Scratch Live 1.3 Release Notes

14 February, 2005

Scratch Live version 1.3

Version 1.3 has many performance improvements. You will notice a substantial improvement in the needle dropping latency, and much greater stability under high loads (for example when running at lower buffer settings). There is now a batch overview filler, new marker layout, a lot more keyboard shortcuts, and track preview using your default media player. Scratch Live can handle a wider range of bad MP3s, and will indicate which MP3s are bad. The screen refresh rate can be turned down if you want to make more of your computer’s processor available for audio processing, and there are new warnings displayed if you have problems with the USB buffer.

If you run Scratch Live with the hardware interface disconnected, you will notice a button labeled build overviews. Click this to automatically build the overviews for all the tracks in your library. The track name (and location) are shown in the field immediately below the button. Below this are three more bars. The first bar shows track reading progress, the second bar shows overview building, and the third bar shows track writing progress. Use the build overview function to prepare the overviews of all your tracks before you spin.

You will also find that every track will have a slight pause the first time that you load it after you upgrade to 1.3, as if the track had never been loaded before. (Tip: Check the tips and tricks section for a handy app that will automatically load each track for you: http://www.scratchlive.net/forum/discussion/?discussion_id=473#new )

The layout of the markers has changed. There is now a single button to add a marker, and an associated keyboard shortcut – ctrl-comma for the left deck, and ctrl-dot for the right deck. You can jump to a marker using the play button to the left of each marker, and clear a marker using the x button to the right. As always, the markers are ordered chronologically. (note: the reduced "needle dropping"? time means that you now have almost instantaneous cueing from markers. Mark a nice clear kick, snare and hi-hat, and you have a drum machine!)

Version 1.3 adds mouse scrubbing in internal mode. Click on the waveform and drag to move. You can use this feature to set markers when away form your turntables/CD players. (Tip from one of our beta testers – connect the output of one channel of Scratch Live to the line in / mic input of your computer. This will allow you to listen to your tracks and set markers using the speakers on your laptop). To switch between the default single colored waveform view and the three-band view, hold ctrl, and click on the waveform.

To preview tracks in your computer’s default media player, highlight a track and press ctrl-o. This will launch the application associated with that file type, and start playback (also applies to files in the import window).

Scratch Live now handles a wide range of corrupt MP3s. You will notice a new icon in the status column for files that have some corruption. The status column is the leftmost column in the library. These files will play, but there will be dropouts.
We have also introduced new icons for tracks imported from iTunes that Scratch Live cannot find and tracks imported from iTunes that have some corruption. For more information, and pictures of the new icons, see page 14 of the user manual (get it here: http://scratchlive.net/downloads/files/1472/sslman.pdf )

New keyboard shortcuts have been added; ctrl-n to start a new microphone recording, F1/F6 to switch to absolute mode (left deck/right deck), F2/F7 for Relative mode, F3/F8 for Internal mode. Ctrl-p will add the selected tracks to the prepare window, and you can also drag tracks onto the prepare button if the prepare window is not open.

The keyboard shortcut ctrl-f has changed. It will take you to the main library, and clear the existing search query, as in 1.2, but unlike 1.2, when you click on another crate or playlist, the search query will now be cleared automatically. You can now include the label, remixer, grouping and composer tags in searches. Press the magnifying glass icon to the left of the search box to choose which tags you want to search.

When playing regular vinyl, you will notice that Scratch Live attempts to decode the incoming signal, which usually results in the strange movement on the Virtual Deck. While this doesn’t cause any problems, it may be distracting. You can now un-load tracks by pressing the eject button next to each Virtual Deck (keyboard shortcut ctrl-alt-arrow).

