Getting Started - Working with External Audio Files

There are different ways to load external audio into the software:

  • Select File | Open Files… from the main menu, or press Ctrl+O (on Windows or Linux) or ⌘O (on macOS), or click on + in the Audio Source window.
  • Select File | Open Folder… from the main menu.
  • Drag & Drop files/folders to the Playlist from anywhere possible.

The methods above can be used both for locating audio files of the supported formats directly or through playlists. Currently, parsing of M3U, M3U8, PLS and XSPF playlists is supported.

After adding audio files to the Playlist, you can load each of them in various ways. If you haven’t loaded any audio file before, in case you manually switch the Audio Source to the Audio File (Playlist) mode, clicking the Play button or choosing Controls | Play from the main menu will load and start playing the first track. However, with Shuffle Playback option checked, a random audio file will be chosen.

You can also load any track you want just by double-clicking on it or by selecting it and pressing Enter. This will switch the Audio Source to the Audio File (Playlist) mode automatically.

For further playlist navigation, you can use the Previous Track / Next Track player controls or similar buttons above the Playlist. When you are not in the Preview mode, the player skip controls/buttons are not available, though. In this case, if you want to go forward/backward in the playlist, you can still use the navigation buttons above the Playlist. This will switch the program to the Preview mode, whatever the current mode is. Any training process will be cancelled. Moreover, every change of an audio source resets the application to the Preview mode. You can also manually activate the Preview mode by clicking the corresponding button on the main window or by selecting Controls | Preview Mode from the main menu. The keyboard shortcut for it is Ctrl+P (on Windows and Linux) or ⌘P (on macOS).

On the first switch to Audio File (Playlist), the Transport Panel becomes visible automatically. Here we may take the most advantage of the latter.

One of the main purposes of the Preview mode is to let a user select and trim an audio track region for further training. The white vs gray zone(s) of the audio timeline slider at the Transport Panel represent the trimmed region inside a whole audio track. By default, each region starts at zero, and its length is equal to Slice Length (length of each future training example) multiplied by ten or by a smaller maximum number which can fit the length of a track.

You can move left and right bounds of the region separately, and the whole region as well, by dragging the mouse cursor. The start/end values can also be set with the corresponding spin boxes. Clicking on the Start and the End buttons at the left sides of the spin boxes would set these values to the current audio cursor position if possible, no matter if an audio file is playing or not. It may be pretty convenient to set the bounds “on the fly” during the playback. The [← and the →] buttons at the right sides of the spin boxes can be used to set the starting point to the beginning of a file, and to set the ending point to the end of a file, respectively.

The bounds’ values of regions and the slice lengths are stored for each audio file on another file load or when the application is about to be closed. When these audio files are loaded again (which is detected through hashing), these settings are restored.

Clicking the Clear button at the right of the start/end spin boxes resets the region bounds to default for newly loaded files, and restores the previously saved values for already known ones.

The current Playlist and the latest audio source used are stored between sessions. However, I highly recommend saving the collections you would like to use repeatedly with File | Export Playlist… options.

Useful Tip

Before doing training exercises in the Learn and the Test modes, prepare your own collection of trimmed audio files, using the above-described application tools. Then uncheck the Controls | Start Playing After Loading Track in Preview Mode option in the main menu if checked. Adjust the volume level for your EQ Pattern and EQ Settings. Load external audio files as audio sources for your exercises without playing them in the Preview mode. This will help you to leave the volume knobs untouched as long as possible, while navigating through different audio sources/tracks.

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