April 28th, 2005


PC volume levels

One of the most irritating things I find about Microsoft Windows® and current sound card technology is the inability to rationally set volume levels. My computer can detect my monitor and determine the resolution. It's a laptop, and it can even automatically switch between the high resolution monitor I have at work and the lower resolution L.C.D. screen when I'm not connected to a docking station. And I don't have to do anything to make it switch.

But with sound, it's a completely different story. Windows has a control panel applet that controls volume level with Volume Control and Wave. Windows Media Player has an additional volume control. And my speaker system has a manual dial as well. If I use the WinDVD, it at least uses the Volume Control setting, though it still interacts with several other settings.

What I'd really like to have is one (1) setting controlling the volume. I want it to work whether I am connected to headphones, my speaker system, my stereo at home, or just the laptop speakers. I don't want it to be a 1 to 10 scale. I'd rather it be labelled Whisper, Quiet, Normal, Loud, Party. With gradations. I suppose it could be labelled numerically, but I don't want it on the linear scale it seems to work on right now. Cause I don't want 5 to be halfway between the loudest that an output device can do and the quietest. That wouldn't work when switching between the laptop speaker which doesn't go very loud and my speaker system with subwoofers.