One of the items being worked on by Red Hat for Fedora 11 is making the GNOME volume control and sound preferences area more intuitive and easier to use. With Fedora and most other distributions now using PulseAudio, they are beginning to take advantage of some of the features available through this sound server. Some of this work involves reworking the user interface for controlling GNOME Sound Preferences, which we are providing a glimpse of in this article. Among other benefits, there is finally the ability to adjust the volume level on a per-application basis.
While improved volume control is one of the items being worked on by Red Hat for Fedora 11, the GNOME work was already pulled into Ubuntu 9.04 and can be found in the Alpha 3 release to come out later this week. One of the first signs of this new volume control work is the sound control applet, which has its slider positioned horizontally now and below that is a mute checkbox along with a volume control button. When clicking on the volume control button it will launch the new GNOME Sound Preferences.
The GNOME Sound Preferences/Properties have been integrated with the GNOME volume control area, which should make it easier on the end user. The tabs within the new sound preferences area is for sound effects, input, output, and applications. Above the different tabs is an overall output volume control and the ability to mute the audio.
The sound effects tab is not too different from what can be found within the sounds tab of gnome-sound-properties on GNOME 2.24, except for the ability to adjust the alert volume on a per-alert basis. From the sound effects tab there is the ability to play the sound theme and play sound effects associated with different actions.