Bad user experience with volume keys and Xubuntu

Bug #1085752 reported by Alistair Buxton
This bug affects 7 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
xfce4-volumed (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

I recently took Xubuntu for a test drive. One of the most annoying problems I encountered was with the multimedia keys. They didn't work at all out of the box. Following some helpful guides, which were probably wrong, I eventually half-fixed it.

First I had to install xfce4-mixer, because it wasn't installed.

Then I had to run xfce4-mixer manually, because the sound settings indicator opens the pulse audio settings.

Then I had to manually "select controls..." (pictured) the sound card mixers (pictured) that I wanted to control in the mixer settings. This was confusing as there was no indication of why I was adding them yet, and just adding them did nothing obviously useful. By default no controls were added and there are multiple audio hardware on this system.

Next I had to open xfce settings editor (pictured) and manually enter the name of the sound card I wanted the keys to control. Again, this was not documented so I had to work on trial and error. Without xfce4-mixer installed, these keys don't exist.

Now finally the keys sort of work. Volume up and down works, mute works, but pressing mute a second time does not unmute the sound, nor does volume up/down.

Additionally, sometimes the mixer that needs to be controlled switches between "HDA ATI SB Alsa Mixer" and "Playback Built In Analogue Stereo Pulse Audio Mixer" with no obvious indication of why. When this happens I have to go into the settings editor again and change the "Active Card" manually.

All in all this leads to a very poor user experience compared to what is in standard Ubuntu desktop, which just works.

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 12.10
Package: xfce4-mixer 1:4.8.0-3ubuntu2
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 3.5.0-18.29-generic 3.5.7
Uname: Linux 3.5.0-18-generic x86_64
NonfreeKernelModules: nvidia
ApportVersion: 2.6.1-0ubuntu6
Architecture: amd64
Date: Sun Dec 2 23:50:52 2012
MarkForUpload: True
SourcePackage: xfce4-mixer
UpgradeStatus: No upgrade log present (probably fresh install)

Revision history for this message
Alistair Buxton (a-j-buxton) wrote :
Revision history for this message
Alistair Buxton (a-j-buxton) wrote :
description: updated
description: updated
Revision history for this message
Alistair Buxton (a-j-buxton) wrote :

Adding xubuntu-meta because I'm not sure if xfce4-mixer is the right place to report this, considering that package is missing from the default install I assume it's supposed to work without it?

Revision history for this message
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in xfce4-mixer (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Changed in xubuntu-meta (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Revision history for this message
Lionel Le Folgoc (mrpouit) wrote :


Thanks for your bug report.
We don't install xfce4-mixer by default on purpose, because it relies on gstreamer, and the gstreamer-pulseaudio plugins aren't very powerful (that's why we preferred the pusleaudio mixer).
And you other issues have also been discussed in Bug #883485.

affects: xfce4-mixer (Ubuntu) → xfce4-volumed (Ubuntu)
no longer affects: xubuntu-meta (Ubuntu)
Revision history for this message
Alistair Buxton (a-j-buxton) wrote :

So Xubuntu doesn't support multimedia keys by default?

Revision history for this message
Lionel Le Folgoc (mrpouit) wrote :

It does, it's simply buggy for most people I guess... ;-)
I've been working a bit to improve that, the fix should land in raring soon.

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

Other bug subscribers

Remote bug watches

Bug watches keep track of this bug in other bug trackers.