. It would make more sense if they were advance/back by one marker where track ends are markers, selection boundaries are markers, and the last reached play/record position is a marker. Their navigation becomes a lot more useful then and it is easy to do.
    • Gale 13Jan15: Not sure. I agree those two buttons are of lesser utility but your idea could mean many extra steps to navigate to project start or end by that method.
      • Peter 13Jan15: I use those two buttons rather a lot, my workflow for capturing live webstreams usually involves using Timer Record with a 5 minute buffer at either end - so the ability to move to either end for trimming is very useful. I suppose though that I could teach myself to use the Home and End shortcuts. And given that these commands and shortcuts already exist I can see that these buttons in their current form could be viewed as redundant - and as such I do take James' pov that they are a comparatively expensive use of the Toolbar real-estate.
      • Peter 13Jan15: Also note that these buttons can sometimes cause confusion. Users who relate to the tape recorder idiom often expect these buttons to be "Fast Forward" and "Fast Rewind".


  • Gale 09Jan15: I am unclear if this idea applies to calling edits from shortcutstoo.
    • Peter 11Jan15: I definitely intend this proposal to apply to commands invoked from keyboard shortcuts too.

Action edits while playback is in progress

  • Gale 09Jan15: there is a secondary problem that some users try to edit without even pausing, just by calling an edit command (notice the active Edit Toolbar buttons when there is transport suggest this can be done). So we may want to consider "just stopping and doing the action requested" when playing, even if a pause transport function is removed. We should not "stop and do" when recording.
    • Peter 12Jan15: Steve and I discussed this offline prior to writing this proposal. His view, with which I strongly agree, was:

      "It may be possible to extend the auto-stop to work during non-paused playback, but this will require a great deal of thought and attention for the behaviour to be intuitive and non-disruptive, so is something that could be looked at *after* auto-stop in paused playback is implemented and thoroughly tested."

      • Gale 13Jan15: I agree it is secondary but it could speed up workflow. Goldwave, CoolEdit and Wavosaur all either infer stop or actually edit live while playing when an edit is called during playback. I find "infer stop" for edits during playback totally intuitive (as long as I don't press the wrong shortcut).
    • Peter 12Jan15: And yes I totally agree with Gale when he says We should not "stop and do" when recording - actually I'm not even convinced that we should "stop and do" while paused during recording.

Eliminating the pause button

  • James is in favor of eliminating the pause button.
    • Peter 12Jan15: What are the implications of this for enabling the user to continue record on the same track? Would we be forcing them to issue an Append Record, which is more complicated (compound) clicking than just pressing/re-pressing the Pause button or the "P" key? Or does your proposal mean that a while recording a press of the Record button will pause the recording and a second press restart it? I am concerned that this could be seen by many users as a regression - a move away from the tape recorder idiom.
      • Gale 13Jan15: I agree with that concern - many folk doing recordings will be using a tape machine or lifting an arm from a record player to change sides (i.e. pause).
    • James: In new TrackPanel, record at cursor is the default. The cursor is placed when you stop. YES this is different to what we had before. YES it is different to a tape recorder. Is it inconvenient? I don't think so. Many of our users have never used a tape recorder. Regressions are unintended bugs. This is an intentional purposeful change in behaviour. We don't have a graphic to 'cut the tape diagonally' for splicing it, nor force the user to wait for the glue to set. So we are already not true to the tape recorder idiom. We don't need to be a tape recorder. We need to be easy and intuitive to use. Just today someone has posted on feedback asking how they can get an unmixed project having stopped a recording and started recording again. I'd say mixing by default is the confusing behaviour.
      • Gale 13Jan15: Feature Requests shows that many users would find it more intuitive to unpause after edit and not (apparently) stop at all. If we can fix the problems that provide an advantage to Pause keeping the stream running, perhaps we should have a button that looks like Pause. Depressing that button does Stop and Set cursor if playback or record are going. Releasing it does play from cursor if it was playing when paused, or append records in the same track(s) if it was recording when paused. A Pause button is still widely understood IMHO and could be a better way to keep recordings on one track than forcing Stop to set cursor.

        My impression is that the camp of restart playback from start or end point is evenly split (*not* most folk want to restart from the end). I'm guessing we may hear about that when RTP is released. If we have a Pause button like I suggest, and if we keep Append Record as I think we will, why can't Stop stop where you started? Then if people want to mix their subsequent recordings they can press Stop after recording. If they want to do an advanced punch-in at the stop point in another track, they can press Pause.