[Ardour-Users] new import dialog

Tim Mayberry mojofunk at gmail.com
Wed Sep 5 02:35:22 PDT 2007

On 9/5/07, Paul Davis <paul at linuxaudiosystems.com> wrote:
> Over in svn (branches/2.0-ongoing) there is the more-or-less finished
> new import/embed dialog. Those of you using this SVN branch are urged to
> give it a shot and report back (email and/or mantis). This matters
> because I would like to release 2.1 in the near future, and this is one
> very-overhauled aspect of Ardour's functionality that needs to avoid
> being a regression.
> The basic idea, btw, is that you no longer decide what you want to do
> with imported/embedded audio *before* you interact with the dialog, but
> you make your selection from the dialog itself. There is also a new
> option: "sequence files" which puts all the selected files back to back
> in one track. Don't ask how the order is defined :)
> --p

I've been using the new dialog as of 2.0-ongoing at 2417 today and these
are my thoughts/opinions so far:

The menu structure should be Import -> Audio files...

- This is fairly standard, I think it is used by at least Pro Tools,
Cubase, Sonar and Logic.
- It is more consistent with the Export menu.
- It allows many more entries without having a huge top level menu.
Midi files, CD's, freesound, OMF, AAF(I'm dreaming here) etc.

Right-clicking in the Regions pane and choosing "Add existing audio"
from the popup menu doesn't do anything.

The width of the dialog should not be able to be altered by string
length, or at least be very hard to do. This is important for
maintaining the size of the dialog when it is localized.

- Several of the drop down menus/combo boxes are empty when the dialog
is first opened, selecting an audio file increases the width of the
dialog dramatically.

- The length of the filename determines the width of the preview
widget/area, which can change the width of the window or the file
browser widget.

- The number of channels of a selected file can determine the width of
the "mapping" combo box and the position of the radio buttons as the
combo box entries change.

The radio button group containing "Copy to ardour-native files" and
"Use files without copying" should just be a check box with a label
"Copy files to Session folder". I think this would also help reduce
the "fatness"/dead space at the bottom of the dialog a bit.

Importing files that are located via the "sfdb"(the "Search Tags" tab)
should be in a separate dialog, perhaps via Import -> Audio files from
Search...(although I'm sure that could be improved on)

Is the tagging feature working?

If I select an audio file, enter a tag, select another file and then
reselect the original file the tag I entered isn't displayed. What am
I doing wrong, what is supposed to happen?

I don't think the tagging function should be in an import dialog at
all. It isn't clear what files the meta data is being associated with,
is it the files that are selected in the file chooser or is the the
files that are imported. What does the user think it is doing? I
wasn't sure. What if it isn't what they want etc.

Auditioning a file should occur when it is selected and not on
double-click. double-click should import the files/activate "OK".

Functionality that I think is important but isn't in the new or old
import dialog:

- There is no volume control accessible from the dialog

- There is no option to audition the file so that it sounds like it
would after it is imported and resampled(if the SR is different than
the session). There is an existing issue reported about this I think.

- The session transport stops while auditioning(perhaps this is only
important to me)

I'm a little concerned that even after any bugs are fixed in the new
dialog so that it is at least feature comparable to the old one, the
increased complexity of it could be seen as a regression in usability.
I don't think the previous import mechanism was great but it does seem
much easier to use than the new one(even though I'm sure familiarity
plays a part in it).

I have a few ideas for improving the dialog/import process but I as I
can't see myself contributing code to that area of ardour at the
moment I hope some of the above is useful.


More information about the Ardour-Users mailing list