The tag is for questions about the recording and playback of speech and music on your computer, but also for problems about the sound component of videos.

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1267
votes
7answers
134k 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 ...
411
votes
9answers
54k 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 ...
58
votes
2answers
39k 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 ...
50
votes
9answers
135k 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 ...
47
votes
1answer
64k 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 ...
44
votes
9answers
380k 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 ...
37
votes
13answers
9k 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 ...
37
votes
3answers
16k 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
2answers
53k 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 ...
32
votes
5answers
66k 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 ...
29
votes
8answers
22k 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 ...
24
votes
5answers
49k 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 ...
22
votes
8answers
65k 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?
21
votes
6answers
33k 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: $ ...
21
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
20
votes
5answers
20k 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 ...
20
votes
8answers
30k 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 ...
19
votes
11answers
11k 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
1answer
17k 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 ...
19
votes
1answer
17k 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 ...
19
votes
2answers
56k 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 { ...
18
votes
5answers
75k 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 ...
17
votes
5answers
62k views

How do I restore the Gnome Panel volume control in Ubuntu?

I use alsa, and I don't have a volume control applet on my Gnome Panel. When I right click and select "add to panel", there is nothing that has to do with "sound", "audio" or "volume" in the list, ...
17
votes
4answers
36k 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 ...
16
votes
5answers
59k 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 ...
16
votes
6answers
17k 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
36k 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
6k views

Windows lowers volume because of “communication”

Randomly, or at system sound (usb connect for example) Windows 8 lowers the volume of all other sources. (Same problem can exist on windows 7, just look online). This is happening because of the ...
15
votes
5answers
42k 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
9k views

Muting an Application on a Mac

Is it possible to mute just a single application (ex. Safari) on Mac while letting other application's sound continue to run through?
15
votes
5answers
35k 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 ...
14
votes
7answers
826 views

What good, free audio CD ripping/extraction tools exist for Windows, and supporting multiple formats? [closed]

What good, free audio CD ripping/extraction tools exist for Windows, and supporting multiple formats? For instance, I would like to rip my commercial audio CDs to MP3s for portable-player use, and to ...
14
votes
3answers
4k 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.
14
votes
5answers
22k 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
4k views

How do you make volume keys and mute key work in Xmonad

I am new to Xmonad (just installed it yesterday), and since I have never used haskell before, I found configuration a little bit confusing for me. I got somewhat made xmobar and trayer work, but I ...
14
votes
1answer
140k 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 ...
14
votes
1answer
10k views

How do ALSA and PulseAudio relate?

While trying to get my sound to work, I was wondering about the roles of ALSA and PulseAudio. I have both installed and was wondering, for example, which of them needs to know about my sound card. ...
13
votes
2answers
429 views

Is there a program that can determine the highest pitch within an audio file?

Is there a Windows program that can determine the "highest sound wave frequency" found within an audio file (e.g. mp3 file)? For example, it should be able to analyze the file Dog-Whistle-0 and ...
13
votes
2answers
14k views

How can I access volume levels from the command line on Windows 7?

What I need I'm looking for a tool or a script that allows me to access the Windows volume levels from the command line. Ideally it would allow me to get and set all volumes including application ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

Why is a FLAC encoded from a decoded MP3 bigger than the MP3?

To be more precise than in the title, suppose I have a MP3 file that is 320 kbps. If I decompress it, then logically, all the data except for roughly 320 kilobits out of each second of audio should be ...
12
votes
4answers
21k views

how to hear mic sound over speakers- Ubuntu karmic

I want to hear the sound that goes into the notebook's mic from the notebook's speaker itself. I am on Ubuntu 9.10
12
votes
2answers
78k 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, ...
12
votes
7answers
12k views

How can I lower the volume of my USB headphones?

Yes, I really am asking how to turn down the volume. But first, some more detail: My headphones are http://www.edimensional.com/product_info.php?cPath=22&products_id=122 They are really loud. I ...
12
votes
4answers
13k 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 app (say x-box music) to one audio device, and another (say the video app) to another audio device? Edit: Looking ...
12
votes
1answer
744 views

Linux - Creating Virtual Audio Device

My question here is rather simple. How does one create a purely virtual audio device in ALSA that would be capable of: being used as an audio output destination, being used as an audio input source, ...
11
votes
2answers
10k views

Can Apple Lossless audio be converted to FLAC with no loss of fidelity?

Can Apple Lossless audio files (ALAC) be converted to FLAC audio files with no loss of fidelity?
11
votes
5answers
150k 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 ...
11
votes
6answers
24k views

Is there a way to set iTunes to play in mono?

I've got a set of speakers, but one of them doesn't work. Is there any way to get iTunes to output to mono, but with both channels? I'm on Leopard, and going to System Preferences » Sound » Output ...
11
votes
3answers
12k views

Easy way to switch default sound output device

I want an easier way to change my default sound device from my sound card to my usb headset. Currently it takes a very precise right click, a left click, another right click, and two more left ...
11
votes
5answers
39k views

Windows 7 tray app to easily switch between audio sources?

I'm looking for a Windows 7 tray app to easily switch between audio sources, i.e. speakers, HDMI, USB headset etc. Any suggestions?