Players had long requested the ability to try multiple approaches to puzzle solving, either from the beginning of a puzzle or branching off somewhere along the way with multiple strategies.
Tracks are a relatively new feature that make multiple game play paths remain independent of each other.
Using Tracks is relatively easy. Open the Undo menu --> Tracks. Choose a unique or descriptive name for your new Track. Each Track will have its own "Restore Very Best". Yoy may have to choose "advanced GUI" in general Options.
A new Track can be made when resetting a puzzle or at any point thereafter.
When you start a new puzzle, you are given the "Default" track. After closing and reopening your foldit program, Foldit will always load the "Default" - you need to look at your Tracks to find the one you wish to work with. This can be a frequent source of confusion - you think that you've lost your work, when in reality, you just don't have the right Track loaded.
When naming Tracks, always use a unique name, even from puzzle to puzzle - that will help keep your foldit program files from losing a recipe logfile (that can happen if you run the same recipe at the same time on the same named Track).
There are two ways to have multiple copies of Foldit running on the same computer -- you can simply run foldit multiple times, or you can have several separate installs of foldit. Each has advantages and disadvantages.
When using multiple clients on the same computer, if you have only one Foldit program installed on your computer, then opening another client will have your Tracks and the Very Best score available to you without needing to share the score. In this instance the caution is to not run the same Track on multiple clients - if you shut down the highest scoring client first, you may lose that score or be unable to access it. (Please see Multiple Foldit Clients for information on how to set this up in different operating systems)
When using multiple program installations on the same computer, Tracks are a great solution to saving and distinquishing which Foldit client was working on which installation, because you can name them accordingly. The Very Best score for each track, however, is saved to your hard drive in the Foldit program client in which that game was played (the client that you run it in). You need to save and upload your Very Best score for use across program clients.
When you download that Very Best score in another program client, if you wish to keep it as a separate Track, you will need to name it (Tracks are also stored locally on the hard drive in the program client installation).
When using multiple computers, the same applies as if you were using multiple programs on one computer - you will need to upload your Very Best score for use across the separate computers, and name that Track after downloading on another program.
It is always best to save your high scores before closing down any clients.
Things you can do with Tracks:Edit
When running scripts, a common quandry can be which bander, for instance, would be most effective. From a common starting point, set a Track for one choice, then a Track for another.
Another common useage for Tracks is at the start of Multistart puzzles to explore the different alignments.
You can use Tracks to walk a solution well before the deadline using a separate Track, while still working in another Track to find a better solution.