The main waveform is now brighter, the beat matching view clearer, and the progress indicator on the overview is brighter. Year and Composer tags have been added to the main library view, and you can now only enter numeric characters in the BPM field. (Note: for those of you who are having problems with multiple BPM tags, we will be addressing this in version 1.4)

You will see a new slider in the setup screen labeled maximum screen updates. This feature allows you to throttle back the screen refresh rate. Users with slower computers might like to do this if they are having performance issues. It could also be usefull if you want to limit Scratch Live’s processor usage, for example if you are running a recording program at the same time. The default setting is 60 Hz, or refreshed 60 times per second. This setting applies to the entire screen (i.e. The virtual decks, the waveforms, the library, and the setup screen)
USB dropouts, or lost audio packets, are the biggest cause of audible glitches. Version 1.3 includes a warning to let you know when USB dropouts occur. A small light will appear between the Scratch Live logo and the input reverse switch. The light will be red for one second, and orange for four seconds. Thus, if it is continuously red, there are USB dropouts at least once per second. (No doubt you will hear it in the audio output).

If you do experience USB drop outs:
- Increase the USB audio buffer size (in the setup screen)
- Try closing other applications running at the same time as Scratch Live
- Try turning off background tasks, for example, wireless networking
- Try some of the computer optimization tips in the Tips and Tricks section
- If your CPU load is very high, try decreasing the maximum screen updates (in the setup screen).

If you can't see this light, things are working as they should. But, if your curious, try playing with the USB cable, you'll probably see the light come up just before you loose the connection to the hardware interface.

You can now order crates manually, as you could in 1.1 (in 1.2 they were forced alphabetically). Simply drag crates up and down in the crate list. There are two new tick boxes in the setup screen – you can choose to only show playable files in the import screen (show all file types), and you can choose to display percentage pitch shift on the virtual Deck, or pitched BPM (show pitched BPM). The status bar that runs across the bottom of the main screen has now been added to the setup screen, so that when you rescan ID3 tags, you will see the progress in the setup screen. The battery power warning has also been added to the setup screen.

We’ve fixed one of the bugs that could cause songs to appear more than once in the library on Mac (with the duplicates shown as ‘not found’). We suspect there might be cases where this can still occur, please let us know if it does so that we can eliminate this problem in version 1.4.
We also optimized Scratch Live to work with the Denon DN-S3000 CD player. Please let us know if these changes had improved performance with this model.

This is the public preview of version 1.3. If we find any problems with this version, we will fix them before releasing 1.3 final version, which will be burnt to CD and shipped with new units. 1.3 final will be available for download here.

