For questions about the recording and playback of speech and music on your computer, as well as for problems about the sound component of videos.

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1435
votes
7answers
152k views

How do I make a machine “blank screen” for a period of time (as a penalty) if certain noise levels are reached?

My kids (4 and 5) yell a lot when playing games on the computer. I found an effective cure for this. When I hear loud noises, I ssh into the game computer and do: chvt 3; sleep 15; chvt 7 This ...
489
votes
9answers
99k views

From a quality perspective, what is better: turning volume up in the software, in the OS, or on the speakers?

If music isn't loud enough, how do I get the best quality (even if the difference is in fact so small it's negligible)? By making the music louder in my music player, game or other sound-producing ...
103
votes
9answers
5k views

Combine one image + one audio file to make one video using FFmpeg

This should be pretty trivial, but I can't find a way to get it to work. I want FFmpeg to take one JPEG image and an audio file as input and generate a video file of the same duration as the audio ...
74
votes
2answers
125k views

Windows 8 turns program sound volume down randomly

I recently upgraded to Windows 8 from Win 7 64 bit and have started to encounter a strange issue. When I have any program running which plays sound, such as a game or spotify, after a random interval (...
71
votes
9answers
217k views

How to control master volume in Windows 7?

Some keyboards have volume controls on them that can be pressed anytime to control the master volume. My keyboard does not have that. Is there a way that I can create a key macro that will work like ...
65
votes
2answers
43k views

Computer volume drops when USB deviced plugged in

This is really an odd issue. When I close the laptop (I use it on a docking station; it doesn't leave the docking station when this issue occurs) or when I open iTunes, the volume output on the ...
60
votes
7answers
152k views

Is there a way to restart audio without restarting a Windows 7 computer?

Sometimes, when I start my machine, the volume control is set to 100, but it plays relatively quiet. I can fix it by rebooting my machine. Is there a way to restart audio devices, without rebooting ...
56
votes
9answers
496k views

How do I play audio through a Bluetooth headset in Windows 7?

I recently did an in-place upgrade from Vista to Windows 7 RTM. For the most part, things have gone brilliantly. The only issue I've been facing is regarding my Bluetooth headset, a Dell BH200. The ...
52
votes
3answers
5k views

Can I losslessly increase the volume of an MP3 file?

I want to increase the volume of some MP3 files that I have. Is there a way to do this in a lossless way (without re-compressing the MP3 file and hence decreasing its quality)?
51
votes
6answers
7k views

Do most music CDs contain the needed info about their tracks?

I see that many audio players (I mean multimedia software like Winamp or Foobar2000) have the ability of searching music information on databases like CDDB. Shouldn't such info already be available on ...
46
votes
2answers
85k views

Windows 7 lowers applications' volume automatically

Every time I run some of my games, if the media player is open and playing, Windows 7 lowers the volume of both applications (the game and the player). All other applications are not affected. I tried ...
43
votes
15answers
26k views

Does it make sense converting a file to a higher audio bitrate?

When a certain file (mp4, flv, etc) has a 95 kbps audio bitrate - does it make sense outputing to a higher bitrate when converting to mp3 or other format (be it lossy or not)? Would this result in ...
40
votes
4answers
62k views

Is there a way to listen to the input sound on Mac OS X?

Is there any easy way to listen to the input on a mac? For example, assume I have a microphone hooked up to the input (i.e. line in) of my mac, and I have headphones hooked up to the output of my ...
40
votes
8answers
100k views

How to make the PC speaker beep from the Windows 7 command prompt?

I'm running some lengthy video encodes using the Handbrake command line interface. After all my encodes are done, I would like to have the PC speaker beep, as I usually turn my large external speakers ...
39
votes
3answers
48k views

How can I normalize audio using ffmpeg?

I want the loudest peak sound in a movie clip to be as loud as the codec allows, then have every other sound amplified accordingly. What's a practical example in order to accomplish this using ffmpeg?...
38
votes
6answers
218k views

Does DisplayPort carry sound as HDMI does?

Does DisplayPort carry sound as HDMI does? Specifically, I am looking at Lenovo Laptops T410 or T510. I'm wondering if the spec permits for audio over DP and if possible if the Lenovo laptops I ...
37
votes
3answers
20k views

Why does my Mac go “whoosh” sporadically during the day?

