I get that some sound geeks care about things like “PCM,” but here is
the actual sequence I just went through:
- Boot computer.
- Open CD player.
- No sound; note that volume applet is at 0, turn it up.
- No sound; push the little volume buttons on the Thinkpad.
- No sound; open volume control, turn up “PCM” – now it works!
This is just bogus. If the volume control says the volume is all
the way up, and the hardware cables are all connected, then I should
hear the CD. Period. There is just no excuse for having to hunt
through menus for Volume Control and twiddle some acronym-labeled
mysterious slider. I still can’t tell you what “PCM” even stands for.
Maybe the solution is to robustly default PCM to non-zero (is this
ALSA’s fault?); maybe the solution is to make the volume applet also
move PCM; I don’t know. But it is definitely broken if I’ve never
fooled with Volume Control, and I can have the volume applet at
nonzero, and not hear any sound. Who on earth would be sitting there
tweaking the volume applet, and want PCM to be at zero? That just IS
NOT USEFUL, folks. I’m not moving the slider just because sliders are
fun. If I’m moving the volume applet slider, I’m expecting the
volume to change.
(This post was originally found at http://log.ometer.com/2004-09.html#18)