Rockbox Technical Forums

Support and General Use => Recording => Topic started by: JdGordon on March 11, 2008, 09:00:50 PM

Title: what do you want on the recording screen?
Post by: JdGordon on March 11, 2008, 09:00:50 PM
so to mix things up a but I've started work on a brand new recording screen (using petur's idea of a static area and a list area)..
so its going to look like this...
recording statusbar, then 2 lines for the filename and recording length, then the peakmeter.. now the rest of the screen will have a list with whatever info you guys tel me to put in. the list will probably be a mix of info and in=line settings (not exactly sure how it will work.. but we'll figure it out)

We could actually stick the entire recording setting menu in it if thats wanted...

I dont usually record so I dont know whats useful to put there... so let me know and hopefully we can get some patches going pretty quickly.
Title: Re: what do you want on the recording screen?
Post by: TaperChuck on March 11, 2008, 09:19:42 PM
I love the balance meter in Mmmm's REP. Unforunately, that build isn't being updated anymore.
Title: Re: what do you want on the recording screen?
Post by: Davide-NYC on March 11, 2008, 10:08:17 PM
This is huge! (for me at least)  :o

I am posting right now to let you know that I will be seriously pondering this over the next 24 hours and that I have been thinking about this since Mid-2006. Stay tuned!

[QUESTION 1] Will this be viewports enabled or are we still talking about line by line display?

[QUESTION 2] Where can I find an accurate description of Petur's "static area and a list area" idea?

[QUESTION 3] Do you plan on reverting the statusbar to "vanilla" rather than leaving the special extended "recording statusbar" as-is?

[QUESTION 4] Are we going to attempt to reconcile these screens over multiple targets or will the displayed elements scale based on screensize? What about the remote screens?

Title: Re: what do you want on the recording screen?
Post by: JdGordon on March 11, 2008, 11:20:33 PM
1) yes
2) in his head? :p
3) I have no plans.. im going to do whatever suggestions get suggested :p
4) yes, the plan is to have the same screen on every target.

http://img81.imageshack.us/img81/8069/dump080311231246yp3.png is what I have setup atm... it doesnt show much but its probably better than my description...

The idea is to change nothing above the peakmeters and put the various settings under them in a list, so it wont matter if there is one line or 10 lines, all settings will be easily accessable.
Title: Re: what do you want on the recording screen?
Post by: Davide-NYC on March 11, 2008, 11:23:20 PM

4) yes, the plan is to have the same screen on every target.


For the record the Archos Recorder screen is VERY VERY cramped already.

===========================================================
IDEAS / REQUESTS

These are my long standing (old) ideas (http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/WebHome?topic=DavideGentile).



===========================================================
NOTES / CONSIDERATIONS



===========================================================
SMALL display WRS vs All other display WRS.

For the SMALL DISPLAYS (Archos Recorders and iRiver remotes) I have an idea to get all the required information on the screen at once. (Or sort of at once anyway.)

IDEA: When having the top-most line selected in the list (in this case "Volume:")  if a user holds the UP button, the Size: line (directly above the peak-meter) will be replaced by the (normally hidden) File: line, but only for the duration of the UP keypress.  This interferes with nothing if I am not mistaken.

For ALL OTHER DISPLAYS we could either have more lines above the peak-meters or keep a unified WRS and use this hiding/unhiding idea.

We could also just have momentary UP presses toggle through a variety of settings display lines.

Remember that the filename contains the input source thus solving the input source not being displayed.

==========================================================

There is a tiny piece of statusbar that is currently being unused on the Archos Recorder bitmap screen. It is where the volume icon usually resides, right between the charger icon and the Q factor. In the WRS it is not needed because the volume is indicated in the first line below the peakmeter. This could be of great use to us. (input source indicator maybe?)

Also, the hold switch is shown in my mockup WRS but is currently not implemented. This a bug IMO and can be found here (http://www.rockbox.org/tracker/task/1055).
We should consider that space (for the hold switch icon) "reserved".

Lastly, if it deemed to be acceptable, FS#8269 (http://www.rockbox.org/tracker/task/8269) should be accepted into SVN as it really helps to test WPS and WRS screens.
Title: Re: what do you want on the recording screen?
Post by: Llorean on March 11, 2008, 11:36:44 PM
If you have part of the screen be display, and part list, those bottom three lines can be scrolled, so you can have a list of infinite length that can be scrolled without ever causing the top two lines and peakmeters to leave screen.

