Linked by Rahul on Tue 20th Jan 2009 22:48 UTC
Gnome Phoronix has a overview of the new volume control interface for GNOME currently in development. "One of the items being worked on by Red Hat for Fedora 11 is making the GNOME volume control and sound preferences area more intuitive and easier to use. With Fedora and most other distributions now using PulseAudio, they are beginning to take advantage of some of the features available through this sound server. Some of this work involves reworking the user interface for controlling GNOME Sound Preferences, which we are providing a glimpse of in this article. Among other benefits, there is finally the ability to adjust the volume level on a per-application basis."
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Per-alert and per-app volumes
by Morph on Wed 21st Jan 2009 00:19 UTC
Member since:

The per-alert volumes are a nice feature. Taking this further, one could imagine per-file volumes, where each audio file remembers its own volume setting which is applied each time that audio file is played. It could be saved in an attribute or similar. Like how media players eg WMP save volume levelling data, but system-wide.

I remember reading a nice blog post about the subtleties of Vista's per-app volume mixer. For instance, Vista's mixer keeps listing an app for a few seconds after it stops playing audio, so if some app blares out an alert sound, you can quieten it for next time even after the sound has stopped.
Edit: here's the link:

Edited 2009-01-21 00:22 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Per-alert and per-app volumes
by darknexus on Wed 21st Jan 2009 01:32 UTC in reply to "Per-alert and per-app volumes"
darknexus Member since:

Per file volume? I'm not exactly sure how helpful that would really be, I think it might get in the way more than help. To each their own, I guess.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Per-alert and per-app volumes
by Beta on Wed 21st Jan 2009 15:38 UTC in reply to "RE: Per-alert and per-app volumes"
Beta Member since:

It’s called replay gain, and the majority of audio file formats can have a setting embedded in the metadata.

Reply Score: 2

StephenBeDoper Member since:

Taking this further, one could imagine per-file volumes, where each audio file remembers its own volume setting which is applied each time that audio file is played.

That's one of the things that I always liked about the basic "MediaPlayer" app in BeOS - it saved per-file volume settings in the metadata of individual files, so the volume would stay the same next time that file was opened.

Reply Score: 2

Member since:

Glad to see this being worked on. Sound preferences and volume controls have been a weak point in most GNOME distros for a long time now, a lot of times requiring command-line access for something as simple as changing the default audio device. This isn't the case in all GNOME distros, but most of them seem to have some issues with audio device control via GNOME.
However, I hope they don't require Pulseaudio for some of the basics. Yes, per-application volume and other features would require it. But hopefully they allow simple things such as changing the default device via the GUI without Pulseaudio, as Pulse is not always suitable for every application. Further, some apps just don't work with Pulse running at the moment, so hopefully they provide an easy way to enable and disable it. OpenSUSE already has this via yast.

Reply Score: 4

dependency on Pulse
by chekr on Wed 21st Jan 2009 02:03 UTC
Member since:

I hope they don't build a hard dependency on Pulse as Pulse Audio is a regression on many platforms at the moment. Last time I tried Ubuntu on an old Dell D620 it broke audio and FreeBSD, Solaris et al still have not integrated either...

Reply Score: 3

RE: dependency on Pulse
by fernape on Wed 21st Jan 2009 09:32 UTC in reply to "dependency on Pulse "
fernape Member since:

I agree. Pulse Audio is quite unstable and problem prone at the moment. As a FreeBSD user, I'm more concerned about the integration of PulseAudio. Gnome should use by default a platform independent sound subsystem (OSS, for instance).

Reply Score: 3

by MamiyaOtaru on Wed 21st Jan 2009 06:16 UTC
Member since:

Like I mentioned in the phoronix forums, I don't like the horizontal volume slider.

"I also loved the way the volume control appeared underneath and nicely aligned with the systray icon in Gnome. It was held up as an example of a little thing that was done right - in short: polish. So much for that I guess."

Reply Score: 4

RE: horizontal
by Cymro on Wed 21st Jan 2009 10:41 UTC in reply to "horizontal"
Cymro Member since:

As an option, it would be nice to have a horizontal slider visible at all times on the Gonme panel itself.

Most music players do it because it would be ridiculously inconvenient to click first and then adjust the volume (I'm looking at you, Banshee!)

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: horizontal
by Tomasz Dominikowski on Wed 21st Jan 2009 11:04 UTC in reply to "RE: horizontal"
Tomasz Dominikowski Member since:

You can hover over the button and use your scrollwheel to adjust the volume in Banshee, in Rhythmbox, on the panel...

Reply Score: 1

RE: horizontal
by bpepple on Wed 21st Jan 2009 12:06 UTC in reply to "horizontal"
bpepple Member since:

It's not going to be a horizontal slider. Ubuntu is using a different slider, and not following upstream.

Reply Score: 1

Why does anyone use PulsAudio?
by panzi on Wed 21st Jan 2009 07:24 UTC
Member since:

Why does anyone use PulsAudio? It produces sound glitches and offsets (latency!) on my system. This is crap. Imagine playing a game and hearing the sounds half a sec to a sec after the visual event has happened!! When I uninstall PulseAudio everything works fine. I really don't get what problem PulseAudio is supposed to solve.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Why does anyone use PulsAudio?
by mariuz on Wed 21st Jan 2009 09:36 UTC in reply to "Why does anyone use PulsAudio?"
mariuz Member since:

yes sometimes i hate pulse audio that i remove everything
related to it

it seems it solves the playing your music on other computers (remote sound) but the low latency is gone and eats cpu instead
and i can hear scratches on low end machines

Reply Score: 2

silix Member since:

it seems it solves the playing your music on other computers (remote sound)
in actuality, the problem that lead to having an audio server was allowing more than one application at a time emit sound without "device already in use" errors - since performing audio mixing at device driver level (hence in the kernel) is an allegedly "fundamentally wrong" thing to do, a userpace server process was deemed as required

remote sound was a design feature of some other sound server (eg MAS) born for distributed setups
but for pulseaudio mostly results from designing the server around the use of sockets (as sockets are the only common ipc methods on unix like systems), not that many desktop users needed to play sounds on another machine...

Edited 2009-01-21 15:44 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Why does anyone use PulsAudio?
by charlieb on Wed 21st Jan 2009 12:14 UTC in reply to "Why does anyone use PulsAudio?"
charlieb Member since:

No problems here, and it gives me the one feature of Vista I like: per-application volume control.

Reply Score: 1

I hate the new interface
by mariuz on Wed 21st Jan 2009 09:25 UTC
Member since:

I think the mixer and volume from kde4.2 is better
and it looks the way we are used (like the previous gnome volume manager)

Now i have to retrain the users and is harder to find the mixer settings , and kde is just simple

ps: the volume from kde can be put horizontally or vertically

Reply Score: 2

Member since:

They could make it so much better by just turning it sideways and leave it along the top bar - there is plenty of space up there for it.

Also, fix the mute behavior - the main mute button and the advanced mute button seem to do two different things (!?).

Also, get rid of the mute button - if I turn the volume down all the way by clicking the bottom of the volume bar (or the left side of it, ideally) then it should mute - do we really need the extra toggle button? At least put it along the top bar next to the volume slider, if we really need it.

Reply Score: 1