Proposal Monitoring On

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Proposal pages help us get from feature requests into actual plans. This proposal page is to have monitoring on from the first '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.


We use a relatively obtrusive alert in the recording meter to indicate to users that they can turn monitoring on.

  • Monitoring switches off on a play or stop, so you have to keep switching it on.
  • The alert takes up space in the meter that we would like to have available for use for a slider.
  • Despite the alert, users may still not be aware of what the meters are for.

Proposed Feature

From when record is first pressed, monitoring continues until explicitly stopped or the device changed. We also start monitoring 15s after the full GUI has started up if it hasn't already been started (and the meter is visible).

Deliberately we don't start monitoring immediately from start up, so as to help us distinguish general start up issues from sound card start up issues.


  1. What is the purpose of the feature? - Easier monitoring of recording level.
  2. What are the relative importances of the different features in it? (this is used to justify having a large button, a small button or just a menu item, for example) - One feature. It does not require additional real estate.
  3. Does the feature have modes, and if so how easy are the modes to get out of? (stuck in a mode) - Previously there was a mode, monitoring or not. Now you can still explicitly turn off monitoring, but it will restart when you next record, so it is difficult to be locked out of the mode where monitoring is active.
  4. Does the feature have invalid states that can be greyed out? - No.
  5. What is the factorisation of the feature? (e.g. pin/unpin can operate on its own, independent of scrub/seek). - There is a click-free and a non-click free way of implementing, but that does not need to be visible to the end user.
  6. What are the justifications for 'novelty' in the design? (e.g. RSI free operation, lack-of-precision in conventional sliders). - It's slightly novel compared to a tape deck as it makes one step optional.
  7. Is VI use integral? (e.g. labels added a label editor dialog, essential for VI, useful for non ). - No. The record meter itself is not particularly VI friendly.

Developer/QA Backing

  • James Crook
  • Peter Sampson - qualified support for this, see the Talk page


  • Clicking the stop button when already stopped will turn off monitoring. Normally users who wanted to do so would switch off monitoring from the meter itself, but some users will expect stop to do it.
  • Hiding the meter will stop monitoring.

Previous Feature Requests relating to this proposal

  • Preference for monitoring on by default (22 votes)
      We initially didn't do this because of concerns about performance on lower powered machines. We've since had feedback on this that is works fine and that not having monitoring "on" is causing a bigger problem - especially with new users. This however is not such an easy change as it appears - handling the situation when a device is changed/swapped out for example but Audacity is still looking for an input to read - it may not be fixed quickly