9.21 Sounds and Audio Devices
The five tabs within this panel control every aspect of your microphone,
, and associated software.
9.21.1 Volume Tab
the speaker volume for your system, but you'd be crazy to open the Control Panel and this program every time you want to adjust your PC speakers. Fortunately, the "Place volume icon in the taskbar" checkbox puts a speaker icon in your notification area, near the time display. Click that icon to
a much more
This dialog box also offers these
. Opens the Volume Control program described on Section 8.4.3.
. Produces sliders that let you set the left and right channel
of your PC's audio independently. (This
duplicates the function of the Balance slider in the Volume Control program, but at least you can't claim you're unable to adjust your speaker balance.)
(yes, there's a second Advanced button, this one at the bottom of the dialog box, in the Speaker settings section). If you're an audiophile whose PC is the center of the sound system, this one is for you. It opens an Advanced Audio Properties dialog box that lets you specify exactly what kind of speakers are connected to your PC ”5.1 surround sound, quadraphonic, monitor-mounted stereo speakers, and so on. Its Performance tab lets you specify how much of the PC's energy should be put into sound generation.
9.21.2 Sounds Tab
Windows plays little sound effects ”beeps, musical ripples, and chords ”all the time: when you
on the PC, trigger an error message, empty the Recycle Bin, and so on. And if you like, you can hear them on many other occasions, such as when you open or exit a program, open a menu, restore a window, and so on. This tab lets you specify which sound effect plays for which situation (Figure 9-17).
Figure 9-17. The Program Events list box
every conceivable category in which a sound is
: Windows, NetMeeting, Windows Explorer, and so on. (The
for some programs ”America Online, for example ”may add categories of their own.)
22.214.171.124 Program events
A speaker icon denotes the occasions when a sound will play. If you click the
of some computer event, you can:
Remove a sound from the event by choosing (None) from the Sounds drop-down list.
Change an assigned sound, or add a sound to an event that doesn't have one, by clicking the Browse button and choosing a new sound file from the list in the Open dialog box.
When you select a sound, its filename appears in the Sounds drop-down list box. Click the
Play button to the right of the box to hear the sound.
When you click the Browse button, Windows XP opens the Local Disk (C:)
Media folder, which contains the
files that provide sounds. If you drag
files into this Media folder, they become available for use as Windows sound effects. Many people download
files from the Internet and stash them in the Media folder to make their computing experience quirkier, more fun, and richer in
126.96.36.199 Sound scheme
Each set of sounds is called a sound
Sometimes the sound effects in a scheme are even sonically
(perhaps the collection is totally hip-hop, classical, or performed on a kazoo). To switch schemes, use the "Sound scheme" drop-down list.
You can also define a new scheme of your own. Start by assigning individual sounds to events, and then click the Save As button to save your collection under a name that you create.
9.21.3 Audio, Voice, and Hardware Tabs
The other three tabs on the Sounds and Audio Devices Properties dialog box control the settings of your various multimedia gadgets.
Use the Audio tab to select and configure your microphones and speakers. (Most people have only one gadget for each purpose, so making a choice isn't exactly a brainteaser.)
Use the Voice tab to select and configure your microphone.
The Hardware tab offers a subset of the Device Manager (see Section 14.6). It presents a list of the sound, video, and movie-related hardware
on your PC, and identifies them by brand and model.