ChiaFong

Problem with Volume

In OS on 31 August, 2006 at 7:48 pm

Microsoft took a big knife and chop away the old audio architecture in Windows XP.  With that gone, they came up with a new audio architecture from ground up, aiming to make audio in Windows Vista less affected by any sudden peak in CPU usage.  When they are at it, they also make audio easier to use by changing the perspective from devices to end points like speakers, and headphones.

All these changes should be all well and good for users of Windows Vista, however, it make the job of audio application developer so much harder.  For example, in the midst of all these changes we lost the ability to change the master volume.  At first this seems to be OK, as Windows Vista implemented per-app volume and any application that is changing the master volume through the MMSystem API, Windows Vista will route it to the per-app volume.  However, it turns out that for certain media stream, this is not working, which is especially true for MIDI.

After several days of hard work, I’ve finally managed to chop up my application and make the old master volume into a brand new volume that truly affect only my own application.  But I’ve decided not to take part in Vista’s per-app volume eco-system; My argument is that since this is a feature that is being push by Microsoft, they have the responsibility to make it work for all application.

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