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My home office has a loud air conditioner right next to my computer desk. When the air conditioner turns on, I need to increase my computer's volume level in order to hear music and sound effects. But when the air conditioner turns off, the system volume seems very loud.

Adjusting the system volume isn't a big deal, but as it's the 21st century and I have more computing power in my office than NASA did to put people on the moon, it would be nice if the system would automatically adjust as the air conditioner turns on/off. So, does anyone know of any Windows software packages that can automatically adjust the system volume level based upon ambient sound volume?

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+1 - Great question! –  JNK Sep 14 '10 at 23:47
    
I would worry about my hearing if I was having to put up with loud noise from an air conditioner and then adding to the problem by increasing the volume of my PC on top of it! –  Richard Sep 15 '10 at 5:45
    
@Richard, my hearing is not in danger. I usually keep the system volume at a very low level. I only have to boost it when the A/C is on, and even then, it is not really very loud--it's just louder than I'd like. –  Kristopher Johnson Sep 16 '10 at 16:51
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AFAIK there's no software that does this for you. However rolling-your-own solution wouldn't be too hard, and there are a few resources that could help you do it quite easily.

This MSDN entry detailing how to set volume based on ambient noise fits your use case prefectly, and includes some c# code to do it. Unfortunately it targets Pocket PC/.NET Compact Framework, but some of it may be directly portable.

This article covers how to adjust the volume in Vista programatically and includes the code to do it.

Also, AutoIT is a product that provides a scripting language that includes volume control commands. It's possible that if you could find a command line tool to get input from your microphone, that you could combine the two into a 'mash-up' cript that acheives what you want. You could then use windows tasks to set the script to run eg every 2 minutes.

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I would use noise cancelling headphones. Otherwise I think it is very difficult to achieve.

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Noise cancelling or inner ear headphones which fit snugly and act like earplugs to block out external noise. –  Richard Sep 15 '10 at 5:45
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I have headphones and earphones, but find it uncomfortable to wear them all day long. I'm looking for a comfortable solution. –  Kristopher Johnson Sep 16 '10 at 16:52
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