Control PulseAudio streams with gnome-pulse-applet

Back in late 2007 i started seeing  news about some revolution that was coming to  sound in Linux . I remembered reading   about it being the:

next generation sound server for Linux, making all sorts of “ear-candy” possible: from dynamically changing the volume of individual applications to hot-plugging support for many different devices.


one of the  PulseAudio Dev in describe it said

One of the things !PulseAudio is supposed to be is a “Compiz for sound”.


Such was the hype around PulseAudio that many Linux users were expecting it to be the next best thing since compiz fusion.

well fast forward to 2009 and Pulse Audio is one of the most hated, curse at application on the linux Desktop. Although to be fair most of the issues people have with PulseAudio have much to do with the way Verious distributions packaged it than the progam itself.

Ok enough ranting back to the reason for this blog post

One feature i found interesting   about PulseAudio  was the ability to independently control the volume of individual applications on the fly, and its one feature that i have found missing in  various implementation of PulseAudio i have used  from Ubuntu 8.04,Ubuntu 8.10 to Fedora 10.. HOLD IT THERE! i didn’t say it wasn’t possible. just couldn’t be done on the fly with a few clicks.

Well gnome-pulse-applet makes you do just that.  gnome-pulse-applet is a very useful gnome applet that makes it easy to control the individual  Volume of  applications using PusleAudio in gnome.

To install, download the latest Installation package for your distribution  here (as at the time of this writing  only deb and rpm packages for ubuntu 8.10 and fedora 10 respectively were avalaible for download )

Once installed all you have to do is right click on an empty space in your gnome panel and add PulseAudio Volume Control. you can even change the appearance from vertical to horizontal by right clicking on the applet and going to preference.


Gnome-Pulse-Applet is a cool program that brings one of the much talked about feature of PulseAudio to the masses. Although the project is still at an early stage, i tested it on my ubuntu 8.10 and it worked fine without any problem. I was able to control,mute and increase the individual Volumes of VLC,Firefox (streaming with Toteem) and Rhythmbox.  Anyway i saw a post about this applet on identica and i thought i should share. Hope someone find this usefull

8 comments on “Control PulseAudio streams with gnome-pulse-applet

  1. Man, is this not what Gnome 2.26 does with its new mixer applet?

    Well, maybe people want something they can use NOW…

    Any case, I have been secretly using Alsa because VMWare’d OSes won’t play sound if I am using pulse audio. This is sad, cos I really like pulse.

    This is just another item on the list of things I can’t use for one reason or the other. Compiz is another one. I can’t use it because of the annoying texture size limit for intel cards. :p

  2. @nucco yeah PA was poorly implemented in ubuntu especially 8.04 although most of the problems have been fixed in Ibex. i haven’t noticed the problem with VMWare btw, but i know it works pretty well with Virtual box which is what i use on my laptop (vmware is on the desktop)

  3. @Bigbrovar – the problems for pulse have returned for the Jaunty alphas… constant stuttering on VLC and Wine, occasional static crackling… And of course the occasional crash. I hope it gets fixed up before release.

  4. @Bigbrovar: The sound issues are VMWare’s fault really. VMWare doesn’t support PulseAudio (hopefully, they’re planning to), and PulseAudio usually takes over the entire soundcard, so it can’t really coexist with applications that require ALSA for sound.

  5. @Cynic i think that is quite hash network manager 0.7 is a great improvement if you as me and like i said earlier most of the problem people complain about PA own more to the way some Distributions packaged it than an upstream problem. PA has some nice ideas and am sure once its polished things would turn out good

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