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msmcleod

Project Preview in browser

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I think I may have asked for this before in the previous  forum, but I've had more thoughts on it so here goes...

I've got loads of unfinished projects, most of which are just 8 - 16 bar sketches. Their names aren't particularly helpful (because they're so unfinished), and going through to review them at a later date is time consuming: i.e. I have to open up each project one by one. 

I find the browser great, because I can drag a project into an existing one and use the extra tracks right away. Nine times out of ten however, I've forgotten what each project sounds like.

What I'd really like is to be able to play a preview of them within the browser.

My thoughts are:

Within the "Save As" dialog, two new options would be available:

  • A "Save Project Preview" checkbox
  • A "Preview Length (secs)" edit box (perhaps with an additional "whole project" checkbox)

The idea would be that if you chose to save a project preview, it would use the new export module to generate a export of your mix based on the options above, which would be stored inside the cwp file.  This could default to mp3 to keep cwp files smaller, but perhaps an option to make it a wav might be desirable.

Selecting a project within the browser and clicking play (or CTRL+SPACE) would play that preview.

If the default preview length was small, e.g. 10 to 15 seconds, it would minimise the extra time required to save a project,  whilst presenting a reasonable amount of audio to identify it. 

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It would be nice!
But I can't agree preview file is stored inside the cwp file. (Ex, Save as "Project name.preview.mp3" or something. It also makes easy way to preview in the Explorer, etc.)

Additional thoughts: Each project on the Start Screen have a preview button, if the project has a preview file.

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4 minutes ago, HIBI said:

It would be nice!
But I can't agree preview file is stored inside the cwp file. (Ex, Save as "Project name.preview.mp3" or something. It also makes easy way to preview in the Explorer, etc.)

Additional thoughts: Each project on the Start Screen have a preview button, if the project has a preview file.

Yeah, that would work... as long as I don't have to continue doing it manually (and remembering to keep updating them).

I guess the cwp could hold a reference to the preview file (like it does for the other audio data).

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I wouldn't think the brower would be a good place for this, the start screen already has an overview image of the track view so if anything it would make more sense to be there. I'm not sure what would consitute a preview as I often end up with 10 -15 iterations of a  project , each succesive save being a step closer to the final product. It would take a lot of time and disk space to render these previews automatically which may never be listened to.

Maybe a better way would be when you bounce a mix is to be able to set a ' preview flag ' in the export options and that way it's optional and if Cakewalk sees a flag in the project folder it just selects the most recent one as the preview.

I could imagine the preview working like it does on some music websites where there is a picture of the waveform and it plays as soon as the mouse is hovered over it. 

 

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10 minutes ago, CosmicDolphin said:

I wouldn't think the brower would be a good place for this, the start screen already has an overview image of the track view so if anything it would make more sense to be there. I'm not sure what would consitute a preview as I often end up with 10 -15 iterations of a  project , each succesive save being a step closer to the final product. It would take a lot of time and disk space to render these previews automatically which may never be listened to.

Maybe a better way would be when you bounce a mix is to be able to set a ' preview flag ' in the export options and that way it's optional and if Cakewalk sees a flag in the project folder it just selects the most recent one as the preview.

I could imagine the preview working like it does on some music websites where there is a picture of the waveform and it plays as soon as the mouse is hovered over it. 

 

You can't drag projects from the start screen though. 

And the start menu only shows the last 100 most recent projects - not all of them.

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9 minutes ago, msmcleod said:

You can't drag projects from the start screen though. 

And the start menu only shows the last 100 most recent projects - not all of them.

You want to drag them ? Can you do that now..I have never even considered it...lol and how many unfinished projects have you got ?

I aim to write 100 tracks per year, I finished on 89 last year...I would say about 3 of them ended up on the unfinished pile.

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38 minutes ago, CosmicDolphin said:

You want to drag them ? Can you do that now..I have never even considered it...lol and how many unfinished projects have you got ?

I aim to write 100 tracks per year, I finished on 89 last year...I would say about 3 of them ended up on the unfinished pile.

I've got over 250, but a lot of them are only 8 to 16 bars.

Sometimes I'll finish a verse, then think, "hey I think I wrote something way back that would fit as a chorus here" - it's at that point I'd like to open the browser and go through my previous projects. 

If I find one I like, I can just drag it into my current project and move the clips over.

As a workaround I used the new export function to go through each project and save an mp3 of each one in a separate folder. It took a whole weekend. Now I can go through my preview folder and preview the mp3's, then go back to the project folder, pick the project with the same name and drag it in.

But it means me manually doing an export every time I save a project. It would be much easier if it was done automatically.

In any case, just about everything else can be previewed on the media browser - why not projects?

 

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I like the idea.  I was just going through a bunch of "last years" 8 to 16 bar "ideas" looking to see if there was something I could use them for/with.

This would help out and your comment about dragging them in via the browser (NOT sure why I didn't think of that before) would go hand in hand...

 

 

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5 hours ago, arlen2133 said:

I like the idea... and your comment about dragging them in via the browser (NOT sure why I didn't think of that before) would go hand in hand...

+1

Nice tips McLeod. 👍

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I was just about to start a new topic for something like this, but I see the idea has already come up!

I would find something like this very useful, for similar reasons. While I understand the limitations, I kind of like the idea of having it on the Start Screen. Sort of an "audio thumbnail" you can check out without actually opening a project.

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This is a really great idea @msmcleod.

This gives me a great idea to be honest. I think im going to start keeping a quick export of my project ideas. because lets face it, we don't often export our ideas. they stay in project form. this quick export will be nice as a reference. Because in 10 years from now I wont have to sift through each one to hear 5 seconds of what that idea is.

To your idea- Maybe a ruff export of all instruments be could be mixed to include a quick demo of the song. Similar to the way Export works, minus FX (instruments would need to be exported). This would be a valuable asset to the browser.

 

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