Sound Mixer requires repeated attention to "Mute" when Windows sounds are enabled

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Help and Support' started by Cornan, Jun 20, 2010.

  1. Cornan

    Cornan New Member

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    I've discovered another idiotic effect of a form of "late binding" (the dumbest development idea of all time).

    In short, if a user wants to mute Windows Sounds to listen to some music (for example, Windows Media Player), then every other program on the system that has sound feedback enabled will need to be muted individually, and can only be muted after they actually send a sound.

    In Windows Vista the sound mixer populates all running programs when it is run, but in Windows 7 the Sound Mixer starts up almost empty, showing Windows Sounds but little else.

    Then, each time a program (that was already running when Sound Mixer was started) plays a sound, the sound interrupts the music, requiring the user to visit Sound Mixer repeatedly to mute each program in turn.

    It would be great to learn of a third party Sound Miser or Registry or other tweak to restore the Vista behavior or even improve upon it [as I recall, not every sound source was separated from the "wave sound" item].

    Even though the Vista Sound Mixer wasn't perfect, it was the best Microsoft mixer to date.

    ------------------------------
    Windows 7 - it wasn't my idea!
     
  2. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    What you state seems to be correct. How are you listening to the Music, what output are you using?

    What are you using to play the music. I have not found anything in Media Player that would mute all other sounds, but I am still looking.
     
  3. JessicaD

    JessicaD New Member

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    Perhaps I am not understanding the problem correctly -- when you click on the sound icon in the taskbar you can select mixer and mute system sounds as well as application sounds and leave only the volume for Media Player / iTunes / VLC / etc. audible.

    Is this an inconvenience?
     
  4. Agent Data

    Agent Data Banned

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    should be a check-box option in the MS media player - mute all system sounds while playing media..smart idea!
     
  5. Cornan

    Cornan New Member

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    Here's what happens in detail. Before beginning, I'm assuming:

    A) most or all of the programs you're using are already running, and
    B) you have not run Sound Mixer since booting the system

    1) Run Windows Media Player and start listening to some music
    2) Run Sound Mixer for the first time (for others on this thread, do this by right-clicking on the "speaker" icon in the system tray, then select "Sound Mixer")
    3) (this is the important part) Even though other programs are already running, Sound Mixer will only show "Windows Sounds" and "Windows Media Player", but not most of the other programs - click to "mute" Windows Sounds and whatever else is available.
    4) Use some other program that uses sound feedback - for example Microsoft Office.
    5) that program will play its sounds - return to Sound Mixer, where it will now appear, and mute it
    6) Use some other program that uses sound feedback
    7) that program will play its sounds - return to Sound Mixer, where it will now appear, and mute it
    ... and so on

    In other words, when running Sound Mixer the first time, programs that use sound will not appear and cannot be muted until they actually play a sound, requiring repeated trips to Sound Mixer.
     
  6. Cornan

    Cornan New Member

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    I am just using the normal speaker / headphone output.

    The controls for muting other programs are in the Sound Mixer, which is a feature of Windows (Vista and 7), not a feature of Windows Media Player.

    The problem is that running programs do not appear in Sound Mixer until they actually play a sound, so it it not possible to mute them all at once. It is annoying to need to make multiple trips to Sound Mixer.

    In Windows Vista "something" in the operating system must have been tracking sound usage prior to the Sound Mixer program being initiated, as all the running programs appear when Sound Mixer is started.

    Sound Mixer in Windows 7 is "worse" than in Windows Vista.
     
  7. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    Something I have noticed is that if you have a program open that has its own sounds (Quicken), you can mute it then and it will remain muted until re-enable. Even through a reboot it will remain set.

    Perhaps you could get to where whenever you open a program you want sounds for, you could enable them for just that session and then mute prior to closing. Not as good as having a "Mute all other" option, but perhaps workable.
     

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