Thanks to everybody for your continued support, and patience while we finished this version, we hope you enjoy it! Keep spreading the word!
Change log
- Increased priority of file decoding when buffer running low (less likely to run out when backspinning)
- Fixed bugs reading 24 bit AIFF files (Mac only)
- Added new built-in help items
- Fixed bugs when importing iTunes libraries
- Fixed bug where no text would be displayed when the verdana font was not installed (MAC only)
- Restricted latency settings on the Mac version
- Fixed bugs when importing corrupt database files
- Fixed bug where switching from the setup screen while paused in Internal mode with the record playing would cause the current track to play
- Fixed bug where PC versions would crash at startup when importing large numbers of crates
- Fixed bug where the vinyl scroll sensitivity was not saved correctly
- Fixed bugs when setting markers before the start of a song
- Fixed bug which caused playlists to redraw unnecessarily when editing tags
- Fixed bug where Scratch Live would crash when starting at screen resolutions below 960 x 720 (Windows only)
- Fixed bugs in the main waveform display
- Allow GUI more time when file read buffer close to empty
- Added mouse scrubbing on the main waveform display (in internal mode)
- Clicking on the waveform while holding ctrl now changes the waveform mode (single colored wave or three-band view)
- Added eject buttons to the label view
- Added warning for when audio dropouts are detected
- Fixed bugs when reading the ID3v2 track number tag
- Fixed bug where opening the browse, prepare and import panel could push the currently selected song off the screen
- Fixed bug where pushing the repeat button while a song was loaded on both decks would not update both repeat buttons correctly
- Made the current position marker color on the song overview brighter
- Fixed bug where some corrupt ID3 tags (invalid ISOLatin encoding) could crash Mac version
- Added new status icons to the song lists
- Added ctrl-, and ctrl-. for setting markers on the left and right deck
- Fixed bug where the beat matching displays would stretch out when the record was stopped
- Fixed Mac freezing bug when reordering crates
- Increased precision of absolute mode tracking
- Added a preference to display the pitched BPM for a song
- Added checks for corrupt MP3 files
- Changed the marker control layout
- Fixed bug where certain corrupt MP3 files would break the “virtual needle´┐Ż? resulting in one channel dropping out
- Added searching of label, remixer, grouping and composer tags
- Fixed bug where users could enter non-numeric characters into the BPM edit box
- Improved handling of certain corrupted MP3 files
- Added F6, F7, and F8 to switch between absolute, internal and relative modes on deck B
- Added F1, F2, and F3 to switch between absolute, internal and relative modes on deck A
- Added ctrl-n to begin microphone recording
- Added ctrl-p to add selected songs to the prepare list
- Added status bar to setup screen
- Added battery power warning to setup screen
- Added reading of disc number ID3 tag to improve album sorting
- Filtered the files in the import panel to show only files that can be
imported
- Added clearing of the search field when changing playlists
- Fixed bug where the page up, page down, home and end keys would not work
in the browse panel
- Fixed bug where Mac version would read some unicode tags incorrectly
- Fixed bug introduced in 1.2 where non-english iTunes files would not
import
- Added preference for GUI update rate
- Brightened the waveform display
- Changed the look of the scrolling beat display
- Fixed bugs in AIFF overview reading
- Improved robustness of MP3 decoder
- Fixed lock-up that could occur when importing iTunes library and libraries from several disks simultaneously
- Changed numeric displays on the label views
- Fixed GUI bug where the abs/rel/int controls would draw when the input reverse switch was toggled and the interface was disconnected
- Increased priority of mp3 decoding over time consuming GUI tasks
- Fixed bugs when saving the ordering of songs within crates
- Enabled Mac font substitution to support a wider range of Unicode characters
- Fixed Mac bug where library would sometimes double up with duplicates located in /Network/
- Added the ability to drag and drop songs onto the prepare button
- Fixed bugs when reading ID3v2 BPM tags
- Added ctrl-o to play the selected song in the default media player
- Added "Year" column to song lists
- Added "Composer" column to song lists
- Fixed bugs in ID3v2 tag reader
- Fixed bug where iTunes playlists would not keep their column preferences
- Fixed bugs editing ID3 genre tags
- Added manual crate ordering
- Added batch analysis



Running more than one version of Scratch Live

Installing this version will by default overwrite any previous version you had installed, however it is easy to have more than one version of Scratch Live installed if you wish.

If you have an important gig coming up, you might like to stick with the version you know until you are comfortable with this version. Here's how to do it:
Windows Users

Before installing, find the Scratch Live executable (by default it is in C:\Program files\Serato\ScratchLIVE, and rename it. It makes sense to name it in a way that suggests which version of Scratch Live it is. For example, if you're renaming Scratch Live 1.9.2 call it Scratch Live 1.9.2.exe. When you install the new version, the old executable will not be deleted, and you can choose which you want to run by going into that folder and double clicking on the appropriate executable.

Mac users

Before installing, rename the existing application file as above (eg. Scratch Live 1.9.2) - you have to be admin to rename it. (If you aren't admin, you can copy it to another location, and then rename it.)

Backing up your data

Before you make any changes to your Scratch Live setup, including installing a new version, as a general rule we highly recommend that you backup your data and your music files. The easiest way to backup your data is to simply copy your Scratch Live folder to another location on the drive:

  • For the drive that contains "My Documents" (or your Home drive on Mac), just copy the Scratch Live folder which is in "My Documents\My Music\" to another location on this drive. Alternatively make a copy of the folder where it already is and rename it by adding the date to the folder name so you know what's in the backup.
  • To back up the database and crates from an external drive, copy the _ScratchLive_ folder (which is in the root of the drive) into another folder on the same drive.

Version: Scratch Live 1.3
Platform: Win