Seventh String Software

Transcribe! History - version 8.62 Release Notes, released 5 August 2016

This update has a number of improvements, although not any major new features. However that doesn't mean we've been slacking. The main point about this new release is that we have abandoned various outdated technologies in favour of current ones. This has been a big job. Specifically:

Transcribe! 8.62 for Windows requires Windows 10 (we are keeping version 8.40 available for people running older versions of Windows).
Transcribe! 8.62 for Mac requires OS 10.10 or later (we are keeping version 8.41 available for people running older versions of Mac OS).


The biggest single change in this new version is the adoption of GStreamer on Windows & Mac, and the abandonment of QuickTime. This means that on both Windows & Mac you will need to download GStreamer if you want to handle video, but I hope that video handling will be improved. In the past I've often had emails from people telling me that a video plays jerkily, and I have to advise them to use video editing software to save the video in a different format. This works but is not ideal. With GStreamer I hope that many videos will play better, but also Transcribe!'s Video Export command now works in a quite different way. Regardless of the original format of the video, Video Export will always save in a format which I hope is portable and will play smoothly in Transcribe! (mp4 with H264 video and aac audio, with frequent iframes, and a bitrate similar to the original). So now if you have a video which plays jerkily, the solution is to use the Video Export command to create a copy of it, and then load that instead. Also the Video Export command used to be available on Windows & Mac only, but is now available on Linux too.

This does not mean that there is any problem playing QuickTime files (mov files) in this version of Transcribe!. Obviously I cannot promise that any particular audio or video file will play ok, but GStreamer does play QuickTime files and in fact this version of Transcribe! can usually play the audio from such files without even needing to install GStreamer at all.

With GStreamer you can now load some sound & video file formats which wouldn't load before, such as Flash Video (flv), and Windows Media (wmv, wma) on the Mac.

With GStreamer you can export sound files in a variety of different compressed formats such as m4a, mp3, ogg. See Preferences - Export.

Mac: fixed (I hope) timing bug where markers added by "M" etc were placed a little late.

Fixed bug where loading a file in a script with "Auto play on load" turned on caused the script to abort.

Mac: control-click the dock icon to get a menu showing currently open transcriptions (as is standard on Mac).

When you open a transcription file which uses a sound file which cannot be found (because it's been moved or deleted), T! will look in the location of the most recent sound file opened to see if it can find it there instead, and if it's there then T! will offer you this to see if you want it. This can be a time-saver if you have moved a folder full of sound files to a different location, or a different machine. If it still doesn't find it then it will immediately bring up the Import Sound File dialog.

Mac: you can now choose to output to AirPlay if available, in Preferences - Playback

Mac: we are now 64-bit.

Windows: we no longer support reading any media files protected by DRM (digital rights management). This might be a step backwards but my impression is that DRM is not much used for audio these days (iTunes, Napster & Amazon don't use it), it's more for things like Netflix.

New command on Markers menu to equal-space selected markers : see the Help for details.

New commands TimestampCopyCurrentPoint & TimestampCopyPlayingPoint which copy the timestamp of the current point or the playing/paused point so you can paste it elsewhere. You will need to program a keyboard command to use it. It's under the "Markers and Navigation" category.

New WindowVideoToFront command. Brings the video window to the front, though depending on OS it may not really bring it to the front, it may merely cause the taskbar or dock icon for the video window to flash, asking for attention. You will need to program a keyboard command to use it.

New command PlayFromMousePointer. This will play from the place where the mouse pointer is, without actually needing to touch the mouse, and without changing your current position or selection. You will need to program a keyboard command to use it.

New command SelectionMakeAll (select whole track). You will need to program a keyboard command to use it.

New command PlaySelectionDelayStart (play, with a delay before starting). The amount of delay is set in Preferences - Playback - "Playback start delay" (which affects only this one command). See the Help for this Preferences item for more info about how to use it. You will need to program a keyboard command to use it.

In response to a request, I was going to add a command which would create a new text block and immediately start editing it, until I realised that you can already do this by programming a keyboard command as OnPress: TextBlockNewSilent, OnRelease:TextBlockActiveEdit

Mac: fixed bug where it would collect midi or footpedal commands while a dialog is up, then respond to them when the dialog is closed. Now it ignores such commands.

Piano notes no longer play when side-to-side dragging the piano keyboard.

Linux: added a Preference for whether to use video hardware acceleration. I have seen buggy hardware acceleration causing corrupted video display.

Linux: we no longer use ALSA for reading MIDI, so if you are using MIDI commands you may need to change the device name, see the Help for the MIDI Commands dialog.

Added the note frequencies table to the Help.

Increased maximum number of transcriptions shown in Window menu to 32

Horizontal zoom using control-arrow (command-arrow on Mac) or the menu commands will now hold the current point (red triangle) in place if it is on screen (rather than the point in the centre of the display as before).

New "Check for Updates" command on the Help menu.

A change in the behaviour of the arrow keys for adjusting the left edge (or with <shift> the right edge) of the current selection : these commands now will only move the edge they apply to, so you can adjust one edge of a selection without accidentally moving the other by bumping into it. This means you can't use these commands for moving the current point but that's ok because the square bracket key shortcuts exist for this purpose.

Many other minor bugfixes and improvements.