I'm going to try to summarize, so I see no need to include all
previous discussions. It seems that Gale, David and myself are the
ones debating this, although Vaughn had some input early on. At the
risk of misrepresenting people's opinions, here's where I think we
I see the major use case of these commands as being during playback or
recording (mainly during playback) to mark sections as they go by.
Then stop and fine-tune the selection prior to editing.
Gale likes to use them (when stopped) instead of the selection bar
because it takes fewer keystrokes, and he doesn't have to mouse down
to the selection bar. He suggests that perhaps most users don't use
them this way because of the wording of the menu items. I admit that I
only discovered what they do when stopped when I noticed that they
were enabled when stopped and wondered what they'd do - I expected
them to do nothing, and was surprised when the dialog popped up. I
also admit that not everyone is as open to exploring a UI as I am.
I find the behaviour when stopped counter-intuitive but logical ("["
moves the cursor if you set the time to the right of the current
cursor but creates a selection if you set the time to the left of the
current cursor; similarly for "]"). Gale agrees, and we both agree
that if it is documented then users will understand it (if they RTFM).
If I ever needed to set a selection by time, I'd prefer the selection
toolbar since it gives immediate visual feedback in the audio track as
you change the numbers. It also provides the additional flexibility of
setting either the end point or the length of the selection.
David wouldn't mind them being disabled when stopped, and finds the
selection toolbar more useful. He also thinks that "playback" should
remain in the menu item name.
Gale reports that some users did not understand "Select > Left at
Playback Position", whereas I immediately understood what it meant.
I think that removing them from the menu entirely and keeping them as
key bindings (similar to "1", "B" and "C") is a viable option.
So, on to my opinions at this point.
(1) If we are going to keep them in the menus, and we want "playback"
to be in the names, then i prefer:
- Select All
- Select None
- Select Track Start to Cursor
- Select Track End to Cursor
- Set Left Selection Boundary (at Playback Position)
- Set Right Selection Boundary (at Playback Position)
Is it possible to put parentheses in a menu item name?
This "disguises" that they can be used when stopped, but the
parentheses (if possible) might give a hint. If the parentheses are
not possible, then "at Playback Position" should remain.
(2) If we are going to keep them in the menus, and we are not happy
with their current wording and placement, then they should be in the
Edit menu, and I prefer:
Move Cursor or Set Selection Boundary >
- Move Cursor to Selection Start
- Move Cursor to Selection End
- Move Cursor to Track Start
- Move Cursor to Track End
- Set Left Selection Boundary
- Set Right Selection Boundary
This despite the fact that it "disguises" that they can be used during
I think we have to accept "disguising" one function or the other. I
agree with David that if we try to come up with menu names that
adequately describe the two distinct behaviours of this command we'll
end up tying ourselves in knots.
(3) Finally, I think we should seriously consider removing them from
the menus. No matter what we do users will need to go to the Manual to
discover both behaviours.
Peter? Steve? Does anyone else on the list have a comment?