svenr

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 6, 2003
218
0
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.
 

svenr

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 6, 2003
218
0
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.
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,468
851
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.
As indicated on the link I posted for that script:
The default rewind time can be changed with a simple edit to the script. You can also return focus to the application you are typing in with another edit. Read Me explains all.
 

svenr

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 6, 2003
218
0
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".
 

meherdadk

macrumors newbie
Jun 18, 2017
1
0
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".
hi, have you found any player you were looking for? i have same problem as you. if you found any app, please let me know. tnx
 

macboy10000

macrumors newbie
Nov 28, 2017
1
0
hi y'll. i understand this is a real problem. i'm also transcribing an ungodly amount of audio just for my own studies.

in any case, i did not try the above. however, doing a quick search for vlc player on google i found that for mac:
command + option + left button = 10 seconds backwards PLUS STILL PLAYING (which is so important).
command + control + left button = 3 seconds backwards, also still playing.

so i think this about solves it for us. i created this acc jus for this :)

hav a gd one
 

0002378

Suspended
May 28, 2017
675
671
hi y'll. i understand this is a real problem. i'm also transcribing an ungodly amount of audio just for my own studies.

in any case, i did not try the above. however, doing a quick search for vlc player on google i found that for mac:
command + option + left button = 10 seconds backwards PLUS STILL PLAYING (which is so important).
command + control + left button = 3 seconds backwards, also still playing.

so i think this about solves it for us. i created this acc jus for this :)

hav a gd one

Hi, yes, VLC player is great.

I wanted to offer you one more alternative. You can try it out if interested.

I wrote a free audio player that gives you a totally configurable seek interval and segment looping.

You can go to Preferences and set your seek time to any interval between 3 seconds and 5 minutes, in 1 second intervals (you can't do 0.5 seconds).

Anyway, my audio player is here: App download link

And, all the information is here: https://github.com/maculateConception/aural-player
 
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