Occasionally my MacBook Pro makes the "whoosh" sound. It is the same one you you hear when dragging an icon off the dock and it goes "poof". I never notice anything different. What is it doing?
36
votes
9answers
29k views

Extracting audio from MP4 video into MP3

I downloaded a few MP4-encoded videos from which I'd like to extract the audio stream into MP3 files for easy listening on my digital player. Most likely, VLC can do this, but the instructions ...
35
votes
2answers
100k views

What do ALSA devices like “hw:0,0” mean? How do I figure out which to use?

I've searched over and over and can't find any explanation of what "hw:0,0" means. How do I determine the number of my USB audio card? MPD requires me to enter something like this: audio_output { ...
34
votes
6answers
297k views

How to use two audio devices simultaneously with Windows 7?

I have an audio connector on board (Asus P8H67-I) and an USB audio card (Teufel). How can I use the two devices simultaneously? As far as I can see I have to set one device to the standard output ...
33
votes
6answers
88k views

play mp3 or wav file via Linux command line

I would like to make an alarm system backed by a Ubuntu (no graphical interface) box, which plays various announcement and alarm audio tracks (.mp3 or .wav) via the command line. For example: $ root&...
33
votes
6answers
72k views

How do I manage multiple audio playback devices on Windows Vista/7?

I've got speakers (audio in) and headphones (USB headset with it's own soundcard) connected to my desktop computer. Under Windows 7, I can right-click the Audio Mixer and select Playback Devices and ...
33
votes
9answers
81k views

Routing Applications sound to different sound device? (Windows)

Anyone know how I can set for an application to output its audio to a specific device in Windows? I'm dealing with applications where it's not possible to go into their settings and choose which ...
32
votes
3answers
3k views

What exactly is a laptop “display audio” driver?

I've downloaded an Intel HD Graphics driver for my Dell laptop and the installer's welcome screen says it will install the following components: Intel Graphics Driver Intel Display Audio Driver ...
32
votes
9answers
115k views

Turn volume up over 100% in Windows 7

I find that for some applications, even turning the volume up to 100% on their application or the master volume just isn't enough. Is there some setting somewhere where I can push the limit?
30
votes
5answers
86k views

Assigning programs to specific audio outputs in Windows 7

In Windows XP I could, for instance, play music on my speakers then have a game play on my headset via this clunky method: Set default sound output to speakers Run music player Set default sound ...
27
votes
3answers
35k views

“reload” mac audio drivers without rebooting

I have an external audio interface (M-audio fast track c400). In order to get my macbook to recognize it (display in audio/midi setup), I have to reboot, which is a hassle. I have had other m-audio ...
27
votes
4answers
155k views

Is there an equalizer for windows that works regardles of audio/video player [closed]

I'm tired of having to tweak the audio on every media application I have installed. Is there an app that will sit between any media application and my sound-card so that I can set audio levels and ...
27
votes
8answers
74k views

What's the reason behind “Stereo Mix” becoming a missing option?

Several newer computers I've worked on (Dell, mainly) are using IDT or Realtek drivers which lack the Stereo Mix option in audio recording devices. I've tried all kinds of methods including ...
26
votes
5answers
101k views

How do I swap audio output of the left and right speakers?

I have two speakers stereo speakers but when I use the sound control panel applet to test my audio configuration I get sound in the right speaker when the user interface indicates the right speaker ...
26
votes
4answers
27k views

Windows 10 volume jumps to 100% on random

So today I installed windows 10, and I love it except one thing: The volume is bugged. I'll be sitting watching youtube videos on Microsoft Edge, click next video and my ears will be blown off ...
25
votes
1answer
2k views

Why are my MP3 files the same size, even when I change the bitrate with ffmpeg?

I converted an audio stream into 3 different settings using essentially the same format. They ended up being exactly the same size. Why is this? ffmpeg -i "Likoonl-Q1-All.mp4" -c:v copy -c:a ...
25
votes
2answers
31k views

How to extract an audio track from an MP4 video file on Windows?

Having an MP4 video file I'd like to get just the audio track of it. What makes my question different from the others is that I don't want to convert it (like to MP3 or anything) - I'd prefer to keep ...
25
votes
5answers
98k views

Windows 7 / 8 tool for amplifying sound / equivalent to pavucontrol?

