Still so many issues for Windows 10

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
mhoyledesign
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Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2016 4:40 am

Still so many issues for Windows 10

Post by mhoyledesign » Sat Jan 28, 2017 4:06 am

I've been very frustrated the past year. About a year ago I purchased Live 9 and a brand new Surface Pro 4. It has a multitouch trackpad, a high-resolution ("retina") display, a touchscreen, and a pen. Every other app I've used has zero issues with these things, because they are standards in Windows 10, and becoming increasingly prevalent in new hardware. The majority of high-end Windows 10 laptops feature all of these, except for the pen which is of course less common. Here are the issues I have for each of these user interfaces:

Multitouch trackpad
  • No horizontal scrolling. It works fine in literally every other app I use. Why is horizontal scrolling not working?
  • Vertical scrolling is extremely insensitive. You really have to make an exaggerated vertical scroll gesture, and when you do the velocity makes you scroll further then you wanted to. It's ridiculously clunky. Every other app scrolls very smoothly.
  • No pinch to zoom. Works fine in every other app.
High-resolution display
  • I can clearly see that nothing is actually rendering natively for high resolution displays. Everything is obviously rendered at 1/4 resolution and just scaled up 4x. Text is pixellated and slightly blurry. Once again, every other app has no issue rendering using the native Windows 10 graphics system to support high resolution displays.
  • This is partly the responsibility of the VST vendors, but I feel that it is something that should have been tested and fixed: Opening certain VSTs will kick Ableton out of that 4x scaling I mentioned, making everything unusably small. The DAW window appears 1/4 of the size it appeared before. This is a serious bug.
Touchscreen
  • It is impossible to turn knobs or slide faders with any reasonable results on the touchscreen. It can be fixed by locating the hidden options file and enabling AbsoluteMouseMode, but I can't understand for the life of me why this is not the default.
  • There is no scrolling with the touchscreen. NONE.
    A HUGE portion, if not the majority, of high end Windows 10 laptops have touchscreens. The fact that out of the box Ableton doesn't have true support for touch is just crazy.
Pen
  • Most apps that are not optimized for the standardized Windows 10 pen APIs simply use the pen exactly as a mouse. Most pens, like the Surface Pro / 4 / Book / Studio pens, have a button on the side that functions exactly the same as right click. For some reason this doesn't work in Ableton Live. I don't even understand how this is possible. However, there is a trick that I figured out that makes right click work, and it's a pain that often has side effects. If you click the side button and swipe up slightly with the tip, then the right click context menu pops up. There are so many vital pieces of functionality that you can only access through this menu if you're not using a keyboard, so support for this simple right click is critical.
I have a strong sense that the designers and developers at Ableton do not care about Windows users, as the support for these user interface elements that are now standard in Windows 10. The designers and developers are a generation behind. It is disappointing because I've used Ableton Live on a MacBook and there is clearly an effort to support things like retina displays, multitouch trackpads, etc. It's been a year since I started using this machine and nothing I've brought up here has been fixed yet. What is the roadmap for support for each of these issues?

h4nc0
Posts: 141
Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2008 10:58 pm

Re: Still so many issues for Windows 10

Post by h4nc0 » Sat Jan 28, 2017 4:58 am

mhoyledesign wrote:I have a strong sense that the designers and developers at Ableton do not care about Windows users, as the support for these user interface elements that are now standard in Windows 10. The designers and developers are a generation behind. It is disappointing because I've used Ableton Live on a MacBook and there is clearly an effort to support things like retina displays, multitouch trackpads, etc. It's been a year since I started using this machine and nothing I've brought up here has been fixed yet. What is the roadmap for support for each of these issues?
I was a mac user for years but recently switching back to Windows. Ableton almost immediately supported Retina display for Mac vesions, but still nothing for Windows high DPI. I am actually shocked.

Stefan Jantschek
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Location: Berlin

Re: Still so many issues for Windows 10

Post by Stefan Jantschek » Sat Jan 28, 2017 6:56 am


Stromkraft
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Re: Still so many issues for Windows 10

Post by Stromkraft » Sat Jan 28, 2017 12:57 pm

h4nc0 wrote: I was a mac user for years but recently switching back to Windows. Ableton almost immediately supported Retina display for Mac vesions
No, they didn't. They did after much complaining.
h4nc0 wrote: but still nothing for Windows high DPI. I am actually shocked.
I thought at the time that the reason for the delay on Mac was that they wanted cross-compatibility so this is somewhat surprising.
Last edited by Stromkraft on Sat Jan 28, 2017 1:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Stromkraft
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Re: Still so many issues for Windows 10

Post by Stromkraft » Sat Jan 28, 2017 1:01 pm

mhoyledesign wrote: Multitouch trackpad
  • No horizontal scrolling. It works fine in literally every other app I use. Why is horizontal scrolling not working?
  • Vertical scrolling is extremely insensitive. You really have to make an exaggerated vertical scroll gesture, and when you do the velocity makes you scroll further then you wanted to. It's ridiculously clunky. Every other app scrolls very smoothly.
  • No pinch to zoom. Works fine in every other app.
[I'm sorry I missed the trackpad thing for some reason, so removed my erroneous comment on that touch display]

It's actually somewhat puzzling the lack of support in Live for some control devices and some control actions that seem to explore OS APIs and ought to often be possible to implement. If Ableton offered alternatives for GUI control that might be more acceptable.
Last edited by Stromkraft on Sun Jan 29, 2017 8:29 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Stefan Jantschek
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Location: Berlin

Re: Still so many issues for Windows 10

Post by Stefan Jantschek » Sun Jan 29, 2017 3:33 am

Stromkraft wrote: Was Live designed and advertised as a touch-capable app? Nope. Just use mouse and keyboard or go Bitwig.
We should not mix up touch-capable apps with touchpad capabilities.

