User:PeterSampson/Sand-Box Stuck-in-a-mode bear-traps

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Bear-traps for the unwary, the naive, the inexperienced, the infrequent user- - and occasionally for the advanced/expert user.
  • Discoverability is our Audacity watch-word.
  • We should aim to make things as simple and straightforward as possible for the naive, inexperienced and infrequent users - and expect users to be able to discover and enable advanced features.
    • To that end we should aim to make the advanced features as "discoverable" as possible and not "hide" them.

Vertical Zoom

It is quite common for users to activate vertical zoom by inadvertently clicking in the vertical ruler - and then being unable to understand how to restore normal vertical zoom

Short term amelioration

Two modes for for VZoom 1) Simple: no left-click zoom, right-click delivers a context menu 2) Advanced/Expert: left-click zoom-in and range zoom via drag as 2.2.1 and earlier, right-click delivers a context menu Simple to be the default setting

Long term improvement

Consider a VZoom bar

Scrub Ruler

It's far too easy for the unwary to inadvertently click in the Scrub Ruler and get stuck in Scrubbing (see below).


Should be off by default.

Scrubbing is easily "discoverable" via the [[menu|Transport}} menu - amd the Scrub Ruler is "discoverable" and capable of being turned on in Transport>Scrubbing or via the Timeline context menu.

Longer term

Consider removing it altogether - we don't need three ways to invoke scrubbing


We have three ways of invoking scrub/seek: Transport menu, Scrub Ruler and Scrub Toolbar.

None of them invokes a form of scrubbing familiar to users of other audio or video editors - and it is easy to get stuck, harder to escape from


Redesign (and simplify) the GUI - make it so that releasing the mouse action for scrubbing just stops the scrub - rather than leaving you adrift ib scrub mode.

Tools toolbar

Too easy to click the buttons unknowingly,

Worse still, the shortcuts for switching tools in the Tools toolbar are all single keystrokes F1 though F6 (plus A and D when Full set is selected) which makes it far to easy for the inexperienced user to press these and not understand why their view of the waveform has changed and why stuff doesn't work.

Aliased (external) audio files

With the larger disk sizes available today it would be preferrable if we could always copy in uncompressed audio data like WAV files/

If always copied in we could lose Preferences>Projects


We do already have copy in as the default option.

Overdub (on by default)

Newbies usually don't need overdub turned on (unless they are very bold and start our straight off doing multi-track overdubbing).

Although we are a "Multi-track editor" - overdubbing is a somewhat advanced piece of functionality.


Turn overdub off by default.

Type to create a label

Too easy to inadvetentlt crate a label with this.


In Prefs>Tracks>Tracks Behaviors checked "on'" should not be the default.

VI users may disagree.

Show metadata tags before export

In Preferences>Import/Export - folk often don't know how to turn it off


an off switch in the metadata dialog on export


A lot of folk still have trouble locating it - and Buanzo's site has nasty misleading ads with BGBs


Now that the patents have expired we should be able to integrate LAME.


A lot of folk still have trouble locating it

Custom shortcuts

GUI is a mess.

  1. Click on the command entry
  2. then you have to click on (or tab to) the input box
  3. type your chosen shortcut (and deal with conflicts if necessary)
  4. Click Set
  5. Click OK

The big problem is that the user (Peter: often me included) mistakenly think that Set "does what it says on the tin" and makes the setting - bot not you have to us OK to set the set (If you just X out of the dialog after step 4 you lose your setting(s) made in that dialog session).

Fragmented project data

Many users try to ope the .au files - many users lose data through renames and other, external to Audacity, manipulations.

Solution - Unitary Project

Proposal Unitary Project

Orphan block files

We shouldn't really be getting thses - but when we do users are confused about the courses of action offered to them.