Different Volume in Each App

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Different Volume in Each App

Postby Crashmaxx on Thu Dec 05, 2013 10:53 pm

I recently changed my hardware from an AMD CPU and NVidia GPU to all Intel and updated to the latest Update Pack. I'm using MATE and having weird problems with the volume controls.

To get a reasonable volume for everything I have to have the volume in Banshee turned all the way down and in MPlayer turned all the way up, with the master volume somewhere in the middle. I also have a keyboard shortcut to change volume, but it doesn't change the application volume or the master volume. It does bring up an on screen display that moves up and down as expected, but there is no change in sound level.

I've tried using both the ALSA and PulseAudio mixers in the volume settings, but there is no difference. I'm not sure where to start looking for the cause to these problems. I would like to have each application volume set to a reasonable level and just change the master volume with my keyboard shortcuts.
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Re: Different Volume in Each App

Postby Monsta on Fri Dec 06, 2013 3:05 am

So what is the problem in the end? The thread title says "different volume in each app", but then you describe something different - about volume control applet not working. We can't help unless you clarify things.
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Re: Different Volume in Each App

Postby Crashmaxx on Fri Dec 06, 2013 9:55 pm

Sorry, I guess I have two different problems that may or may not be related.

First one is that that applications seem to have drastically different volume settings for the same audible sound level. For example, Banshee needs to be at about 5%-10% to not be unbearably loud, but MPlayer needs to be at 100% and is still quiet. It's something really weird that suddenly changed with my recent updates and hardware changes. I'd like to have all apps set to something in the 75%-90% range and use the master volume to make fine adjustments. Or even if all apps just used the master volume without huge differences in audible level would be fine too.

Second problem is that my keyboard shortcuts don't control the master volume applet or any application volume, but instead an on screen display pops up. The OSD changes with the shortcuts, but there is no change to the volume I can hear, or changes to any other volume bar. I would like to have my shortcuts control the master volume, or at least figure out what the OSD volume is changing (maybe an audio driver I'm not using?).

Thanks for any help or ideas.
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Re: Different Volume in Each App

Postby py-thon on Sat Dec 07, 2013 9:49 am

I have the same problem. It would be great to have a relative volume level for each program.
When I watch a video in Totem I have to put the volume to maybe 50%. If afterwards I play GnuBG and forget to reduce to 20-25 % my loudspeakers and ears are in acute danger.
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Re: Different Volume in Each App

Postby Monsta on Sun Dec 08, 2013 4:11 am

No idea... But maybe asking at MATE forums would help?
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Re: Different Volume in Each App

Postby kurotsugi on Mon Dec 09, 2013 12:06 pm

the problem might related with pulse audio but I'm not really sure. AFAIK pulse audio was designed so that we could have different volume level for every app but the differences is not as huge as described by crashmaxx.
I have the same problem. It would be great to have a relative volume level for each program.
When I watch a video in Totem I have to put the volume to maybe 50%. If afterwards I play GnuBG and forget to reduce to 20-25 % my loudspeakers and ears are in acute danger.
we actually already have it. if you're using pulse audio you can set the volume level for each app independently.
Second problem is that my keyboard shortcuts don't control the master volume applet or any application volume, but instead an on screen display pops up. The OSD changes with the shortcuts, but there is no change to the volume I can hear, or changes to any other volume bar. I would like to have my shortcuts control the master volume, or at least figure out what the OSD volume is changing (maybe an audio driver I'm not using?).
that's quite possible. you can check which soundcard is used by the volume applet. I got same issue when I change my DE from cinnamon to xfce and later I found my sound applet was pointing to wrong soundcard.
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Re: Different Volume in Each App

Postby py-thon on Mon Dec 09, 2013 3:14 pm

kurotsugi wrote:we actually already have it. if you're using pulse audio you can set the volume level for each app independently.

Ok, basically you are right. I had forgotten about that because it's buggy and didn't show anything yesterday.

