Increase volume after mute defaults to previous volume

Bug #586660 reported by Tudor Holton on 2010-05-28
6
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
gnome-media (Ubuntu)
Wishlist
Unassigned

Bug Description

Binary package hint: pulseaudio

Steps to reproduce:
1) Unmute audio and set volume to something loud. (e.g. Maximum volume)
2) Mute audio
3) Increase volume (by using a key combination)

Symptom:
Audio unmuted and volume reverts to previous volume before mute.

Expected outcome:
Audio unmuted and volume should be set to lowest value possible + 1 step for the requested increase.

If I simply wanted to unmute the audio (thereby returning the velume to its previous setting) then I would have pressed the unmute key combination and not volume increase. To me (and I'm guessing a few others), pressing volume increase suggests that one wants to increase from its current position (0 when muted).

I understand that there may be an underlying technical difference between 0 volume and mute. For example, if you set volume to zero and mute or unmute, the volume doesn't change. However, as a user I feel that mute and zero volume are the same thing in this context.

Tudor Holton (tudor) wrote :

Sorry, this is current Lucid 10.04 as up-to-date as at today's date (2010-05-28).

Daniel T Chen (crimsun) on 2010-05-28
affects: pulseaudio (Ubuntu) → gnome-media (Ubuntu)
Changed in gnome-media (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Wishlist
David Henningsson (diwic) wrote :

Even if the argument might make sense, the current behavior is consistent with every volume controller I know, e g the one on my TV, so I guess this is a "won't fix".

I disagree. Just because something is consistent, that doesn't mean it
is sensible or intuitive.

On 28/05/10 14:54, David Henningsson wrote:
> Even if the argument might make sense, the current behavior is
> consistent with every volume controller I know, e g the one on my TV, so
> I guess this is a "won't fix".
>
>

Dana Goyette (danagoyette) wrote :

> I disagree. Just because something is consistent, that doesn't mean it is sensible or intuitive.

That may be true, but it's far more likely to find something INconsistent, confusing and counter-intuitive.

I would likely find it impossible to adapt to your desired behavior. Every device I've ever seen, that has a mute feature (this excludes iPods and such, since they only have "zero volume"), tends to unmute when you press volume-up, as well as stepping up one from the previous volume.

Also, for an argument of why "zero volume" and "mute" should NOT be the same: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/gnome-settings-daemon/+bug/332081

Tudor Holton (tudor) wrote :

I am *not* arguing that zero volume and mute should be the same.

I am arguing that, when the speaker is mute, and the user requests to
*increase* the volume, that that increase should be assumed to mean from
zero volume, because, at that point, there is no sound, and the term
"increase" is relative.

If, instead, the user *unmuted*, then the volume should be the previous
volume before it was muted.

The question here is: The user wants an increase relative to what? To
which we have three possible answers:
1) Relative to the previous sound before unmuting - PA's current approach
2) Relative to the current sound (i.e. zero volume) - My proposal
3) Unrelated because mute is the restrictive binary for the prescriptive
vector volume. - Alsamixer's approach

As a counterargument, if both volume and mute worked independently as
Dana is describing, then I should be able to increase and decrease the
volume without unmuting. That is not currently the case. If I mute
either through keys or by clicking "mute" then the volume control
becomes disabled.

As another example of consistency, alsamixer does allow you to modify
the volume when muted. Mute and volume are therefore independent.

In my humble opinion, both zero volume and alsamixer's approach are
consistent when talking about "increasing". In the case of alsamixer,
the user is able to decrease the volume prior to unmuting because mute
and volume work independently, thereby avoiding the situation where the
user is incapable of reducing the sound *before* unmuting.

Perhaps another way to argue this would be to say that disabling the
volume control when muted is a bad idea because this creates a situation
where the user is unable to avoid creating a loud noise (other than
shutting down or pausing all applications that emit audio, which can be
very difficult). Unnecessary noise, particularly loud noise, can be
extremely inappropriate in some situations.

This is what caused me to raise this bug, and why I am exceptionally
passionate about it. I was placed in an embarrassing enough situation
to avoid using PA altogether and instead use alsamixer...but that's
because I knew it was there and how to use it. I'm more concerned that
small things like this affect new users perspective of the whole
graphical operating environment.

To post a comment you must log in.
This report contains Public information  Edit
Everyone can see this information.

Other bug subscribers