[pulseaudio-discuss] Realtek ALC892 being overdriven to 153 % volume

David Henningsson david.henningsson at canonical.com
Mon Jun 20 04:10:58 PDT 2011

On 2011-06-20 12:05, Colin Guthrie wrote:
> 'Twas brillig, and David Henningsson at 20/06/11 10:13 did gyre and gimble:
>> On 2011-06-20 10:31, Colin Guthrie wrote:
>>> Interesting. Smells like someone is patching something somewhere then.
>>> Like I say I don't have this problem here - volume keys will have their
>>> upper limit @100%
>>> I'd still be generally in favour of limiting the keys to 100% but
>>> ultimately it's up to the Dekstop environments to decide what they think
>>> is best.
>>> So I'd get in touch with the relevant gnome people and ask the question:
>>> Should the keys limit the volume to 0dB, but with the UI allowing up to
>>> +11dB?
>> We'll just add a compressor plugin, so everything sounds louder ;-)
> Hehe!
>> Just kidding. Anyway, if I were a UI designer and got that proposal, I
>> would probably scratch my head and wonder why the PulseAudio folks
>> couldn't decide on one maximum volume only...
> Well it's about use case. In a typical setup, the user shouldn't *have*
> to go above PA_VOLUME_NORM. They may need to in some special cases and
> we don't want to make those special cases too tricky to enable, but we
> don't want people accidentally enabling them either as it leads to
> questions exactly like the one asked in this thread.
> So we need to make some kind of compromise.
> In my mind I see three possible solutions:
>   1. Just stick to 0dB for the media keys handling, but handle things
> gracefully if the volume is>0dB (e.g. volume up == noop, volume down =
> step down normal amount (i.e. don't reset to 0dB-step immediately on
> first press).
>   2. Just go up to +11dB and don't do anything different. Accept that
> upstream will get several death threats (or rather "why does PA do this?
> It's dump, you guys are idiots" emails).
>   3. Allow going up to 0dB via key repeats, but require a stall and
> second-press of the buttons to get>0dB, change the OSD to red or some
> other warning colour to let the user know they are overdriving and
> provide other UI hints in e.g. dock volume controls that this is the
> case and give the user enough feedback to be able to reset it if needs be.

4. In the UI, add a checkbox saying "Give me 11 dB more!" (or "Ultra 
PulseAudio(R) Boost(TM)" ;-) ) and if enabled, both the UI and the media 
keys go up to +11 dB. That would at least keep the two consistent.

Not to say that is the best solution, I know if we keep adding 
everybody's favorite control the end result will not be optimal either :-)

> 1. is clearly the simplest, 2, clearly sucks, 3 might be the most
> holistic solution. Everyone will likely have a different opinion on what
> is best. Perhaps this is something you can add in to the usability study
> with jack detection and expectations thereof?

Actually it was Conor who took on the usability study, but maybe it 
isn't such a bad idea. Conor, what do you think?

David Henningsson, Canonical Ltd.

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