GnuBG for example turns up as ALSA plug-in (mate-volume-comtrol) for a split second and disappears before you have the chance to change settings. It is only there while there is some sound.
Opera on the other hand appears only when it has played some sound, but then stays there even if silent, so you have a chance to change the volume level.
Totem didn't turn up when I tried yesterday, neither starting totem first, nor starting the audio settings from control center first. Today it appears, no matter whether Totem or the audio settings are started first.
Maybe the screenshot helps to explain. When changing the relative volume level of totem the master level is changed as well, not in the settings window (top, maybe at 66 %) but in the system (bottom right, showing 100 %). In my understanding there is no logic in this. That's not what the relative levels are for.
Attachments
Bildschirmfoto-1.png
Totem level overriding master level
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Re: Different Volume in Each App

Postby kurotsugi on Tue Dec 10, 2013 5:25 pm

When changing the relative volume level of totem the master level is changed as well, not in the settings window (top, maybe at 66 %) but in the system (bottom right, showing 100 %). In my understanding there is no logic in this. That's not what the relative levels are for.
well...that's AFAIK pulseaudio default behaviour. the master volume is always >= app volume. you can set app volume to any level below max volume, but if you increase the app volume above master volume, then the master volume will get increased too. it also work if you can you slide down the master volume, then the volume the app volume level will be decreased too. I'm not sure if it's possible to change this behaviour but that's what everyone using pulseaudio got as the default option.

GnuBG for example turns up as ALSA plug-in (mate-volume-comtrol) for a split second and disappears before you have the chance to change settings. It is only there while there is some sound.
Opera on the other hand appears only when it has played some sound, but then stays there even if silent, so you have a chance to change the volume level.
on pulse audio, every app which produce sound have their own sound channel. for saving resources, it only open a channel if the app is running and it will be automatically closed if the app is turned off. I'm not quite sure why on GnuBG's the sound channel closed when it didn't produce sound (it might really a pulseaudio bug) but if you can't set the volume level on sound setting window, you can do that from the app interface. the app volume level showed in sound setting window (just like the one in your picture) is based on the app volume setting.

anyway, you seems misunderstanding the picture. both the volume level on the setting window and the volume applet are on 100%. the setting window only reach 2/3 of the slider since we the max value on the slider is 150%.
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Re: Different Volume in Each App

Postby py-thon on Wed Dec 11, 2013 11:27 am

I now understand the 100/150 % situation (and noticed a hardly visible mark above the 100 %). I didn't notice it because you can't access more than 100 % by clicking the loudspeaker icon, this will only give you 0-100 %. You only get to the 100-150 % region via the audio settings menu :o

kurotsugi wrote:you can set app volume to any level below max volume, but if you increase the app volume above master volume, then the master volume will get increased too. it also work if you can you slide down the master volume, then the volume the app volume level will be decreased too.

The master volume is a mixture of master volume and maximum volume. You have to set master to 100 % before adjusting individual levels to get more or less useful results. No program can be louder than master volume but changing master volume will reduce or increase absolute program volume levels.
In my opinion the way this feature is implemented means that it can't be used sensibly as long as there are programs which have no possibility to set an individual volume level (like GnuBG).
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Re: Different Volume in Each App

Postby nburgin on Sun Feb 16, 2014 5:59 pm

kurotsugi wrote:well...that's AFAIK pulseaudio default behaviour. the master volume is always >= app volume. you can set app volume to any level below max volume, but if you increase the app volume above master volume, then the master volume will get increased too. it also work if you can you slide down the master volume, then the volume the app volume level will be decreased too. I'm not sure if it's possible to change this behaviour but that's what everyone using pulseaudio got as the default option.


Wait... It's supposed to do that?! You mean this isn't a bug?! I found it so incredibly annoying that my solution was to resort to uninstalling the PulseAudio daemon and to hastily convert my system to use the JACK sound server. It may be considered overkill but at least it doesn't do that. Looks like my quick fix is going to have to be used as a permanent solution, if this is now a "feature" of PulseAudio and isn't going to be fixed.
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Re: Different Volume in Each App

Postby kurotsugi on Mon Feb 17, 2014 2:39 am

for me it's just a matter of behaviour. windows indeed didn't work that way and we're already getting used by it. I prefer to change my behaviour since pulse give more functionality than others.
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Re: Different Volume in Each App

Postby py-thon on Fri Mar 28, 2014 11:32 am

The third post in viewtopic.php?f=190&t=159870 might bring some people closer to the desired effect.
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