ecawave is a graphical sound editing program. It's based (as the name suggests) on ecasound libraries, and is written by the same person who wrote ecasound Kai Vehmanen.

The UI is based on Qt, but it violates just about every principle of Qt design - or any UI design at all... this is hardly surprising, because the command-line ecasound tools are pretty damn hard to use, too. Here are some examples from the idiocies in the design, as of version 2.0.3:

  • Buttons, buttons, and some more buttons. Lots of command buttons with text...
  • Zoom command only zooms to selection, and there's no scrollbars to pan the area.
  • Hey, have you noticed that Qt allows you to underline the button label letter that is used for shortcut? Well, ecawave innovates by (P)arenthetising the (c)ommands.
  • While many commands in the window are logical, some are far from it. Menus are illogical. Why are the "File", "Control" and "Edit" menus in that order? "Control" menu has just "Start" and "Stop", with no explanation what the hell that controls.
  • Status bar shows what's selected and all, but there's no rulers to show time. Program title bar is used for advertising the program's author and copyright claims.

Dammit, I last saw this sort of crappy but remotely usable UIs in Windows 3.1 =)

Okay, the bad sides aside, here's what it really does: The program can do everything Ecasound and LADSPA plugins can! All Ecasound's effects are there; All zillions of infinitely frosty LADSPA plugins are available. This means it's infinitely powerful, like most UNIX programs are when they're compared to Windows counterparts of same price class.

Yet another proof why Ecasound's libraries just plain rock, but the UIs need some serious ironing! =)

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