[pulseaudio-discuss] RFC: New volume functionality for PulseAudio

Alexander E. Patrakov patrakov at gmail.com
Wed Feb 12 17:24:41 CET 2014

12.02.2014 02:14, I wrote:
> 11.02.2014 20:03, Tanu Kaskinen wrote:
>> We want to support:
>>  * A single main output volume control. Think of things like the 
>> Gnome volume applet: when you click the applet icon, you get a single 
>> volume slider for controlling the "current output", whatever that 
>> means. The Gnome volume applet implements the main volume by using 
>> the default sink volume, but we'd like to make the main volume 
>> contextual, so that the main volume can control different things at 
>> different times. Ideally the contextual logic would be implemented in 
>> PulseAudio (by a policy module), not in the volume applet. The volume 
>> applet should know when the main volume controls e.g. the headphones 
>> volume or the phone call volume.
> I tried to answer this with the following worry: the main volume may 
> be something to which the usual slider-based paradigm and the 
> corresponding "get and set a floating-point value" does not 
> necessarily apply. In particular, I was going to talk about the 
> "thumbwheel" from the paper that the proponents of flat volumes use as 
> their scientific basis.

Please ignore this worry, and sorry for the noise.

I came to the conclusion that the thumbwheel idea in the paper is a 
fallacy directly following from the fact that the author forgot to ask 
(and answer) a simple question: what would be the loudness of a newly 
started application that was never seen before. Once you have an answer 
to this question, you have a slider and don't need a thumbwheel anymore 
to control the loudness of all applications at once, and thus don't need 
any sort of increment-based volume API.

Alexander E. Patrakov

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