I'm *guessing* that's the overall intent. This means that, so long as you can fit all the non-list elements on-screen, the list itself just needs a minimum of one line (though it'd probably be best to have more).
Title: Re: what do you want on the recording screen?
Post by: JdGordon on March 12, 2008, 12:20:12 AM
yep
Title: Re: what do you want on the recording screen?
Post by: petur on March 12, 2008, 03:59:47 AM
My idea was indeed to have a top section containing recording status (filename/length, recording duration and status, peakmeters) with a live settings list below

Initially, I'd go for the list of changeable items that are there now:
- monitoring volume
- gain (L/R) -> it would be nice to keep the current way of combined gain change but I fear this will be more complex to program, so maybe make it three lines: L+R, L, R
- AGC mode
- AGC limit (now combined on same line as AGC mode for space reasons, needs its own line
Beware that this list changes depending on source (example: internal mic is mono so only one gain line)

For each line, I would keep the way you change values. So we have up/down to select an item, and left/right to change it.

Beware that this also has to work with the remote ;)

The reason we do not want many of the 'settings' items on here, is because most of them are not live changeable (source, bitrate,...) and I only want stuff changeable on the recording screen that does not restart a recording.

I will be very much AFK the next days, back on monday. So any input from me will be delayed until then.
Title: Re: what do you want on the recording screen?
Post by: JdGordon on March 12, 2008, 06:26:18 AM
better screenshot on how its going to look....
(http://img218.imageshack.us/img218/9784/dump0001xg2.png)
edit: doh, no remote in the dump :( the remote shows the same but only goes to line1
Title: Re: what do you want on the recording screen?
Post by: XavierGr on March 12, 2008, 07:09:20 AM
Does that mean that we can finally change the default Rockbox font on the recording screen too? That way we could avoid the nastiness of untranslated strings for languages with non latin characters.

The idea, overall, seems to me wonderful. The recording screens is one of the most difficult UIs to manage in Rockbox.
Title: Re: what do you want on the recording screen?
Post by: JdGordon on March 12, 2008, 07:15:08 AM
atm it will change to the sysfont if there is < 5 lines visible with the user font. still not perfect, but really the only option because we cant display 2 lists on the screen at the same time (although that might have to be fixed later anyway)
Title: Re: what do you want on the recording screen?
Post by: Davide-NYC on March 12, 2008, 12:10:06 PM

The reason we do not want many of the 'settings' items on here, is because most of them are not live changeable (source, bitrate,...) and I only want stuff changeable on the recording screen that does not restart a recording.


This is absolutely correct. Anything that cannot be changed while a recording is in progress should not be "below the line" (peak-meters) but the current recording settings should be displayed above the line as much as is necessary. Right now what's crucially missing is "input source".

Title: Re: what do you want on the recording screen?
Post by: Llorean on March 12, 2008, 02:43:36 PM
Why is "Input Source" critical? It seems a waste of space to me, as it's something the person should simply set before they start, and it's never going to change while recording.
Title: Re: what do you want on the recording screen?
Post by: JdGordon on March 12, 2008, 04:25:18 PM
Ill reply more fully later, but please dont edit posts unless noone has replied to the thread already. it makes the thread harder to follow
Title: Re: what do you want on the recording screen?
Post by: Davide-NYC on March 12, 2008, 10:52:11 PM
I fixed the thread by moving my reponses around so that they follow a more logical order. Sorry about that.  :-[


Why is "Input Source" critical? It seems a waste of space to me,


Because 'knuckleheads" (like me) will hit record button and not realize that they are not recording anything for a few seconds or, if they are distracted, even minutes!

It's not really wasting any space as the filename has the input source info in it. It's just not always displayed since the front of the filename is sometimes 'hidden'. Insuring that the front of the filename is visible solves this without using up any extra screen real estate. See attached image!  ;D

This image presumes the idea to swap out the "Size:" line with the "File:" line by pressing the UP button.
Title: Re: what do you want on the recording screen?
Post by: linuxstb on March 13, 2008, 03:47:16 AM
Why display the "Time:" and "File:" labels at all?  Isn't it obvious what they are?  If you remove at least the File: label, then the filename could easily be made to scroll.  Even with the label, the filename could scroll using a viewport.
Title: Re: what do you want on the recording screen?
Post by: Benway on March 13, 2008, 04:32:56 AM
Would it be possible to have some flashing sybol to indicate that the unit is actually recording? I think this would be extremely helpful as the increasing of the filesize is just too hard to see with this tiny font.
Title: Re: what do you want on the recording screen?
Post by: GodEater on March 13, 2008, 08:42:41 AM
Isn't that what the peakmeters do?

Or do they run even when the unit isn't recording ?

(Spot the recording novice...)
Title: Re: what do you want on the recording screen?
Post by: LurkAzusa on March 13, 2008, 08:54:41 AM
The peakmeters run in pre-recording mode.  I've missed many a recording because I couldn't see the filename (too small a font).  A flashing recording symbol or larger font would be nice. (H340)
Title: Re: what do you want on the recording screen?
Post by: jhMikeS on March 13, 2008, 12:37:18 PM
I had the idea of actually separating the recording functionality such as control, AGC, etc. from the display code so that various pages of information could be displayed and even custom screens easily added (debugging, custom builds, etc.) without getting in the way of control of the low-level recording code.