I'm watching live streamed videos, but the volume sometimes is barely loud enough. With Windows, I can only turn the system volume and the flash volume up to maximum, and then bad luck if that's ...
25
votes
3answers
202k views

HD Audio or AC97 connector - Which to use when, and what's the difference?

I'm currently setting up a older system in a new case (i'll be upgrading it in stages, and the old parts then go back into the old case ;p), and i'm having a bit of confusion over which cable to use, ...
24
votes
3answers
8k views

How can I play a sound from the command line in Mac OS X?

I would like to play a short sound file from the command line in Mac OS X, independent of any audio player application, in order to provide notification that a long job has finished.
24
votes
1answer
46k views

3.5mm Analog Audio vs. Bluetooth Audio Quality

I want to buy a wireless (bluetooth) headset, but I am worried about the sound quality when it's connected to Bluetooth. All other things being equal (e.g. the quality of the headphones themselves is ...
23
votes
5answers
151k views

Force Windows to output only mono sound

So, the 'right' half of my pair of headphones broke (the transducer+wire are fine, but the earpiece broke on the headband and so the earpiece won't sit over my ear). So now the right channel is being ...
22
votes
3answers
14k views

Is there a difference between speaker and headphone jacks/ports?

I have a 2.1 speaker setup going into my computer, but primarily plug them into the headphone jack as it is easier to access. I do this because I switch between a couple different devices with these ...
22
votes
3answers
72k views

How do I disable microphone volume auto-adjusting?

My coworkers started yelling at me today because apparently I started screaming in their ears during a Google hangout. And sure enough, when I go to the Microphone settings dialog, I can see the level ...
21
votes
6answers
33k views

How do I force single (only) channel audio in youtube/flash videos to play in both (left/right) channels?

Occasionally, I find Youtube videos that have only one audio channel (only left or only right); example video (left channel only). This is quite annoying, especially with headphones on, as I hear ...
21
votes
5answers
36k views

How do I use different audio devices for different apps in Windows 8?

Besides switching the default audio device, how can I send the audio from one Windows Store (aka Metro) app (say x-box music) to one audio device, and another (say the video app) to another audio ...
20
votes
14answers
48k views

Bad sound through bluetooth headphones

I have a problem with the sound quality of a pair of Acoustic CHP600BT Solutions Bluetooth Headphones - Black. When I connect these headphones to my phone (Samsung S2 plus), the sound quality is ...
20
votes
1answer
181k views

How do I test the microphone in Windows 7?

I attached a microphone to my computer, and it was detected. It's all setup, now I want to test that it's actually working, and that it's working well. I tried sound recorder, but it didn't record ...
20
votes
9answers
105k views

Windows keeps making these random “device connect” and “device disconnect” sounds

Throughout the day I notice that my computer makes apparently random device-connect and/or device-disconnect ("boink") sounds. I suppose it is the same sound you hear when connecting or ...
20
votes
6answers
34k views

Play audio over network with Windows 7?

I have seen software for Linux systems that allows me to send the audio from one system to another over the network, is there such a software (a driver likely) for Windows, specificly XP but Vista and ...
19
votes
6answers
42k views

How do I control the system volume on OS X with a keyboard without media controls?

I'm using a PC keyboard on Mac OS. I can use the menubar to control the volume, but are there any keyboard shortcuts I can use to change the system volume? Or perhaps a simple script or solution I ...
19
votes
11answers
13k views

How can I extract audio from a YouTube video?

I would like to hear Linus' talk about Git from youtube on my way to work, which means I'm looking for an elegant way to extract .wav or .mp3 from a YouTube video.
19
votes
4answers
12k views

How to stream my GNU/Linux audio output to Android devices over WI-FI?

I want to stream my audio output over the network (Wi-Fi) to my Android devices. I'm not looking for a music/video streaming solution, but I would stream any audio output of my GNU/Linux desktop to my ...
18
votes
4answers
119k views

Cannot play sound: device being used by another application

I tried to change my speaker setup and every time I click "test" I get this error message on Windows 7 SP1. I tried running "sndvol" to view the applications list but the list is empty. Since I tried ...