While the sense of the first can be seen truly controvers, touchpad capabilities (2 finger scroll, zoom etc.) are nowadays common in almost every commercial application.

*S.

Stromkraft
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Re: Still so many issues for Windows 10

Post by Stromkraft » Sun Jan 29, 2017 8:22 am

Stefan Jantschek wrote:
Stromkraft wrote: Was Live designed and advertised as a touch-capable app? Nope. Just use mouse and keyboard or go Bitwig.
We should not mix up touch-capable apps with touchpad capabilities.

While the sense of the first can be seen truly controvers, touchpad capabilities (2 finger scroll, zoom etc.) are nowadays common in almost every commercial application.

*S.
Oh, you're right of course. And the OP used a touch pad? [edit, apparently "trackpad" was in the subheader, duh!]. My bad. I must have been really tired when I responded to that. Obviously, I'd say, Ableton need to improve control device support on both platforms.
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h4nc0
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Re: Still so many issues for Windows 10

Post by h4nc0 » Sun Jan 29, 2017 4:02 pm

Stromkraft wrote: No, they didn't. They did after much complaining.
It seems almost "immediate" compared to Windows support.

Stromkraft
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Re: Still so many issues for Windows 10

Post by Stromkraft » Sun Jan 29, 2017 10:32 pm

h4nc0 wrote:
Stromkraft wrote: No, they didn't. They did after much complaining.
It seems almost "immediate" compared to Windows support.
I'm not sure highres displays were that common among Windows users back then. Maybe there are number of different solutions for this so it's harder to support with the same solution as the Retinas got.

Isn't it also time that plug-in makers wake up and realize they need flexible, yet light on resources, GUIs now?
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mhoyledesign
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Re: Still so many issues for Windows 10

Post by mhoyledesign » Wed Feb 01, 2017 2:47 pm

Stefan Jantschek wrote:
Stromkraft wrote: Was Live designed and advertised as a touch-capable app? Nope. Just use mouse and keyboard or go Bitwig.
We should not mix up touch-capable apps with touchpad capabilities.

While the sense of the first can be seen truly controvers, touchpad capabilities (2 finger scroll, zoom etc.) are nowadays common in almost every commercial application.

*S.
It's also worth taking into consideration that the direction that Apple and their third party developers took touch interaction design is quite different than the simplicity of adapting a mouse interface to touch. A lot of the time a simple shim that turns touch events into mouse events is all that is needed. In my personal experience as a user experience designer almost any good UI can be made touchable without significant rework, and if something isn't optimal for touch then it probably isn't optimal for mouse either. I usually to communicate to my team and clients that mouse and touch should have parity in interaction.

Stromkraft
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Re: Still so many issues for Windows 10

Post by Stromkraft » Wed Feb 01, 2017 7:26 pm

mhoyledesign wrote:
Stefan Jantschek wrote:
Stromkraft wrote: Was Live designed and advertised as a touch-capable app? Nope. Just use mouse and keyboard or go Bitwig.
We should not mix up touch-capable apps with touchpad capabilities.

While the sense of the first can be seen truly controvers, touchpad capabilities (2 finger scroll, zoom etc.) are nowadays common in almost every commercial application.

*S.
It's also worth taking into consideration that the direction that Apple and their third party developers took touch interaction design is quite different than the simplicity of adapting a mouse interface to touch. A lot of the time a simple shim that turns touch events into mouse events is all that is needed. In my personal experience as a user experience designer almost any good UI can be made touchable without significant rework, and if something isn't optimal for touch then it probably isn't optimal for mouse either. I usually to communicate to my team and clients that mouse and touch should have parity in interaction.
You're ignoring the fact that a finger is wider than a mouse pointer, which can be just 1 pixel wide (96 dpi). An interface that allows fine adjusting on that scale does not have to be bad at all.

It's simple to see the consequences of touch by using music apps on the iPad, or why not on the iPhone?
Make some music!

Stefan Jantschek
Posts: 168
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2008 12:01 pm
Location: Berlin

Re: Still so many issues for Windows 10

Post by Stefan Jantschek » Thu Feb 02, 2017 1:53 am

I do truly believe that multigesture touchpads are the future.
Separated from the screen - on workstation applications.
Touchscreens are great for mobile devices/consumer apps.
Mouse is outdated.

*S.

Stromkraft
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Re: Still so many issues for Windows 10

Post by Stromkraft » Thu Feb 02, 2017 2:30 pm

Stefan Jantschek wrote:I do truly believe that multigesture touchpads are the future.
Separated from the screen - on workstation applications.
Touchscreens are great for mobile devices/consumer apps.
Mouse is outdated.
While I prefer the trackpad (I got one external) I think this is a matter of preference.
Make some music!

Stefan Jantschek
Posts: 168
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2008 12:01 pm
Location: Berlin

Re: Still so many issues for Windows 10

Post by Stefan Jantschek » Fri Feb 03, 2017 2:38 am

Hi Stromkraft,

Touchpad/Trackpad - what is the difference?

I haven´t touched a mouse since my notebook-touchpad works that smoothly.

I believe that these HMI´s have the capacity to replace mouse and, if really smart software integrated, even the keyboard.
Which is still based on typewriting machines... :o


*S.

PushMePullYou
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Re: Still so many issues for Windows 10

Post by PushMePullYou » Thu Aug 31, 2017 1:59 am

Molten Music Technology on YouTube has a great video about using Ableton on the Surface Book.
He mentions a setting used to enable touch controls on the Surface screens.

I haven't tried it, but he says that the Ableton "Options.txt" file needs to have "-AbsoluteMouseMode".

Details...
https://youtu.be/o1WH99MiSpE

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