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The very important issue of Auto-Save

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  • The very important issue of Auto-Save

    As an owner of four 1010 products which l love,I hope to plead the case that auto-save is a vital feature for all of the products to have and while the argument could be made for "more exciting" features, lack of auto-save is really a core issue of usability and "stickiness" when it comes to using the platform currently.

    1. One of the core benefits with using Eurorack is its stand-alone nature - most modules, since they are analog, will boot up in the same state you left it in - for products like Bitbox and Toolbox to be more "invisible" or integrated in such an environment, auto-save would increase usability, decrease unintended data loss, and feel less scary when power cycling a Eurorack system. And of course, a lot of us use Eurorack as an alternative to computer-based platforms - needing to save feels too much like a computer workflow...

    2. More and more digital devices are implementing an auto-save behavior – Intellijel Rainmaker did this in the last year and I found myself using it more after the change. I got so frustrated that Rainmaker would lose state after a power cycle that I actually stopped using it, and once auto-save was implemented it changed the way I looked at the module and I use it more regularly now – Many digital module manufacturers are starting to do this as well.

    3. The notion of needing to "Save" your work is becoming antiquated in modern computing/cloud products and platforms (think if I had to hit save in Google docs for example). As an idiot, I need something that is more idiot proof

    4. As users, we are currently so reliant on Save to make sure we don't lose work (which is the motivation for writing this post) that it actually takes you out of a creative flow and puts you in an administrative flow instead - so much of what makes 1010 products great is the instant, hands-on nature of manipulating audio and its parameters - to then need to switch to worrying about "will that be there tomorrow?" is a major downside.

    5. Ironically, as I write this post I keep seeing a little notification in the bottom right of this forum software saying "auto-save" - it's a sign.

    Thanks for listening and the consideration as always, and thank you for all of your great work and continuing to make the platform better with each release!

  • #2
    I'm not sure if you're asking for this with regard to Blackbox, and as this is the only one I have that's all I can speak about. If we had autosave, i would only want it if it was as an toggle option.
    I want to decided when I save a preset and not have it happen while make a load of changes I can't undo. If i'm experimenting with a preset and jamming with its settings, id not want that to be autosaved over my original.
    With a lot of cloud based documents and autosave, you often have the benefit of previous versions to roll back, which we dont have on our devices.


    • #3
      Would also need some kind of "performance mode" where autosave is turned off for a session. If the autosave process glitches or cuts audio during a performance or recording, that would not be good...


      • #4

        Thanks for the passionate request. I guess you haven't been with us long enough to know that the first versions of bitbox had autosave. My previous work was in the iOS space where autosave is the norm. I completely get your points. That's where we started.

        Over the first several months of bitbox, people brought to my attention how instruments work differently. Unlike productivity apps, where every change is something you usually want to keep, electronic music involves lots of experimentation and frequent discarding of ideas. Imagine loading a preset you carefully crafted, messing around with it, and then wanting to walk away from your changes. I know there are some awkward solutions here, like revert changes.

        Here is another example: In the middle of the gig, you frequently want to recall a snapshot and start manipulating it. When practicing, autosaving gets in your way and keeps your manipulations when you don't want them.

        I think we can agree that the "Save Changes? Y/N" dance is insanity. I have read Alan Cooper's books and agree with him about that.

        That's how we ended up where we are now: with a traditional model where you have to manually save stuff you want to keep.

        I guess it all comes down to the amount of experimenting you do versus productive work.

        I hope this helps. I look forward to your thoughts.


        • #5
          Thanks for the reply and pardon the delay of mine. I am of course aware that Bitbox used to have autosave and as stated, I am seeing this more and more in digital Eurorack modules as an option; it can be turned on/off depending on the preference. Another example of auto-save done well is in a module I recently picked up – the Five12 Vector Sequencer which I pair with my 1010 Toolbox – I find it really nice for being able to work towards a bigger composition and create a larger library of sequences without the worry of file management.

          After looking through this forum and seeing the comments above, I have found that others are interested in some sort of an auto-save feature across 1010 products as well but I think there is broad agreement that it would need to be some sort of an option to turn on/off. I think that would be great personally, because then, depending on how you use your 1010 module/blackbox, we would get what we are after (either a "where you left off" workflow or a "bookmark back to where you saved").

          Of course a third (and perhaps less desirable) option would be to have some sort of undo history or proper versioning/bookmark system where generally, it is always auto-saving but you can easily mark or get back to starting points that are relevant for live performance or other scenarios where this is desirable.

          Either way, thanks for listening!