I hereby recommened the keyboard navigation for Rekordbox (in Export mode). It's simple, it's effective, it would allow easier macros and better workflows. To give You an idea what I mean, let's split this up into three sections:
- Example of good keyboard navigation
- The current problem without keyboard navigation in RB
- The future experience with keyboard navigation in RB
1. Example for good keyboard navigation
I am using iTunes alot, basically every day. Since I dislike the slow workflow in iTunes, I created several macros to speed up my work flow for sorting songs and playlists. My macros are e.g.
- create new playlist (Ctrl + N)
- create new intelligent playlist (Ctrl + Alt + N)
- → change option to 'is in playlist' (↹ + ↑↓ + ↵)
- → change option to 'bpm between' (↹ + ↑↓ + ↵)
- create new playlist folder (Alt + delay + D + N + O) (German iTunes)
All of that is possible by pressing keys. In other programs like Photoshop You can use keys to select tools, quickly process the most common actions or even trigger preprogrammed macros.
2. The current problem without keyboard navigation in RB
In rekordbox the keyboard navigation is close to non-existent. Of course You are able to set special commands to Your keys, You can even change them. But can You create a new playlist only using Your keyboard (no mouse)? No, You can't.
Having no possibility to integrate keyboard navigation smoothly into rekordbox is - and please excuse me for saying so - a pain in the ass. The only way I could manage to integrate the keyboard is
- for setting texts in memory Cues and Hot Cues
As You can see, I press the 4 on the num pad of my K95 Platinum (Corsair) to let the macro write '4 b4 / ' and then I press another key to let the macro write 'vocals ↵'
- for changing memory Cue colors
I move the mouse over the memory CUE I want to change, then press a key on my keyboard (depending on the color I want on that memory CUE) and the macro goes
- rightclick (mouse action)
And for what I don't like: pressing the right click includes to move the mouse button over the memory CUE which takes a lot of time - time that can be spared in the future.
But here goes my biggest problem: HOT CUEs.
Let's say You wanted to change the color of my Hot CUE A. What do I usually do? I move the mouse over to Hot CUE A in the row, right click it, move the cursor to the desired color and click with the left mouse button. That's four actions in total of which all are mouse actions (move and click).
Since I was pissed by that, I created a macro which does exactly that. But how come, it didn't work. Why?
- rightclicking the Hot CUE opens the little window, but it opens too slow, my macro was too fast, I had to add a delay before the color is selected. This works - however, normal mouse movements during the delay are bad because the macros uses relative mouse positions instead of absolute positions - I ended up having a different color because I moved the mouse or no change at all. Error rate is high.
- once the macro changed the position of the mouse the highlight of the hovered color didn't appear (white rectangle around the yellow color in the picture above); this made it impossible to just leftclick, nothing happened
- the workaround was that the macro moved the mouse cursor a litte and I also added a delay so that the highlight would appear. However, this works only in 80% of all cases and is a very dirty workaround.
- rightclicking the Hot CUE bar opens the window at the right side, rightclicking the Hot CUE from the colum on the right opens the little color pick window on the left side of the mouse cursor.
So I ended up having 10 different macros - spending 5 hours to create them because of all the workarounds and finding out the relative positions on the screen to select a color.
Now some of You might have noticed that there's a window and inside that window I could just have used the arrow keys to move to my desired color. Guess what? Doesn't work. The 'Reset' option is the farthest You can go.
3. The future experience with keyboard navigation in RB
For the future, I would like to have a keyboard navigation for Rekordbox. Not only to enhance the workflows with macros and shortcuts, but also to acces the menu bar without the mouse, or to create new playlists without using the mouse.
- being able to access the menu bar and every sub menu using the Alt + [letter] combinations. E.g. with Alt + F You can access the File menu in Irfan View (look for the underlined letters)
- being able to create new playlists, playlist folders and so on only navigating with the keyboard. This includes sub menus. The usage of ↹ should be in our daily workflow.
- being able to navigate with the keyboard through little pop up windows like the ones for Hot CUEs and Memory CUES. But since I am me, I go one step further:
- setting in the preferences the following options and binding a key combination to it:
-- 'Change Memory CUE 1 Color' (which basically is a right click on Mem CUE 1)
-- 'Change Memory CUE 2 Color'
- binding a letter to the colors in the popup like 'o' for orange (look at the inserted underscores under the first letter)
either with arrow keys or with letter keys (or best: both options)
- being able to bind following commands to keyboard shortcuts:
-- 'Set next Hot CUE with Color red'
-- 'Set next Hot CUE with Color green'
whereas next means the next free slow in the Hot CUE bar
-- 'Set Memory CUE with Color red'
-- 'Set Memory CUE with Color green'
analog to ot CUEs
That's the basic idea. Hope You agree with me.