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Vista Sound and Volume Controls

As you probably already know, Microsoft has added a number of new features and enhancements to its Windows Vista operating system, with one of those being the new sound controls. They really are a welcome addition in terms of features and ease of use. New to the Vista sound controls is the ability to individually control the volume of software applications that use sound, including the background Windows sounds. From now on, users will no longer have to listen to the clicks, bells and other somewhat annoying sounds if they don’t want to. This new feature is especially helpful when you have music or another type of media playing on your computer. Keep reading for all the details!

Access to most of the available sound features in Vista is now easily accomplished by right clicking on the sound icon in the notification area of your taskbar. From there, you can open the new Volume Control, open the Audio Devices Panel, as well as, set the default System Sound Events. These items may also be accessed by going to Start, Control Panel, Hardware and Sound, Audio Devices and Sound Themes.

Opening the Audio Devices section will allow you to view the active Output and Input sound devices on your system. From this panel, you may access the Advanced Properties of each device as well, such as tone adjustments, speaker configuration, levels and other general options for that device. From the sound icon, you can also choose the System Sound Events, which will allow you to set your default Windows sounds, such as the beeps and clicks you hear when doing various Windows tasks, etc.

Opening the Volume control from the sound icon will allow you to adjust the volume of any currently open applications that happen to use sound. To the far left is the Main Volume and to the right, you’ll see the individual sliders for open applications. The first slider under the Applications section is for the Windows sounds and so on. Now, each slider can be adjusted independently and they only control a specific application. The icons above each slider helps you to easily identify the application and if you hover your mouse over the icon, it will give you more detailed information. Cool, huh?!

Hope this one helps you out with your Vista sounds and volumes!

~ Ramachandran Kumaraswami