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.