March 31, 2010

Idea: A new kind of volume control

A few weeks ago, I thought to myself, “Hey, someone should make a volume control that doesn’t go from ‘quiet’ to ‘loud’ but instead adjusts the audio from ‘whisper’ to ‘shout’.”

That lead to, “Maybe I can actually build that. It could be funny.”

Then I thought, “I should use the new HTML5 <audio> element. It’s timely. And it’s a good chance for me to learn how it works.”

Then I thought, “But what should I use as the audio sample? I know, I’ll use a recording of myself reciting ‘Mary Had A Little Lamb,’ as homage to Thomas Edison. Because what I’m doing is clearly as revolutionary as what he did.”

Next thing I knew, I was recording myself shouting ‘Mary Had A Little Lamb,’ wondering if the neighbors could hear me, and feeling rather silly. The more I worked on it, the more absurd the whole idea seemed.

But I got it working. Sort of. It only works in Firefox. So,with apologies to people who don’t use Firefox, or aren’t willing to fire it up just for a laugh, here is my revolutionary new audio player that adjusts the volume from “whisper” to “shout”:

(the image is a link to the actual player, which gets its own page)

See also: Garrett Morris


The image, when clicked in my RSS reader, links to a 404. It points to /audiothing/ instead of /volumething/.

Outdated RSS or did something go wrong somewhere?

That is pretty damn brilliant. I’m having fun imagining how this would apply to, say, a movie for example(:

how do you come up with all of these? as always your blog rocks.

You, sir, are a genius.

This is brilliant! Tweeted it. By the way you should add a way for people to share your posts.

Works in Opera too.

Excellent - will you, as the revolution go on - work on this towards multiple browsers?

will tweet @dressedtojazz about your skills!

I really, really enjoy this.

It’s a lie! Not only Firefox! Opera (10.5) works great, too!

But still a cool experiment!

When you convert the audio to m4a it should work in all other HTML5 browsers, too.

Hilarious, totally laughed out loud, thanks!

Brilliant, I love it. I wish all audio books had this option…

Two words:

Gee Nyus.

Would be far nicer if you only had to record your voice once, and let the software compute the other tones.

Nice, very impressive, not what I had been expecting! - look forward to reading the details on how this works.


This is brilliant.

I’m glad *someone* found my code useful. What surprises me is that the audio tag isn’t ignored due to the page being declared as xhtml and not as html.

By chance have you checked out my PagePlayer project?

You gave me a genuinely large laugh. I thank you for that sir. However, I will suggest your “pause” button turn to a “play” button upon completion of the audio clip.

Hilarious, i love the concept :D

Brilliant, I love it :)

Hahahah so much win.


Also, works fine on Opera 10.51 despite all your warnings to the contrary (and that ominous (opera?)).

That’s one demo I can’t try at work. :(

Creative concept, but you were totally holding back man! YOU KNOW FULLLL WELLLL that the loudest shout setting should be much screamier than that :)

That was wonderful.


The shout option was a riot, especially the mental image of you creating this at home, furtively looking around for people who might hear you. Thank you for creating this!

So revolutionary it did not work in Chrome or Safari!

That is amazing. You are an awesome person.

Simply brilliant. Made me laugh out loud.

AWESOME! NEED IT FOR ALL MY AUDIOBOOKS!!! (maybe not the yelling increment but it WOULD be sweet)


This. Is. Brilliant.

I can just imagine this turning all those movies everyone says I should see but don’t really sound so good into gems. Oh, goodness. So many possible amazing applications!

Awesome concept! I love it!

Glad you found the code for Jaraoke useful! I managed to get Chrome over its fits by ensuring that ogg files weren’t getting gzipped server side. Give that a shot and I’d imagine this’ll work in Chrome as well.

Also, if Chrome’s inability to run the demo is indeed related to gzip, then adding mp3 sources alongside the Ogg sources should make Safari happy.

It works better in Opera. The transition between the peaks is better. Firefox makes clipping between them.

Teehee! Very creative.

It would be cool if you would fade between the different volumes. So you can set it to 4.123 instead of just 4 or 5. :)

It would be cool if you would fade between the different volumes. So you can set it to 4.123 instead of just 4 or 5. :)


One practical use of this script is changing audio language on movies in html5.

It is possible to sync splitted video and audio?



also consider a low pitch/high pitch control for the computer (or does one already exist?) As my audiologist will attest, high frequency sounds usually go first. Before getting a hearing aid I just turned up the treble on our TV to help clarify spoken words.

I Started cracking up when i turned the volume all the way up, brilliant.

The highest volume is the best part

oh and my verification code is funny as well graph safety

You are totally nutz! Very funny, too.

Hilarious and brilliant


The shout setting sounds like Garth from Wayne’s World.

I keep playing it on whisper to scare nearby children.

1. Funny!
2. Is that a Baltimore accent I detect?

I can’t play on FF3.0.something! I want to hear!

Love this and I love Firefox!

Nice! I like it. It made me smile on a bad day. Thanks

pretty sweet!


I wish someone would pay you for this …