[pulseaudio-discuss] protecting settings

john owen-jones blackest_knight at hotmail.com
Tue Sep 7 03:02:12 PDT 2010

Hi sean I've looked at flat volumes and I think you have misread what i was trying to say. 
flat volumes appear to relate to Outputs and say 3 apps making noise of some sort setting the levels relative to each other 
and an over all volume level.  This is related to output and  a great deal of thought has been put into this.

My Issue relates to Input specifically setting the input levels for the internal Mic.
My netbook has a particular quirk which requires one channel (left or right) to be set to 0 and the other to an appropriate level.  currently the input level for all applications seems to be able to be set by any application.
so with 3 apps a b and c if app A sets the input level to 80% then B and C are set to 80% This seems wrong in itself I guess conceptually its similar to the output issue (except that 3 apps all wanting to record input would be recording the same sound). 

The real issue is that the user should be able to say this is the input level I want and it should be respected. Skype can take care of levels automatically or let the user manually set the input level. (well behaved in the current system)
google voice and video doesn't have a manual setting and succeeds in setting the levels at unusable levels, ( bad behaviour)(I have raised the issue with the google developers),not only for itself but for all other applications that use the internal Mic. I don't know if there is a need for setting for each individual application. If there was skype wouldnt be affected by google but google voice would still be unusable.  You tend to be recording similar things with similar volumes so I think there  needs too be an option to force applications to respect levels set by the user. 

you see the problem now ?



> Date: Sun, 5 Sep 2010 11:18:01 -0400
> From: smcnam at gmail.com
> To: pulseaudio-discuss at mail.0pointer.de
> Subject: Re: [pulseaudio-discuss] protecting settings
> Hi,
> On Sat, Sep 4, 2010 at 2:33 AM, John Owen-Jones <ajowenjones at gmail.com> wrote:
> > let me give you my situation,
> > I have an aspire one netbook and the internal mic is stereo but the 2
> > channels are combined 180 degrees out of phase so if left and right channels
> > are set to similar levels there is no sound recorded.
> >
> > The solution is to open pulse audio volume control and set one channel to
> > zero and the other to an appropriate level.
> >
> > A well behaved program such as skype has the option to adjust audio settings
> > automatically or not. (naturally not is appropriate)
> > google voice and video plugin doesn't have this option and sets both audio
> > input channels to the same level resulting in silence.
> > As a consequence the input settings for skype have also been lost.
> >
> > It seems wrong that 2 user level programs should be interacting like this ,
> > it appears that the audio input settings are set for the system not for the
> > application or the user.
> >
> > There are a number of possible ways to tackle this problem
> > rewrite applications to play nice but one rogue application wrecks that
> > plan.
> > allow input settings to be set per application - better but perhaps over
> > engineered/
> Per-app volume control is a feature that has been supported in
> pulseaudio for a while now. It's not over-engineered; it's a very
> useful feature!
> What you are probably experiencing is flat volumes. See
> http://www.mail-archive.com/pulseaudio-discuss@mail.0pointer.de/msg03723.html
> for a lengthy discussion of the pros and cons of flat volumes.
> To avoid rehashing the discussion again in this thread, I would
> suggest that you simply try to do what you want after disabling flat
> volumes: edit /etc/pulse/daemon.conf, add a line reading `flat-volumes
> = no' (without quotes). Then set up your volumes as you expect, and
> try again. If you're happy with it, great. If not, post back and tell
> us more specifically what issue you are having.
> Personally, I think the issues with flat volumes have never been
> addressed. The first thing I do when I install a new Linux distro is
> turn off flat volumes, and disable ALSA's PC speaker modules. Both
> "features" have the uncanny ability to blast ridiculously loud things
> into my studio headphones, leaving my ears ringing for the rest of the
> day. I am perfectly happy with the volume control setup with flat
> volumes disabled.
> Sean
> > allow users to set the input volume levels probably as root and then deny
> > any changes requested by user level programs.
> > This would appear to be near ideal certainly it makes sense for a user to be
> > able to determine suitable levels and not be over ridden by a browser
> > plugin.
> >
> > any chance that the super user can set and lock the input levels?
> >
> > cheers
> >
> > bk
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
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> > pulseaudio-discuss at mail.0pointer.de
> > https://tango.0pointer.de/mailman/listinfo/pulseaudio-discuss
> >
> >
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