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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.

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    • #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...

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      • #4
        nohumans,

        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.

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        • #5
          Aaron,
          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!

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          • #6
            Here's a potential solution.

            Just keep a single "Auto-Save" preset for the auto-save feature to save into. This way, you don't need to prompt anything, it holds whatever the last loaded and modified content is, saving your ass from a crash or power loss, but doesn't get in the way of the existing workflow, doesn't update a file you didn't mean too over-write. If something happens, you can load from that preset instead of the one you were working on

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Aaron View Post

              I think we can agree that the "Save Changes? Y/N" dance is insanity.
              Yup.
              I tweak constantly.
              Given that changes worth keeping are [unfortunately] the exception, actively NOT saving would constitute administrative hell.

              This reminds me of a timeless UX pitfall... asking the user questions like "Are you sure you don't not want to save?".
              Don't make me think.

              Also, related: regardless of the make & model of my production instruments, I'm notorious for accidentally overwriting or failing to save stuff.
              I made a conscious decision some time ago to not let this upset me, (not easy).
              Either I do it over, start something new, or call it a day.
              I dunno, maybe it's the aging bassist in me. To me, learning to actually play means developing the ability to reproduce good results, among other things.


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              • #8
                Originally posted by nohumans View Post
                Aaron,
                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.
                This.
                I also own a vector sequencer and I'd like to have the possibility to turn on/off the autosave.
                As a owner of 2 bitbox mk2 I'd like to say that experimentation can also be productive work. Yesterday I spent 1 hour slicing samples and preparing a preset, suddenly the power went out and I lost all my work.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by shankiphonic View Post


                  I dunno, maybe it's the aging bassist in me. To me, learning to actually play means developing the ability to reproduce good results, among other things.

                  I agree with you that one should develop the ability to reproduce good results, but I think that worrying about saving your work after x minutes in order to prevent accidents in a 600dollars digital unit is not that nice.

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                  • #10
                    A bit a digging but yesterday I power of m'y setup without saving and lost hours of sample tweaking.

                    For exemple my OXI One and my Torso T-1 have a "last state" on boot, even if you don't save your last work on a project.
                    From this last state, you can call back you last saved project if you want, wich is not the auto saved last state.

                    I can't think of an easier and more acceptable way to do it.

                    What did tout think of it ?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by yamakazi666 View Post

                      For exemple my OXI One and my Torso T-1
                      Neither of these devices actually make any sound.
                      This isn't a good comparison because OXI One and T-1 don't deal with audio.
                      Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but neither of those devices use SD cards.

                      On most digital cameras, with removable storage, the default behavior is for there to be a tiny bit of lag between snapshots. that's when the data is being written to the card. more expensive cameras have priority settings that let you take continuous photos, sacrificing other features.
                      Still, the camera depends on the person to press a button to tell it to save. and when it saves, you wait.

                      How often are you willing to be interrupted by the box and forced to wait for autosave?
                      How is the blackbox supposed to know when it should save? Is it supposed to save every time you add a step, or every time you tweak the filter on a pad? every 4th change? every 12th change? Whenever a system interferes with what I'm trying to do, it always seems like the "worst" time.


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                      • #12
                        Sorry if I irritated you in any way, i'm just trying to make suggestions.
                        But I also have basic hardware programing skills...

                        I don't know how saving is designed here, but I can't imagine it being as heavy and as outdated as you describe it.
                        You make it looks like a volca drum, you can save any time BUT, it write internal memory only when you power it off, not when you unplug it. But a volca drum is a not that much powerfull than a scientific desktop graphic calculator​ where Black Box is a tiny computer (you even can run doom on it ^^).

                        Also, I'm not sure digital cameras are good comparison, but when you have to write 48M photos or 4k video on a SD card, you wait, maybe, but how many time ?
                        I own and use a blackmagic pocket 6k, OK writing in 6k RAW on a SD card don't work (I use SSD for that), but writing compressed lower res works perfectly. And we are talking of big chunk of files here, not just settings. When you shoot and preview you file, some camera write then read it, but you don't need to read it at all on black box, only one time when you fire your unit.

                        In an other hand, I'm pretty sure midi controller are, and I'm sorry if I'm wrong but, when you save a project with your Black Box, you don't have to save audio files you've loaded in RAM back to internal storage... because, you already read it from it ! You just save what file you've loaded, where to find it, what settings you use...

                        If I understand it correctly, Black Box load audio files and settings in RAM, so your project run even if you get your card out.
                        So, maybe the saved project is a big dump of the RAM with audio files and shit.

                        But what makes it impossible to write small info like filter on a pad every time a user change it (not when LFO change it of course) in both RAM and SD when a SD is present ?
                        Obviously, you need more CPU when you are playing than when you just tweak, so, what makes impossible to autosave only when there is no clock signal generating or incoming (but I really think it is not as CPU intense as you may think) ?
                        I don't know if recorded files are auto saved or not, but I think they are already write to the memory directly the load in RAM, but I may have wrong.
                        If not, maybe they are write in RAM so you can dump it at when you both reach the end of the recording and there is no clock signal.

                        You even don't have to change how Projects are saved currently, you just make a file that is temporary.
                        When you fire the black box, it load you last project, and if there is a temporary file, it load it on the top of you project.
                        If you don't want thoses changes anymore, you just load your project from project menu and your temporary file is gone.

                        If I'm wrong, I'm wrong, no one owes me any explanation.
                        But if someone has to explain to me that I'm wrong, I prefer it to be with facts and, if possible, without paternalism... it's not necessary​ or valuable for anyone.

                        Edit : And sorry if i misread your post, as you may have understood already, I'm not fluent in english.
                        Last edited by yamakazi666; 09-17-2022, 07:09 AM. Reason: Add some balance

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                        • #13
                          Just save a lot. I have never used autosave on any device. I always turn it off as it is annoying. Always save your work constantly - Producing 101.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by MixWithPassion View Post
                            Just save a lot. I have never used autosave on any device. I always turn it off as it is annoying. Always save your work constantly - Producing 101.
                            Thank you for that captain obvious ^^
                            Agree to disagree on that, in 2022 autosave is 100% background process. And I'm taliking about background process... Sof ieven background process is annoying for the 1010music community, I understand why everyone is so intense here

                            Drink Water - Living 101

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