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What I like about Windows Vista: Sound Mixer

Posted by Daniel Hölbling on September 9, 2008

Welcome to my new (almost) infinite series about Windows Vista. The much hated, tiny little operating system Microsoft has released over a year ago and everybody loves to criticize.

So, what's in for a first post? Something not everybody is aware of: The new sound mixer with the new API behind it.


In the dark days before Microsoft's new shiny OS, applications output volume was determined by the master volume control in Windows. This has led to almost all applications having some sort of volume control built in to let users fine tune their experience.

Some examples:

Windows Media Player World of Warcraft
image image

Etc.. So everyone is searching for the right knobs to turn inside the application when it comes to sound.

Something, Vista has changed drastically, because now all applications have their own volume slider and you can control all of those (and tune them relative to each other) through the Windows Sound Mixer (available through the normal sound control in your system tray).

So, next time you do something with sound, make sure you don't try to access the master volume settings through the API but instead your settings. Here's a good article on how to do that: Vista Core Audio API Master Volume Control

Filed under windows-vista
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