Update on audio, call for testers, and ponies

LoonyPhoenix loonyphoenix at gmail.com
Wed Aug 19 23:04:56 UTC 2009

Hi everybody, this is my first email to this list.
I think this new kind of flat volumes is much better than the old one, but I
think some things are still missing. For example (though this may be a
driver bug) my audio card always crackles a bit at max volume, so I set max
volume to around 85%. In old versions of Ubuntu, this meant setting the PCM
value, and it meant I could tweak master volume and per-application volume
all I liked. Then PCM disappeared and only master volume and per-application
volumes remained, and I had to be careful not to go above 85% when setting
master volume and I was all right. However, now I have to make sure all
applications don't go over 85%, and it's a pain, so I'll wind up disabling
flat volumes even though I like them better now. Also, I think the feature
to set the max volume can come in handy even with proper hardware and
drivers. For example, I want to limit the volume of all applications in the
evening, so as not to disturb the children sleeping in the
house inadvertently, and I am using internal laptop speakers with no volume
control. Or I am wearing a set of headphones and don't want any sound louder
than certain level so as not to damage my eardrums.

As a side note, is it possible to change the volume of applications which
play sound for very short amounts of time and have no native volume
selection tool? With flat volumes, Gajim's notifications are very loud and I
can't catch the notification while they're playing and make them softer :)
Maybe a history feature could be implemented, to tune the volume of all
applications that ever played sound on this machine? Kinda like the tray
icon control tool on Windows XP (don't throw tomatoes at me :-P)

Thanks for all the hard work,

2009/8/20 Daniel Chen <seven.steps at gmail.com>

> Hi folks,
> Today I updated the PulseAudio snapshot for Karmic in the
> ubuntu-audio-dev PPA[0] to 0.9.16-test5[1]. This staged update should
> be considered a poll for deciding whether flat volumes[2] should be
> shipped enabled by default (in /etc/pulse/daemon.conf). Please respond
> to the ubuntu-devel-discuss mailing list.
> Please test 0.9.16-test5 rigourously, and file bugs as you encounter
> them, thanks!
> Henceforth, Luke and I (and possibly others) will be placing staging
> versions of related audio software in this PPA.
> -Dan
> [0] https://launchpad.net/~ubuntu-audio-dev/+archive/ppa . Note that
> this PPA contains a patched udev. See
> https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2009-August/028688.html
> for rationale why this backported changeset was rejected. If you do
> not use surround sound profiles, you can safely ignore this patched
> udev.
> [1] Really, it's 0.9.16-test5 just grabbed prior to the git tag being
> added.
> [2]
> https://tango.0pointer.de/pipermail/pulseaudio-discuss/2009-August/004786.html
> --
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