[pulseaudio-discuss] Standardising on the amount of software amplification is presented to the user

Tanu Kaskinen tanuk at iki.fi
Tue Apr 13 12:42:27 PDT 2010

On Tue, 2010-04-13 at 15:10 +0100, Colin Guthrie wrote:
> Hi,
> I'm trying to solve a bug where by mplayer is clamping the volume at
> 100%. If someone turns up the volume to >100% using e.g.
> gnome-volume-control, hitting volume up or down in mplayer will reset it
> to 100% again.
> For a quick straw poll:
>  g-v-c: 150%
>  pavucontrol: 100%
>  kmix & phonon: 100% (I wrote this so only me to blame!)
>  vlc: 400% (but does not yet use PA per-application volume control).
>  mplayer: 100%
> + numerous others.
> Now I believe we need some kind of standard amount of overdrive.
> Obviously we want to push the applications into using per-stream
> volumes, but this only really works if they all use the same range.

I don't think that's obvious - I'd push them to ditch volume control
altogether instead. I believe per-stream volumes cause confusion easily
if they are used for anything else than specifically tuning the
application volume relative to all other applications. If an application
has a volume slider in a convenient place, and it controls the
per-application volume, it will often be used in situations where the
device volume would be the appropriate thing to adjust.

Making the application volume sliders control the device volume isn't
good either, because if an application has a volume slider, the natural
assumption made by users is that the slider controls only that
application's volume.

Solution: throw away volume sliders in applications, and promote
centralized volume management with volume applets and hardware controls.

Tanu Kaskinen

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