Over the last couple of weeks, I've tried to shift my audio editing from Windows using GoldWave to Mac using either Audacity or Amadeus Pro, but both fall short. Audacity falls way short because of UI accessibility issues their developers are admirably well aware of, though one can do some basic tasks as Paul's AppleVis blog entry points out. Amadeus, though, fails at a few things, too, as far as I can tell. Here are the issues I've tried to email Martin Hairer about, with zero response. Please let me know if any of these things are in fact possible. If they aren't, please consider requesting them. I would imagine that blind users must be the bulk of new AP users, since Audacity has baked in all of AP's functionality and more.
1) Navigating a file in large jumps does not seem possible, except through the "go to" tool. Seeking by a few seconds is obviously there, as is jumping to the previous editing mark or to the insertion point. But Home/End/Page Up/ Page Down, by which I mean the Fn key plus arrow keys, seems to do nothing. I would expect the playback position to move by one screen with page up/down according to the current zoom level, for instance, as GoldWave does. Home/End/PgUp/PgDwn don't do anything audible for me. Do these keys work for others, or are there other means I'm not aware of?
As a side note on this point, having left/right arrows jump identically to the insertion point is the most bizarre and wasteful use of keys I've ever encountered. I press the right arrow and the playback position jumps left to my last insertion point?
2) The ASDF keys are a marvelously ergonomic way to move the selection goal posts in Amadeus, but GoldWave actually plays a user-configurable amount of sound each time its equivalent key combination is pressed. The default is 0.1 sec, which is almost perfect for hearing when the speaker (me, in my case) starts to form an "um" or "you know" or when the utterance is actually fully complete. It's amazing. I want this in Amadeus before I nuc' my bootcamp partition on my old MBA. Amadeus does a far better job with previewing cuts, but it can still be accomplished in GoldWave with three keypresses (these are zoom to selection, then zoom out, then play unselected).
3) I want a "delete all unlabeled markers" option. I use markers in "export multiple" to create segments in my podcasts, which utilizes markers. But Amadeus also uses markers for temporary editing, or at least keyboard users must use them this way. I can color-code them, I can Label them, and I want to use one or the other or both means to distinguish between "permanent markers" versus editing places. Editing a lecture I give in Amadeus Pro creates a graveyard of markers that just get in the way when I need to export. And, since I don't know of a means to jump around in the file other than manually writing down the time codes while editing, I can't readily re-add the cue-points later that I want to become track split points.
4) As a fair amount of sighted users have requested in the past, AP needs a "remove silences" tool. It can already find silences and mark them. All it needs to do is then delete them. "silence" is definable as a certain negative dB level for a specified duration. Audacity has it, so there's a work-around. In an 80-minute lecture that I'm trying to format for an online course I teach, this amounts to hundreds of seconds I could remove in a keystroke. Naturally, GoldWave has had it forever.
5) Martin needs to reply to emails. When I e-mail Chris, the developer of GoldWave, which I've done quite a few times over the 15 years I've used that program, he's always responded within 48 hours--less, now that Audacity has replicated much of GW's functionality for free. Each time I've asked for a new feature, he could point out that it already existed.
I'm hoping that some of these features exist but that I just haven't found them. Or that there are fundamentally different ways of accomplishing the same tasks. If not, I do hope folks will consider requesting them.
RE: Wish List for Amadeus Pro
I will try to comment on your thoughts with the same numbering as you used.
Hope this helps Best regards Thomas
Thanks for the reply. Although I had set the play options the furst time I ran the program, I don't know that I would have ever figured out what was happening when I pressed option home/end or or the fact that the amount moved with the arrow keys was the zoom length. Adding the option key for Voiceover seems like a general thing that I simply didn't know about, since I've encountered it before. I wish I didn't have to pause playback before moving screen by screen, though.
All the other issues, it seems like I'm not missing anything and that these are simply not available. I wish they were, since the net impact is that Mac would add quite a bit of time to my already time-crunched sessions editing large amounts of audio on a deadline. Still a good program. Again, if anyone else thinks those features would be a good idea, emailing the dev would be appreciated. I'll post them on the Hairersoft forum as well.
Home, End, Page Up and Page Down
Hi. I'd largely agree, though on the whole find Amadeus Pro very good. Quick question plus pet peeve of mine though. These posts and the book I read on using Amadeus with VoiceOver, both refer a lot to the Home, End, Page Up and Page Down keys. However I, and I would have thought most users, use a laptop so don't have these keys. Even Apple's external keyboard doesn't have these keys to the best of my knowledge. So I wonder, what are the correct keyboard commands for these users? Thanks.
FN plus left right = home/end
FN + up/down = page up/ down
These are true on Windows laptops as well.
However, Mac developers don't implement them uniformly. Apparently, VO additionally often requires the option key for these.
Home and end are more reliably accomplished with command left/right, and top/bottom with command up/down.
Try Reaper on windows
Amadeus Pro is really old and super basic, I don't think your going to have much luck trying to get it to change. Reaper on windows, with nvda has become the best option for an accessible DAWS. If you have to use the mac, you can try pro tools, but it's a very expensive tool that has a large learning curve.
Wow. Thanks for the Reaper tip. It looks impresive, and it looks like it has a fair learning curve. I downloaded it for Mac along with OSARA to try that route first. Have you tried it on Mac and found it less accessible than the Windows version? I love the idea of the "peak monitor."