It wouldn't need multiple threads but just a layered structure with display code called by functional code similarly to how peakmeters function. State machine-based design is the way to go to make that simple.

Just my $.02 to have maximized flexibility.
Title: Re: what do you want on the recording screen?
Post by: Davide-NYC on March 13, 2008, 01:21:51 PM

Why display the "Time:" and "File:" labels at all?  Isn't it obvious what they are?  If you remove at least the File: label, then the filename could easily be made to scroll.  Even with the label, the filename could scroll using a viewport.


All valid points and I totally agree, be rid of the labels. I certainly don't need them.  ;D  Note that this does not solve the SMALL DISPLAY 2-Line constraint problem mentioned in my previous post in which I propose the "Joystick_UP toggle FileSize/FileName" solution.


Would it be possible to have some flashing sybol to indicate that the unit is actually recording? I think this would be extremely helpful as the increasing of the filesize is just too hard to see with this tiny font.


I totally agree that the system font is too small and that it's difficult to see what's going on in the WRS.  To alleviate that I have proposed two things: 1) the two line high "Big Status Icon" (maybe even scalable?) and 2) user selectable fonts.  But I would like to personally vote against anything that *flashes* unnecessarily.




Title: Re: what do you want on the recording screen?
Post by: Benway on March 13, 2008, 05:26:41 PM
[/quote]

But I would like to personally vote against anything that *flashes* unnecessarily.

[/quote]

A flashing red dot or a red light are universally used in anything that involves recording so that anyone immediately know what's going on. I would say this symbol is almost as well known as the "stop" sign on the roads. Why not use something that's this obvious?
Title: Re: what do you want on the recording screen?
Post by: Llorean on March 13, 2008, 05:29:04 PM
Remember, whatever you use should translate to monochrome screens equally well. So the "dot" should be just as obvious in black.
Title: Re: what do you want on the recording screen?
Post by: Benway on March 13, 2008, 05:42:07 PM

Remember, whatever you use should translate to monochrome screens equally well. So the "dot" should be just as obvious in black.


Right, I forgot about monochrome screens. But a flashing black dot would still be pretty obvious to me.
Title: Re: what do you want on the recording screen?
Post by: Llorean on March 13, 2008, 05:45:49 PM
I'm not sure how much more obvious that could be than simply whether time was moving or not.
Title: Re: what do you want on the recording screen?
Post by: Davide-NYC on March 13, 2008, 07:44:43 PM
Unless I'm going totally senile (which is possible)... Flashing to me always meant "pause".  Red always meant recording.   FWIW: I was a recording engineer for four years and owned my own little recording studio for 18 months out of that stretch.

I originally thought that the pause icon could flash not the recording icon. Then a big dot (red on color targets) would stay steady during recording.

The flashing lights I believe are a remnant of the record heads being engaged to the tape but the tape not rolling. (I am really showing my age here.)
Title: Re: what do you want on the recording screen?
Post by: JdGordon on March 13, 2008, 07:50:27 PM

I had the idea of actually separating the recording functionality such as control, AGC, etc. from the display code so that various pages of information could be displayed and even custom screens easily added (debugging, custom builds, etc.) without getting in the way of control of the low-level recording code.

It wouldn't need multiple threads but just a layered structure with display code called by functional code similarly to how peakmeters function. State machine-based design is the way to go to make that simple.

Just my $.02 to have maximized flexibility.


please please please do this... would make it much easier.. (atm my tree has half the recording screen main loop #if 0'd and so I have no idea how much of recording is broken.
I wont have any time over the weekend for this, so ill post a patch a bit later (as long as everyone undertsands it not meant to go in any builds... just to get others working on it also...
Title: Re: what do you want on the recording screen?
Post by: jhMikeS on March 14, 2008, 10:06:17 PM
I need to do some thinking about this before just trying to code but I can spell-out the division of labor that would happen on one thread (or the audio thread could be the recording engine control thread and be an audio "mode").

1) Basic functionality - Runs the show

Control of recording engine
Setting of signal paths
File splitting
AGC
Keeper of statistics (bytes recorded, time)
Maybe send update hints to 2) such as "the gain changed".

2) UI functionality - doesn't actually change anything in 1) itself - simple show/input layer.

Key Input (and sending appropriate change directives back to 1) )
Peakmeter drawing
Drawing statisics, settings, filename, etc.

