[pulseaudio-discuss] Per-app flat volume adjustment is highly unintuitive, if mathematically consistent.
fthain at telegraphics.com.au
Tue May 26 18:10:57 PDT 2009
> Now, I must admit that this all is a bit hard to grasp. And thus not
> exactly the definition of easy to use. We had a couple of discussions on
> this very ML about this. So far noone came up with a way to fix this in
> a way that would be completely convincing.
I can't claim to grasp it, but...
> I think the core problem is that it is impossible to figure out what the
> user actually wants. When he increases a volume of a stream he might A)
> want it a bit louder then whatever else is currently playing and would
> be pissed off if the other stream would get louder at the same time or
> B) want it a bit louder because everything that's playing is just too
> silent and he would be pissed off if only one stream would get louder
> and not all.
It seems to me that these problems would go away if you accept that
boost/compression should not be a function of volume. (Use a seperate
module!) If PA can't satisfy audiophiles, then PA will not earn a great
reputation with the layman who trusts experts either.
Every sensible volume control I can think of is conceptually an
attenuator, i.e. zero decibels at maximum (even if it is implemented as
amplifier gain control internally). That's why a slider is appropriate as
a GUI element here. (VLC player notwithstanding. I carefully leave it at
100% and never touch it. The 400% upper bound is both non-intuitive,
arbitrary and likely to distort.)
So, if as you claim, the user "might A) want it a bit louder then whatever
else is currently playing and would be pissed off if the other stream
would get louder at the same time", I think that user has probably never
used a volume control or mixer (i.e. an attenuator). It doesn't make sense
(in my mind) to optimise for this unusual situation.
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