Volume Control

by havoc

Ronald,
looks better, but definitely need to lose the jargon. Someone
explained “PCM” to me once but I forgot. “ALSA” is also still in the
titlebar. Should the app be called volume control if it also has this
other stuff such as microphone and Options page? There is a
Preferences->Sound, should some stuff go there? When is the
microphone used, maybe the control for it could just appear in that
context? I don’t know what a “Mixer” is either, or why I would want to
change between two of them. (I’m not pretending to be ignorant for
dramatic effect here, I really don’t know, or know what PCM
means… and I would rather not have to learn.) Should this thing
really be a dialog, and lose the menubar? If there is a menu, why not
put Options in it (Edit->Preferences). Another thought, it would be
nice if when using the volume control applet, the sliders in this app
moved accordingly, so the relationship is visible. I’m not sure which
of these knobs the simple volume control applet controls.

Is it possible to turn off the speakers when headphones are plugged
in, and have the volume control applet control whichever one is
present? Then the three-slider thing could just go away. A lot of
stereo equipment works that way I think. Certainly an option to
consider would be volume applet for output, a sound record app (and
GnomeMeeting etc.) has the settings for input, and options are in the
Preferences->Sound dialog.

If keeping three tabs, tab names could be better than “Output” and
“Input” I bet, maybe “Volume,” “Microphone,” “Television”, “Other
Inputs” for example. Given a sane number of these things, having them
all on one page doesn’t seem crazy.

I don’t know what “Lock” or “Record” check boxes do, or when I would
use them. In the current gnome-volume-control there aren’t tooltips
either. But I’m guessing these are things an app that uses the sound
card such as a recorder or GnomeMeeting could transparently get right,
or present in a more logical context?

More questions than answers 😉 I guess the core thing is, start with
some user tasks, not with the list of flags and values the kernel
exports. Maybe have a look at Mac and Windows, can’t hurt.

(This post was originally found at http://log.ometer.com/2004-08.html#15)

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