Exponential Volume Control

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  • 4.0 stars

    "As Advertised"

    May 25, 2011  |   By c|net Reader

    Pros

    - Great low level volume control
    - Retains useful high level volume control
    - Doesn't try to do too much

    Cons

    - The mechanism for associating meta-keys (Ctrl, Alt, Shift) with the volume change/mute keys is goofy
    - "Easing" is a bit of an odd name ("acceleration" is used for similar behavior with mouse movement, for example)
    - No control panel configuration

    Summary

    I've been annoyed by the large steps by which volume changes in Windows when using the volume up/down buttons on my computers. This tool permits me to make those steps smaller, which means finer control. However, doing that means that, at higher volume levels, the changes are almost imperceptible. For that, I adjusted the "Easing" control to its maximum. Now, I can finely adjust the volume at low levels and get useful changes at higher levels. Perfect!

    The app is the configuration interface. In normal operation, EVC is hidden. While there's no mention of it, EVC installs itself in the Windows registry to automatically start each time you boot your computer. If you remove that registry entry, EVC doesn't add it again, so it may be the installer that does it. (You can run the app with /hide to make it run without seeing it on the screen, so you can put it in your Startup folder or run it from a tool like Startup Delayer.)

    I've only tried it on Windows XP so far.

    Updated on Jun 2, 2011

    I called the means of setting the mute and volume up/down keys "goofy" previously. It could be made so much easier by simply allowing the user to press the desired key combination. As it is, for each operation, there's a drop down list box of modifiers (Ctrl, Alt, ...) and a drop down list box with far too many items representing the available keys. Many key names are easy enough to understand, like "F3," "U," and "VolumeUp," but many others have non-intuitive names like "D5," "Oem1," and "OemOpenBrackets." If you're thinking that "Oem1" represents the numeric keypad "1" key, think again. There's also "NumPad1." As for "OemOpenBrackets," I'm stumped. "Brackets" can refer to parentheses, curly braces, and square brackets, to use the names with which I'm familiar, and I have no idea to what the "Oem" prefix refers.

    Updated on Jul 25, 2011

    Tried on Windows 7. Whenever I press a volume button the application fails with a .NET exception. I hope there's a fix!

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1 reply to this review

  • Reply by Frosty555 on September 16, 2012

    Hi c|net reader, I'm the developer who wrote EVC.

    Regarding the "goofy" settings, indeed the program is a bit rough around the edges but it was for good reason!

    It is actually quite difficult to implement a good keystroke-picking UI.

    The problem is the keystrokes you type into the form is a .NET keycode. My program needed Win32 API keycodes in order to bind to them system-side.

    It's stupid... but the only way to implement it would have been to make an enormous mapping table to convert the .NET keycode into a Win32 API keycodes. Repeated 8x of the possible combination of shift, ctrl, and alt!

    I thought my solution to the problem was quite elegant - just enumerate all possible Win32 keycodes, and put it in the dropdown for the user to pick from. But - in my testing I never saw those weird "OEM" labelled keys.

    My keyboard was a plain dell laptop keyboard back then, and those special keys didn't exist for me.

    I guess things have changed quite a bit since the old XP days!

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