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I recently acquired a Galaxy S4, which comes with in-ear headphones with a handy button set embedded in the cable. I was wondering if it was possible to configure it as media buttons for my OS uses, like Spotify or games.

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"Maybe" is the answer.

Mobile phone need to 'save' premium spacing on their phone hence why they have opted for a 3.5mm jack that is able to handle 3 input/output (noted from the amount of ring / lines on connector - one for Audio, 2 for stereo audio). And it also means to say that the phone has a jack that is able to work with those 3 input/output.

Now on PC.. Audio Jack and Microphone jack are separated (Either on the Motherboard backside, or at the front of the PC). They are built that way because on a PC there are no space issue, you can put as much jack / slot as you want.

If you can get/build a jack that accepts all 3 input/output (same jack for phone) and cable it correctly into the motherboard input/output, and somehow create an application or interrupt that will 'understand' the electrical noise/trigger that was sent via the play/pause button on the microphone, then yes it is not impossible.

So seeing from the electrical signal, and cabling, not impossible. Seeing from software that can understand that trigger and act on it, not impossible. How hard it is to make one... I don't know..

Hope this helps.

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  • I thought the three rings jack was standard, apparently not. Thank you. Oct 10, 2013 at 13:58
  • Standard.. for mobile phones or tablet by now. For PCs ... not really. And also PC nowadays have options to use USB connectors headsets, which does exactly what you want. Some buttons on the headsets with the headset software/driver can understand what buttons are pressed, and what actions need to be done (mic mute, is the most common one, but can easily be reused for other purpose)
    – Darius
    Oct 10, 2013 at 20:12

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