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Highest-rated Feature Requests without formal Proposals

  • Synchronize recorded/played back tracks automatically without Time Shift tool or Preferences adjustment, for example using MTC/SMPTE with Audacity either as Master or Slave (71 votes)
  • Allow direct MIDI editing/playback and incorporate midi sequencer (60 votes)
    • It doesn't make a lot of sense to add support for MIDI files if Audacity can't also be used as a sequencer. Obviously this would take some time, but if sufficiently developed would make Audacity competitive even with ProTools and Sonar!
    • If MIDI tracks are eventually supported, it would be neat to include a piano roll and notation window in the future.
  • Multi-channel playback (59 votes)
    • mix down to Dolby 5.1, 7.1, 10.2, 64.4 etc. or standard old-fashioned electroacoustic 4 and 8 channel circular arrays)(2 votes)
    • Should include a patch panel to define routing of multi-channel audio to specific channels of a multi-channel device.(5 votes)
  • Playback to multiple devices simultaneously (2 votes)
  • "Punch-in and punch-out" recording: (67 votes) - one of
    • Not further specified or "destructive": (48 votes) - a quick destructive punch that changes the existing audio data in the track, usually overwriting a section of it, but can also refer to inserting a new recording after the cursor rather than replacing any of the existing recording.
    • Non-destructive punch: (19 votes) some idea like Audition punch in that allows you to store multiple punch-in takes, or ProTools Non-Destructive Record.
      • When overdubbing, the command for this should start playback before punch-in point (7 votes)
Steve: We need to distinguish between "destructive" and "non-destructive" punch-in recording. New users often mean destructive punch-in recording (like with a tape recorder), but this is an extraordinarily bad idea. More advanced users generally mean non-destructive punch-in (like other DAW applications). Non-destructive punch-in recording would be very much harder to implement as it requires building in the concepts of "virtual tracks" and "track groups" into Audacity, which do not currently exist. I would be very much in favour of non-destructive punch-in recording but very strongly opposed to destructive punch-in.
  • Gale: Thanks, Steve. I have now split the votes as I can best determine and added yours and Koz's vote for "non-destructive". I'd still like to be clearer why user could not undo the punch-in if it was bad; and if they re-recorded into the same selection repeatedly, they can then cycle through the undo stack to pick the "best" take. Of course they have more potential hassle with the transitions. Why is append-record or generating at the cursor point in the middle of a track not bad? Can we force the recording cursor to start from a zero crossing? Of course another (easier to implement) approach might to leave the recording in its own track and have a one-click cross fade.
    • Steve: Append Record in not a problem because it is single ended. If the "join" does not match up exactly then it's a simple matter to edit it. On the other hand a punch-in recording needs to fit precisely into a pre-defined "hole". I have posted a more comprehensive reply on the forum.
      While convenient, this is not as flexible as recording on another track, which lets you adjust the timeline position of the new recording precisely (once made) then cross-fade it so it sounds seamless.
  • Scrubbing: (68 votes) - one of:
    • Basic functionality: Drag playback position left/right while playing (no effect until drop), or just click to skip to new position. (29 votes) Common in audio players, for example Foobar. Allows to judge the end of (long) selections without having to play repeatedly. it would be nice to see it implemented how sony soundforge has it implemented with Keyboard Shortcuts to Toggle Timeline Scrub Mode JKL shuttle.
    • Audio reproduction while dragging/playing: (39 votes) Drag cursor back and forth across a particular point and hear the audio as a function of the direction and speed of the cursor. Allows to zero in on the beginning of a plosive syllable or other distinctive sound as an edit point. Precisely analogous to rocking the tape back and forth on the playback head of a recorder. Could also have a preset speed using Fast Forward/Rewind buttons.
        There is a hotkey B for play to selection and various alternative means of improved navigation in Audacity 2.x. In particular, rapidly using repeated left or right arrow presses sound quite like reproduction while dragging, even though audio stops between arrow presses - see Navigation Tips.
