Post by J. P. Gilliver (John) Post by VanguardLH Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
If I go into Control Panel, sounds or whatever, Sounds (there
are other routes to get to the same point, the simplest being just
Sounds from that right-click on the tray icon: where you have the list
of events and can alter and test them), and I select Open Program or
Close Program and click the Test button, the computer moos or baas as it
Any suggestions as to what she might have done to kill the system
sounds? I have confirmed they are _not_ muted, and their slider is at
about 60% too. (Which is where she had it. I did try 100% anyway, and it
made no difference.) REMEMBER THAT IT _HAD_ BEEN WORKING FOR SOME YEARS,
so we're looking for a setting that could have been _changed_, not
something that would have made it _never_ work.
While you can test the audio playback using the Sounds wizard app, that
We were using "Sounds" as you've directed us below.
Post by VanguardLH
doesn't mean that sound file gets used. There are sound themes: a
grouping of sound events. Which sound theme is selected?
"julia", one we'd modified and saved.
Post by VanguardLH
Right-click on Sound icon in system tray
Click on "Sounds" in the context menu.
Takes you to the Sound applet.
Yep, that's where we see "julia" in the box top left. And if we scroll
the list that is then visible and select Open Program or Close Program,
the filename MOO or sheep2 shows at bottom left. And if we click Test at
bottom middle, we hear a moo or a baa.
Post by VanguardLH
Under Sound Scheme, which one is selected? If the sound scheme was
modified from the default, it should've been saved under a unique theme
name, like "<friendName>'s scheme", rather than try to step atop a
prebuilt scheme (if that's even possible since I don't try to do that).
You don't want the "No Sounds" sound scheme.
No, we've been creating our own schemes since, I think, '9x. (It has
always irritated me that these are not saved as real files, but are yet
again something that goes in the dratted registry. But that's a
different matter probably not relevant to what's going on here.)
Post by VanguardLH
Another problem source is the use of externally-powered speakers that
have their own volume control. I have those. I've had cats and kids
(Oh good, you're a cat person. I am too, though I don't have one of my
Post by VanguardLH
rub against the rotary volume control resulting in a severe change in
volume: no sound or very loud sound. The other audio functions require
depressing a button, so those are less likely to become affected by
accidental presses; however, the volume control is just a rotary knob
that is active all the time, not after hitting some enable button.
Check if the speakers have power. Check if the speaker's own volume
control is NOT so low as to make inaudible any sounds from the speakers.
Thanks, but no, it isn't that; we can hear the moo/baa if we click the
Test button in the Sounds window (if the appropriate event is selected),
or double-click them from Windows Explorer, and other sound aspects of
the machine - such as the speech synthesis that Julia uses to access the
computer at all, or the me-to-her audio link in TeamViewer - are working
fine (I could hear them, though broken up, via the her-to-me TeamViewer
audio, as her microphone picked up what was coming out of her speakers,
so I know the speakers were receiving and playing a signal).
It seems very odd (has stumped me) that the Test button in the Sounds
thing (utility? applet? whatever it's called, where you tweak the system
sounds, anyway) makes the sounds play when you select the relevant event
(Open or Close program), but the sounds don't play when you actually
open or close a program.
When you run an application, and if it is sound capable, you should see
another volume slider in the mixer. For example, when you open a web
browser, it will show up in the mixer with its own volume slider. You
might have sliders for Speakers and System Sounds at some level but
perhaps the application's slider, when present, is muted or too low.
- Without a web browser loaded, open the Mixer.
- You should see slider for Speakers (or whatever is the selected output
device along with a slider for System Sounds.
- Now load a web browser AND play a video, like:
- In the Mixer applet, you should add a slider appear for the web
Windows Vista changed the volume control from one volume slider for
volume in all apps to separate sliders for each app. You need to load
the sound-capable app and use it to play a sound whereupon Mixer will
show a slider for that app.
You'd expect that moving the Speakers slider would move all the app
sliders. Well, yes, but as a percentage change. You can't get the app
sliders to lock to the Speakers slider. You get volume just right in
one app but accidentally move the Speakers slider which screws up your
other app's slider. There is other goofiness in how those sliders are
linked together. Moving the master slider to zero volume will squash
all the other sliders to zero, so you'd expect them to lock together
when raising the master volume slider but that doesn't happen. Mixer
remembers the proportion of the master against app volume level even
when all were reduced to zero.
That mentions the option "All devices currently playing sound" as to
which devices will show their own volume control (in Mixer). Right-
click on the Sound icon in the system tray and select "Volume control
options". You should see this option there.
I'm sure Microsoft programmers spent a lot of time adding separate
volume management per app into Windows Vista (which carried into the
later Windows versions). Maybe one app that doesn't have its own volume
control in its settings was way too loud or soft compared to the other
apps when just the master volume slider was the only adjustment you
could change. However, I'd rather have all the sliders locked together
to let me change just one master slider that controls the volume level
for ALL apps. I'm only play one sound app at a time since two, or more,
just makes a jumbled mess and turns the sound into noise. I only need
one master volume slider.
While trying to hunt around for some way to lock all the sliders
together, I thought that I found it.
- Right-click on Sound icon in system tray.
- Select "Playback devices".
- Select the output device (e.g., Speakers).
- Click on Properties button.
- Go to the Advanced tab.
- Deselect the "Allow applications to take exclusive control of this
- Click Apply button.
Nope, that didn't work, either. Once I load the web browser to a page
using sound, I move the volume slider in Mixer to the web browser but
only that slider moves. When I move the master (Speakers) slider, all
the other sliders move but as some percentage relative to the master
Because apps can change both their own volume and the master volume,
it's possible some software for the blind has volume limiting. For
example, the following app restricts sound sources from getting too
loud, like when playing a game where the characters are whispering but
then there is a huge explosion.
Well, if an app can do volume limiting, other apps could do something
similar. Besides the Mixer settings per-app for volume, does the
software for blind users have its own volume settings?
I haven't research the following volume control programs but maybe they
would help (to prevent an app's volume from getting too low):
There are probably lots of other similar or better volume control tools
but I've never bothered looking into them. Might be something to ask
about over the alt.comp.freeware newsgroup.
Microsoft's choice in Vista to go with a separate volume slider for each
app seems to have been more of a bane than benefit.