Audio on Cue 2

for iPad and Mac

The Audio on Cue 2 application allows you to create a play list using the audio items in your Music library on your device. Unlike playing the list in your Music application, songs are played one-at-a-time on your command - the next song in the list doesn't start until you tell it to. This application is designed for use by anyone who needs to control sound at a live event such as a talent show or musical production.

Plays Lists

Play lists are stored as files. Each play list file can be stored locally on your device or in iCloud. iCloud play lists can be shared across devices. A play list consists of a number of items. Items are either audio or text. Audio items (a.k.a. cues) contain audio. The audio for each cue is stored in the play list file (so the files can, and do, get large and, if stored in iCloud, can take a while to sync.) Text items allow you (while in play mode) to enter text in the play list between cues. I use the text items to either store instructions or check lists or script text to put context around the cues.

Modes

When a play list is opened, it can be in either Play mode or Edit mode.

In Play mode, the cues can be loaded and played. Notes about cues can be entered and edited for cues. Text for text items can be entered and edited while in play mode.

(Cue notes were my first attempt at providing the ability to place textual cue context in a play list. Cue notes worked for some of my uses such as talent shows but failed miserably for musicals. When doing a musical I need the text to be in between the cues and not embedded within the cue. So I create text items.)

In Edit mode, audio and text items can be added, deleted and re-ordered. The name of the cue can be changed. You can edit details about the audio item for a cue. This will allow you to adjust the start and end times used for the audio. (For example you can - non-destructively - trim the silence from audio or isolate a specific segment of the audio to play.) You can also change the title and artist of the item in the cue.

Audio Files

When audio is added to a play list, you select audio from your iTunes library (iPad) or from your computer's storage (Mac.) The selected audio is loaded from your source and added to the play list file. Only audio located on your source device can be added. (Music stored in iCloud can not be selected unless/until it is downloaded to the device.) Since play lists can be shared (via iCloud or be file copying,) the audio must exist within the play list file. This was a lesson learned from the original Audio on Cue application. The unfortunate side effect of storing the audio in the file is that the files can (and do) get large. The larger a file is, the longer it will take iCloud to initially sync the file to other devices.

Cue Transitions

There are three cue transitions available in Audio on Cue 2:

  1. Load on finish
  2. Load on start
  3. Start on finish

"Load on finish" works same as cue transitions did in Audio on Cue (1). When the audio for the preceding cue completes, the cue is loaded and waits for user input to start.

"Load on start" works by loading the cue when the audio for the preceding cue is started. The cue still waits for user input to start, but the cue can be started before the preceding cue completes. This allows Audio on Cue 2 to accommodate situations where you need to have more than one cue playing at same time. (For example, sound effects in a theatrical production triggered off of the timing of actor movements.)

"Start on finish" works by loading and starting the cue automatically once the preceding cue completes. I personally came across situations where I just wanted the cue to start without my needing to manually start the cue.

By default, cues are set to load on finish of the preceding cue.

(Version 1.0 of Audio on Cue 2 defined the cue transition for a cue in the preceding cue. Version 1.1 changed that so the cue transition for the cue is defined in the cue relative to the preceding cue.)

Include / Hide Cue 

Audio items by default are included in the play list. If you don't want the cue in the play list when you are in play mode, you can either delete the cue from the play list or hide it. I added the hide feature because in theatrical situations you may mount a production of the same show with different ariations. I wanted to have all the cues available in the play list even though some of the them may have been cut for the current production. Hiding a cue also keeps the cue numbering in place relative to all the cue (hidden or not) in the play list. If Cue #2 is cut from a production, hiding cue 2 in the play list will keep cue 3 labeled as "CUE 3" in the play list. 

Cue Scroll Actions

When a cue is loaded, you an specify three different actions for the play list to handle the loaded cue:

  1. Scroll the cue to the top of the screen
  2. Scroll the cue to the bottom of the screen
  3. Do nothing - don't scroll the cue at all

By default, cues scroll to the top of the screen when loaded.