Layer 2 can then be completely swapped with something else at any time and all essential functionality will continue to run.
Title: Re: what do you want on the recording screen?
Post by: simo7 on March 19, 2008, 09:24:16 PM
I think a revision to the recording screen is a superb idea. I would personally prefer a minimalist approach, L + R gain control, Volume Level, Filename and Timecode.
Something like the Microtrack interface would be cool!

http://www.m-audio.com/images/global/media_hqpics/microtrack2-front.jpg
Title: Re: what do you want on the recording screen?
Post by: zajacattack on March 19, 2008, 09:31:20 PM
Why not create a system so that people can use tags to make the recording screen look however they want, just like the WPS system?
Title: Re: what do you want on the recording screen?
Post by: Davide-NYC on March 19, 2008, 10:27:57 PM

Why not create a system so that people can use tags to make the recording screen look however they want, just like the WPS system?


The developers have said that this would be an unnecessary amount of extra coding work.   I tend to agree with them.  We don't need total user control of the WRS. Maybe a "minimal" WRS and a "full" WRS and a menu setting to choose between the two.   But even that sounds like too much to me.   :)
Title: Re: what do you want on the recording screen?
Post by: petur on March 20, 2008, 03:41:43 AM
Let me put up another vote for a very visual recording indication. Last night I missed half of the first song by not pressing REC correctly. Stealth recording not always allows to watch the screen closely, lucky for me I did and saw my error.

How about something simple like changing the the peakmeter color or part of the background?

For the rest, I would (for now) just convert the current recording screen items to the viewport layout, nothing new or less.
Title: Re: what do you want on the recording screen?
Post by: Llorean on March 20, 2008, 03:46:18 AM
Why not hide the Time and Size lines completely until recording starts (just leave that area blank). That way you know when recording begins because a significant portion of the screen suddenly has much more text on it. Meanwhile, this also doesn't depend on display size, or color, or backlight, since these lines are alraedy present / used.
Title: Re: what do you want on the recording screen?
Post by: Davide-NYC on March 20, 2008, 11:32:44 AM

Let me put up another vote for a very visual recording indication.



Why not hide the Time and Size lines completely until recording starts (just leave that area blank).


Continuing on this idea: The industry standard is blinking for pause/arm/engage (double bar) and solid (red dot) for recording.

I know I said earlier that I do not want anything flashing, but after doing a spot of research I did confirm that this behavior is pretty much industry standard. (oops)
 
So we could simply have the first two lines blank while stopped, flashing while paused (or pre-recording) and steady (and changing) while recording.


How about something simple like changing the the peakmeter color or part of the background?


This is not good on grayscale or monochrome targets.

Implementing Big WRS Icons is clearly the best way to do this in my opinion! (See my previous posts.)

 ;D
Title: Re: what do you want on the recording screen?
Post by: MarcGuay on March 29, 2008, 09:38:25 AM
There are some suggestions regarding voicing of the recording screen at this flyspray task:

http://www.rockbox.org/tracker/task/5427
Title: Re: what do you want on the recording screen?
Post by: peteswensson on June 16, 2008, 08:50:13 PM
I find myself much in agreement with the objectives identified by Davide-NYC.  I'll tell you why.

My name is Pete, and I am a taper.  I've been one for about 20 years.  I don't still use tape, but I still do much of the recording in the dark, amid loud noises and many other distractions.  I goof up all the time.  I hate that.  When you are recording in the field, there are no do-overs.  So the recording screen should be easy to read at a glance.  To avoid screw-ups, one should be able to easily see the key information, such as codec, record/pause/stop status, elapsed recording time, input source, etc.  It helps a lot to base the symbology on standard industry practice, as David has pointed out.  That's just another way of relying on standardized formats instead of making up proprietary ones.  More user-friendly all around, one of the hallmarks of Rockbox that I value so highly.

I have another reason for a particular interest in the WRS appearance.  After cataract surgery and several retinal tears and detachments, my eyesight is now pretty weak, particularly in low light levels.  I have several iriver H300-series player/recorders, and the default Rockbox font is WAY too small for easy reading on the high-resolution H300 screen.  Hence the ability to specify fonts is very important to me (Nimbus 12 offers good clarity for me). 

On one of my three H300-series player/recorders, I retain an unsupported build from last September with the Recording Enhancements Pack ("Darky's Build," which I found on MisticRiver.net), because I value the REP so much.  Along with the ability to specify font, I appreciate being able to make the peak meters more than one line thick.  That makes them show up a lot better.  The histogram is also valuable because it retains a record of clipping or potential distortion from excess volume longer than the floating peak markers.  In a field recording situation, you are not likely to be staring at the peak meters constantly - rather, glancing once in a while.

I have modified one of my H320's to CF, becoming an H308.  In doing so, I have had to give up the REP since I have to use the current build to use CF.  On the other hand, I can now record from the built-in mic without picking up the irritating whine of a hard drive.  My idea of the ideal player/recorder is an iriver with Rockbox, the REP, and the CF mod.  Today one can get two out of the three, which is impressive. 

My compliments and thanks go to all the developers who are advancing the technology!  I support the effort to upgrade the WRS in the current build, and eagerly look forward to the progress of that effort.