  • Panning envelope editing (this is a really basic thing that is sorely needed in the current version (42 votes)
  • Import/Export AAC/MP4 files using open source FAAC library. This would support AAC multichannel and AAC+ (low bitrate streaming-optimised variety of AAC) (29 votes)
  • Markers on Waveform (35 votes) Add with one keystroke a vertical mark that stays on the waveform and can be labeled. Common in audio editors. Should be draggable but attached to the audio segment. Select between any two markers easily e.g. with double click. Snap a region to the markers. Should be implemented in addition to split lines. Very necessary for long-form documentary editing, where you are identifying and then going back and handling many different selections from a long file. Also important if recordings are edited afterwards by others.
  • Timestamp metadata
    • CART metadata as used by radio stations There are several thousand users of Audacity who would find it convenient to have all the labeling of tracks done at the production stage rather then the 2 stages required now (4 votes)
    • BWF: Support reading/exporting embedded timestamp information in Broadcast WAV files (BWF) (31 votes)
      • One reason Audacity fails to support important metadata is that it does not support export of an AES-31 compliant Audio Decision List (ADL)
            It's about priorities and to what extent mainline Audacity should support features the majority of users would not avail themselves of (even if they are "standards"). An equal case could be made for adding support for the CART metadata chunk required by radio stations.
        • Timestamp metadata is essential for working on projects of longer duration (interviews, news gathering, live recording, podcasts, etc). There are dozens of digital recorders that support BWF timestamp metadata. Leaving such features out of Audacity effectively excludes a large potential audience from using Audacity.
        • As a workaround, I have just written a python program that reads the WAV file in BWF format produced by the M-Audio Microtrack recorder, and generates a text file that can be imported as a label track into Audacity via Tracks > Edit Labels.(The hardest part was to search for the information on WAV chunk formats.Guenterrote 21:53, 9 March 2010 (CST)
        • Also for recording directly with Audacity this feature would be helpful. In the Librivox wiki they recommend to click (with tongue or so) after each error so you can find back easily these "auditive markers" while editing. This idea is very handy, but clumsy. Better would be that you could press a key which then sets a marker on the soundtrack.
            If you have a finger free to press a key (or a foot if you have a foot pedal that delivers mouse clicks) then just change the Audacity shortcut for "Add Label at Playback Position" to some key that's easy to hit The comment is only relevant if you want to export an audio file with embedded markers.
    • Sound Activated Recording (SAR)
      • Pre- and post-roll duration: (44 votes) define a duration to be recorded before the threshold-level sound occurs, and similarly a duration to be recorded after the input falls back below the threshold. Requires buffering of the recording for pre-roll, but is expected behaviour for this type of tool.
        • Post-roll (say 4 seconds) on its own would allow realistic recording of dialogue - it may be sufficient or easier to implement (5 votes)
      • Segment each recording event (19 votes)
        • with labels (14 votes) - labels could contain either the length of preceding pause, or date and time when recording started/resumed
        • with clip lines (1 votes)
      • Report system clock times for each recording event (other than in labels): (7 votes)
        • Display on Timeline (for example, empty space) (2 votes)
        • in Show Log
        • in exported text file via button in Recording preferences (data only retained per session)
      • Ignore silent periods option with configurable interval. (4 votes) (Use cases: archiving tapes in their entirety complete with inter-track gaps; starting a recording on sound detection then recording until manually stopped irrespective of level)
          Probably can be done in the post-roll? If the post-roll period was active when the level rose above the threshold again, recording would resume.
      • Adjustable start-time (2 votes)
          This is already possible if you turn on Sound Activated Recording and then start Timer Record. You just have to set an appropriate duration (not end time, obviously ) so that recording doesn't stop before you want it to
      • Show SAR status in Status Bar (1 votes)
      • Show SAR level on VU Meters (2 votes)
      • Add more detailed comments here
    • Import/play video for synchronised soundtrack editing (36 votes) No need for Audacity to edit the video. Alternatively, Audacity could send/receive SMPTE or MTC timecode data e.g. to VLC or mplayer.
      • Standalone SMPTE reader useful in own right (1 votes) e.g. for reading time track on an analog tape deck.
