Volume buttons / dconf /jolla/sound/force_mediavolume

By default media volume control is only possible during playback. This can be changed using dconf write /jolla/sound/force_mediavolume true so that buttons always change media volume. So far so good.

The problem is that if volume buttons are set to always change media volume, there is no way to control call audio volume… What’s even worse, audio volume seems to be reset to some predefined level after each reboot (at least on XA2 Ultra), which is quite low and needs to be adjusted. And if one has the “force_mediavolume” enabled, it takes disabling it, setting the call volume (during a call), and then re-enabling the “force_mediavolume” via terminal. Unbelievably cumbersome and time consuming. And not persistent, as reboot resets the call audio volume.

In BlackBerry 10 OS, e.g. on the BlackBerry Passport, there was a GUI setting to easily choose if volume buttons control ringtone/notifications (and media during playback) or always media volume. However, even if the the latter is set on BB10, during an audio call volume buttons ALWAYS control call audio volume.

So my feature request is as follows:

  • please allow simple GUI switch in settings to change between volume buttons controlling ringtone or media, like in BB10
  • even if “force_mediavolume” is enabled, please make it so that during a call volume buttons control call audio volume, again, like in BB10.

I also find the volume controls quite counterintuitive. At least it could be specified in the UI which volume is being changed, rather than a generic “volume”.

Sometimes also I want to change the playback volume before playback starts, so that I don’t annoy everyone in the vicinity.

That’s what setting /jolla/sound_mediavolume provides. When it is set to true, volume buttons by default control media playback volume, and ringtone volume only when the phone rings.

To enable it, type in the terminal:

devel-su dconf write /jolla/sound/force_mediavolume true

(you can always go back to the default behavior by changing true to false).

It works even better with Patchmanager’s “Extended volume control” which displays both ringtone and media volume bars simultaneously on the screen and in addition to button control you can also use the touchscreen to change either of them just by sliding a finger.

BUT… as I wrote earlier, if “force_mediavolume” is enabled so that media playback volume is always controlled, then there is no way to control call audio volume, which, to make things even worse, gets reset on every reboot to some pathetically low level (at least on XA2 Ultra). Pressing volume buttons during a call does not change the volume of the earpiece, it still changes media volume.

Actually, maybe it should be considered a bug and bug report should be filled…

Strange, on my XA2+ on 4.4, I can change the call audio volume with the keys. Besides, key ‘force_mediavolume’ doesn’t exist as user ‘devel-su’. But as defaultuser, it is set to true.

You’re right that it doesn’t need root. But of course it does exist. You can use devel-su or not, doesn’t matter.

Sadly, in my case when it is set to true then I cannot change call audio volume. Note that I mean earpiece, not the loudspeaker.

[defaultuser@XA2PhKNoir ~]$ dconf list /jolla/sound/

[root@XA2PhKNoir defaultuser]# dconf list /jolla/sound/

Writing it as root works anyway, i.e. switches between ringtone and media volume control. So, like I wrote, it doesn’t matter if you use devel-su or not, it works anyway. Why don’t you try it.

Anyway, that’s not the point, right?

The actual problem is:

  • lack of a convenient GUI setting, unlike in other systems like BB10 or Android
  • no call audio volume control when force_mediavolume is enabled, at least in my case. The volume indicator (bar) changes but the actual volume doesn’t.

So let’s focus on that, OK?

It turns out that after a few reboots I am now able to control call audio volume during calls, no matter if force_mediavolume is enabled or disabled. So it must have been a temporary problem and a reboot fixed it.

What remains (and this is still my feature request):

  • lack of convenient GUI switch in Settings (e.g. on the “Sounds and feedback” screen) to change between rintone/media volume control

  • when volume is being adjusted and the volume bar is shown, display which exactly volume is being changed rather than just “Volume”.