Thanks for all of you that have provided feedback.
Concerning the suggestions made by Robert and Andrew.
For those not familiar with Reaper, in that program the edit cursor is
quite separate from the start and end of the selection. In addition, there
is an option as to whether the arrow keys just move the edit cursor, or
also scrub at the same time.
If in Audacity, the edit cursor was similarly separate, then I wouldn't see
a problem in having an option of using the arrow keys for scrubbing.
However, the edit cursor is not separate, and I think this means that the
use of the arrow keys for scrubbing in Audacity would be problematic. If a
time range is selected, then pressing the left or right arrow keys
deselects the selection and places the cursor at the start or end of the
previous selection respectively. I think that having this behaviour along
side scrubbing would be fairly strange and not provide a very clean user
So in Audacity, I think that having separate keys for scrubbing backwards
and forwards would be preferable.
Concerning the scrub speed being controlled by the zoom level rather than
the play at speed slider. I think that either of these options would be
viable. I think that advantages of using the zoom level are that:
1. There are already controls for increasing, decreasing, and resetting the
2. The speed of the scrub speed could be as high as you wanted, without the
need for that high speed to be accommodated by the play at speed slider.
Are there others?
Would the normal zoom level correspond to normal playback speed? The user
could then half or double the speed as desired. So the scrub speeds that
would normally be used would probably be one quarter, one half, one, two,
four, and maybe higher.
Unlike the play at speed slider, there currently isn't a way of setting an
arbitrary zoom level, but maybe that isn't important in practice. In one of
the scrub modes in Pro Tools, there is the same range of scrub speeds
available, that is one quarter, one half, and so on.
On Tue, 3 Dec 2019 at 23:06, Andrew Downie <access_tech@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Thanks for pursuing this David. While the proposal would be most welcome,
I agree with Robert that using left and right arrows to scrub backwards and
forwards respectively would be a simpler interface. That is what Reaper
does, with zoom level determining speed of the scrub.
My main use of scrubbing would be to locate an edit point. It is so much
faster to locate a point when scrubbing than without.
*From:* audacity4blind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx <
audacity4blind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> *On Behalf Of *David Bailes
*Sent:* Wednesday, 4 December 2019 1:11 AM
*Subject:* [audacity4blind] Possible interface for scrubbing using the
The word scrubbing seems to used in a variety of different ways, but I'm
taking it mean the ability to playback the audio both forwards and
backwards at speeds varying from very slow to very fast.
You can currently scrub using Audacity, but only using the mouse. Andrew
has expressed an interest in being able to do this using the keyboard. The
following is a proposal for a keyboard user interface for scrubbing in
Audacity, and which is quite similar to the one used in Reaper. I would be
grateful if anyone interested in having such a feature could give me
feedback about the proposal.
1. There would be one key for playing backwards and one for playing
forwards. For example, these could be the U and I keys.
2. Playback starts from the cursor position, or the start of a selection
if there is one.
3. The speed of playback is determined by play at speed slider in the
toolbars. The current range of the slider is from close to zero to three,
but it might be possible to extend this if required. There are number of
existing commands for changing the value of the slider. One of these is a
dialog where you can just type in the desired speed. These commands
currently don't have default keystrokes, but could be easily assigned in
4. After pressing one of the two keys, playback continues until the key is
5. You can scrub to the end of the audio, even if there is an initial
selection. In other words, scrubbing forwards does not automatically stop
at the end of the selection.
6. Normally, when one of the keys is released, the position of the cursor
is set to the time when the key was released.
7. If during the time one of the keys is pressed the left bracket and/or
right bracket keys are pressed to set the start and/or end of the
selection, when when the scrubbing key is released the change to the
selection made by pressing the bracket keys is preserved - the position of
the cursor is not set to the time when the key was released.