[Ardour-Users] new import dialog

Paul Davis paul at linuxaudiosystems.com
Wed Sep 5 06:26:44 PDT 2007

On Wed, 2007-09-05 at 19:35 +1000, Tim Mayberry wrote:

> 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.

Yes, that menu item will be removed.

> 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.

Will fix today.

> - 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.

Yes, part of the same fix.

> - 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.

I will do the usual kludge and fix their sizes.

> 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.

I'll think about this a bit. There quite a lot more semantics to the
choice, but it is possible that you're right here, and they do not need
to be exposed to the user.

> 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)

No, I will not make this change. Searching the filesystem and searching
the tag space are so closely related there is no reason to force the
user to choose which one they want to use ahead of time.

> Is the tagging feature working?

The new tags are not currently being saved. I'll fix this today as well.

> 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,

the file whose name is at the top of the "info" pane, which functions as
a "preview" for the most recently selected file. The tags are just like
all the other data displayed in that frame (though as Thorsten has
pointed out, its possibly significant that the tags are not stored *in*
the file).

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

this is absolutely wrong. 

	1) the user does not want to audition every file they select - 
             they know the contents of many of them and it would be
	     simply irritating to have them playing when all you do	
	     is to select a file.

        2) the available importing options change depending on how
	     many files are selected. the user *needs* to select
             files first, then decide what to do with them. if the
	     user is lucky, the default or current options will
	     still be correct. driving import by dbl-click on a single
             file seems to error prone to me.

> 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

thats a fair point. i'm not sure what to do about that, given that
auditioning in general does not have any visual controls outside of the
preferences window.

> - 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.

We are not going to provide that, since the goal of import&resampling is
to leave it unaltered as much as technically possible. Why would a user
want to check that we did a good enough job?

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

This is true for all auditioning, no matter it is initiated from (region
list, region audition mouse mode, etc). When ardour is auditioning,
nothing else is happening inside the process callback.

> 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.

The dialog is bit more complex but it follows reported workflow much
more closely. The old design - where the user has to select the intended
result of the import before selecting files - appears to have been
misguided. The one thing I do not like right now is that the dialog is
modal, which means that if the user wants to change track selection, or
the position of either of the cursors, they cannot do that. I'm still
debating whether this is a good idea - changing the track selection has
implications that get a bit hairy, but could probably be dealt with.

Thanks for all the useful feedback, very helpful as ever.


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