    • Fast-forward/Fast-reverse to Next or Previous Silence, Edit or marked Point. It would be nice if tab cycled through all clips/regions in all tracks (if no track is selected), starting from the current cursor position. Or, if a track is selected, tab just cycles through the regions/clips just in that track. Same for shift-tab. (21 votes)
        You can already tab between labels when the focus is in the Label Track, then click in the label to recall the point or selection area denoted by the label
    • Import/Export AC3 files (20 votes)
    • Record from multiple sound devices at once (38 votes)
      • enables recording from multi-channel cards that present themselves as multiple stereo devices rather than one multi-channel device (19 votes)
        • allow per-track choice of recording device, thus allowing to set the sampling rate, depth and number of channels for a track before recording
        • choose whether to select track for recording or not
            This theoretical solution is really for Windows where you need ASIO drivers for multi-channel recording but release builds of Audacity can't include ASIO support. Try building Audacity with ASIO support (for your own private non-distributable use only) or find a sound device that uses EWDM drivers. See this Wiki page on multi-channel recording
      • gives superior quality to using stereo mix to do this, see Virtual Audio Cable (6 votes)
      • allow recording from multiple USB devices at same time (8 votes) e.g. an interview with two USB mics, DJ with two USB turntables
      • Allow multiple input devices with broad definitions that would each be added to device toolbar and each individually defined. One could be from a PCI card's input mic port, another from that same card's output speaker port, and another from a USB card's input mic port. Thus eliminating the need to rely on expensive professional multichannel hardware / drivers or stereo mix drivers. (2 votes)
    • CD Rip and Burn (22 votes)
        There is experimental code for CD Import/Export in progress. Help welcome.
    • Control Audacity by a foot pedal (20 votes) attached to the game, serial or USB port so that hands are free for transcription work. Also useful for non-transcription applications, such as recording off a commercial two-way radio with a squelch output signal.
    • More Context Menu (right-click or CTRL-click) functionality (21 votes)
      • Right-click over selection region - ideas:
        • Cut; copy; paste; delete; Undo (4 votes)
        • Apply effects: Workflow and reduced mousing benefits (2 votes)
        • Zoom in/out on selection (horizontally) (2 votes)
        • Select all; Select in all tracks (2 votes)
        • Silence
        • Set start/end of selection: (1 votes) like Goldwave
        • Split off a selection of a clip
        • Duplicate a selection of a clip
        • Send to new track: or to a labelled position in an existing track.
        • Set Envelope Points: creates start and end points on the envelope automatically.
      • Right-click over waveform - ideas, some for features that don't yet exist yet (from Proposal Woozle's Interface Tweaks):
        • Delete track (2 votes)
        • Insert track below/above current
        • Mute individual clips (new feature)
        • Time-lock individual clips (Tracks Preferences can globally prevent clips moving with edits)
        • Duplicate an entire clip
        • Delete clip
        • Insert a split point at the cursor
        • Edit start time, offset and length of a clip (new feature)
        • Zoom in/out vertically (2 votes)
        • Turn envelope view on/off (preferably per clip, which is a new feature)
    • Import audio from video files/transport streams: such as AVI/MPEG/Ogg Theora e.g. by demuxing (14 votes)
      • Extracting Vorbis from multiplexed Ogg files should be an easy changeover. Also note new specifications on file names (e.g., .ogv for Ogg Video, .oga for Ogg Vorbis)
    • Note recognition: WAV or MP3 to MIDI capabilities (12 votes)
        This is hard to do except with pure tones. We'd want to leverage existing open source sound analysis software. Any suggestions of what?
      • If you do it with pure tones, that is still great!
    • Allow direct import of MIDI files into Projects as sampled audio waveforms, which are then editable and exportable as WAV, MP3 etc. (14 votes)
    • Real time plot when playing audio: (12 votes) Or, in view of the CPU demands of calculating the spectrum, have Audacity do plot spectrum at given time intervals.
        Plotting spectrum while recording would likely be impractical due to the risk of errors writing the recording data.
    • Import/Export AMR (Adaptive Multi-Rate) found e.g. on Nokia/SonyEricsson/Blackberry/iPhone Mobile Phones' Voice Memo or Playing features (supported in FFmpeg) (10 votes)
        AMR support in FFmpeg can't be legally distributed, so user must build their own FFmpeg library