Show me muted sound.
June 27, 2011 10:29 AM   Subscribe

My PC's sound gets muted, how can I know?

In my workplace, we have several PC systems used as alarm systems. We use the audio output as an annunciator to indicate state changes.

Sometimes the audio output has been found muted. While there are times when it is legitimate to shut the sound off (during system maintenance) I suspect this muting is done by operators that are "just tired of that damn alarm always going off." Since the alarm software can only run full screen, I can't count on the mute indicator on the taskbar.

The solution I was thinking of is an indicator lamp that's lit when the sound is muted.

Does anyone know of an off the shelf product that does this? If not, how hard would it be to whip one up? I have no problem build hardware, probably a USB to GPIO to lamp box, but the software side is a brick wall. My coding skills are embedded systems, not Win.
posted by Marky to Computers & Internet (2 answers total)
Before getting to technical, what are the chances of the operators controlling the volume with a manual button/knob instead of software? If that's feasible, the implementation of an indicator is simpler.
posted by samsara at 10:51 AM on June 27, 2011

Looking for answers, I mostly come across people wanting to do the opposite. However, they do offer ideas. If the operators are not running administrative accounts (which they shouldn't be) it might be enough to disallow access to sndvol32.exe, which is the windows volume control. Another thing you could do is make a task which periodically (every five minutes?) resets the volume.

This might be helpful. This discussion might give you some leads.
posted by alexei at 8:18 PM on June 27, 2011

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