Re: Sound effects

On Fri, 2008-12-12 at 10:06 +0000, Ross Burton wrote:
> On Fri, 2008-12-12 at 02:00 +0000, Iain wrote:
> > Some thoughts on sounds.
> [snip]
> Hear hear.
> I turned off sounds in GNOME when I first started using it because
> hearing six clicks when I change a radio button was somewhat irritating.
> I understand the recent work has worked towards solving this but 125
> event sounds is 124 too many.

I think the key with good sound effects on an operating system is being
sensible about them.

Firstly,  I don't need a click sound when I do;

 * Clicking on a menu
 * Slipping down to a submenu and it opening
 * Clicking on a link in a web browser (ie I hate you for this!!!)
 * Clicking on a launcher
 * Clicking on checkbuttons, radio buttons, combo boxes
 * Clicking on pretty much anything...

Now, sometimes a click sound might be useful, e.g. if you don't use a
button on your touchpad and instead only use taps (new macbooks for
instance), the click sound can confirm you clicked... This might be
good. Imagine an option in the touchpad preferences to say "make click
sound when tapping".

However where we seem to have the clicking thing a little over done,
we're missing out on useful sounds;

 * New email arrived, sure it can be configured but this would be nice
on default
 * Urgency hints, if an application in the background suddenly wants the
users attention it would be alright if a little boing or pong
(onomatopoeia you've gotta love it :) to inform you that something you
haven't had in the foreground for a while wants your attention, the
blinking of course is good but sound would help too.
 * System updates available
 * Download's complete (firefox, bittorrent etc...)
 * Copy/Move complete (nautilus)
 * Device inserted or ejected

So killing >ALL< sounds is a bit silly, but there again, the ones we
have are silly. Using sounds to improve the user experience is possible,
we just have to think about places where sounds are useful. 


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