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Re: The Great Pulseaudio Mixer Debate: a modest (productive) proposal

On Fri, 2009-04-24 at 11:03 -0700, Adam Williamson wrote:
> So, in the spirit of light rather than heat, here's my proposal, again,
> rescued from the depths of the flamefest, with some actual work
> attached.
> g-v-c is clearly intending to be an abstracted and simplified volume
> control app / applet to cover the most common use cases in a friendly
> way. Great.
> It's clear, though, that some users have needs beyond this, which are
> likely only going to be satisfied in a sensible way by access direct to
> the ALSA mixer elements. Bastien and Lennart don't want some kind of
> hack to expose these via g-v-c, and I'd tend to agree, that's clearly
> not what it's designed for.

Hello, Hi! It's me, the foul-mouthed purveyor of said infamous thread.

Just so we're clear, my irritation has nothing to do with mixer
applications. I'm perfectly happy firing up alsamixer in a terminal if I
need raw access to ALSA mixer. In fact, I found the "classic" GNOME
mixer completely useless, as it hid from me any and all numbers
indicating what anything is actually set to. At least throw me a bone
and give me a percentage. (Actual dB readings? I've died and gone to

No, I am concerned purely with the panel applet. I want to place my
mouse cursor over the speaker icon on the panel, and roll the scroll
wheel to adjust the PCM level. Whatever it takes to do that, I don't

(Though I also don't want in-application volume sliders screwing with
master either. So at the very least, flat volumes are out...)

I'd also like keyboard volume buttons to do likewise, but this
particular machine has a vintage 1986 IBM Model M on it so the panel
applet just works out better...

> So my proposal is that we include by default an alternative GUI app
> which allows direct access to the mixer channels. This won't be an
> applet or anything else persistent, just an application that you can
> choose to run if you need that level of access.

This does absolutely nothing to address my concerns.

> So I suggest what we should do is resurrect gnome-alsamixer. It's still
> technically part of GNOME - it's even got moved to the new GNOME git.
> Other distributions still package it (Debian, for e.g.) It's even had a
> few commits within the last year or so. It was more or less deprecated
> in favour of g-v-c, but now we have a case where it may make sense to
> have two clearly differentiated apps, and gnome-alsamixer is the obvious
> choice.

I want the functionality of the old *panel applet* back. gnome-alsamixer
does absolutely nothing to make me happy.

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