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Audio player with simple rewind / replay / loop?

Discussion in 'Mac Applications and Mac App Store' started by svenr, Jan 25, 2013.

  1. macrumors regular

    #1
    I often listen to long audio files for two purposes:
    • transcribe or take notes from a recording of a meeting
    • learning a foreign language
    In both cases, there are often passages that I don't quite understand at first. So I want to be able to easily rewind 2-3 seconds to listen again or perhaps even set loop points and listen to the passage over and over until I get it.

    Typically (iTunes, VLC, QuickTime), you'd click into the progress bar, but I find this too inaccurate and unwieldy. When the file is an hour long, it's nearly impossible to just skip back 2-3 seconds this way. Plus I have to move the mouse around.

    Hitting the <- key in most apps goes to the previous file instead of rewind. In VLC, I can use a 3-key combo, but that skips back only in 10-second steps. And it's unwieldy too. In QuickTime, the <- key does work, but it also stops playback.

    Is there a simple player app that allows me to skip back with a single-key stroke? Ideally, it should play the audio backwards while rewinding, just like in an old tape player. Bonus if it can set loop points, that'd be awesome.
     
  2. macrumors demi-god

    GGJstudios

    #2
  3. macrumors 68030

    #3
    Try Audacity. You can use the Arrow keys to move back and forth. Just a tap for a second or so, or hold down to scroll through.
    http://audacity.sourceforge.net/
     
  4. macrumors 601

    #4
    "Is there a simple player app that allows me to skip back with a single-key stroke?"

    Try a little app called "QTAmateur":
    http://www.mikeash.com/software/qtamateur/

    Small, simple, easy, free.
    Runs fine on Mountain Lion.
     
  5. macrumors regular

    #5
    Thanks for the suggestions so far. Seems like such a simple request, but it's harder to find a good solution that you'd think. The apps you guys recommended kind of work, but are not really a *good* solution.

    Doug's iTunes script is probably the closest, but I find the rewind by a fix number of seconds too inflexible. I also don't really like the "one time it rewinds, the other time it stops playback" alternation.

    Audacity frankly is a bit overwhelming. Yes, it does rewind by using the arrow key, but when I hit space to start/stop it always restarts from the beginning of the file instead of just continuing where I stopped. Sometimes, when I want to jump around by clicking in the timeline, I found myself setting markers and then rewinding with the <- key will never go back beyond that marker. It also has to import/convert my files first instead of simply opening them, which with my hour-long files can take a long time. I'm sure it's a great sound editor, but some of the quirks from that background make it not work well for me.

    QTAmateur is simply a skin for QuickTime and has the same drawback as the QT Player itself: rewinding with the arrow key stops playback. Also, it has no time counter, which is critical.

    If anyone has a better suggestion, I'd appreciate it. I was just thinking it would be cool if you could rewind / ffwd using the mouse scroll wheel. Not holding my breath though. I think some DJ-type apps may be able to do this, but they'd probably be overkill, price and feature-wise, for what I'm trying to do. Funny how with all this modern tech, it seems so hard to replicate something as simple as the rewind button on a good old tape player.
     
  6. macrumors demi-god

    GGJstudios

    #6
    As indicated on the link I posted for that script:
     
  7. macrumors regular

    #7
    I saw that and I read the ReadMe. Yes, you can change it, but you still need to select a fix number of seconds. Not the same as "rewind as long as I hold the button".
     

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