Windows 7 – 3 Features That Are Music To Ears

Some cool insights into the new audio advancements in Windows 7 are exactly what they are – cool! With Windows 7, there are 3 particular features that interest me and will interest most you guys too.

Let’s begin with 1 of the biggest annoyance in previous iterations of Windows which now has been ironed out.

Scene: You have enabled screen-savers and also checked the ‘On resume, display logon screen’ option. Let’s say you’re listening to music and your screen saver kicks in. Suddenly you need to turn down the volume cause you have a phone call or someone’s come to your room.

Till Vista, you needed to login to be able to use the volume controls. From what it seems in Windows 7, you NO longer need to do that. Which essentially means that you can change the volume (also Mute/Un-mute) using the volume control on your keyboard without having to login.

2. Line-In, Mic Feedback:

Another annoyance in Windows Vista that I had was that my mic would never give me feedback and my Line-In would give me feedback even if I didn’t need it. With Windows 7, Microsoft has provided a simple solution to this problem.

You now have a check box in your audio device properties that allows you to choose whether you want the input coming from a device connected to Line-in or mic, to be played from your speakers or no. Sweet! Screen shot:

listen to mic feedback in windows 7

3. Automatic Stream Attenuation: A super awesome feature for developers to use and users to enjoy.

Windows 7 introduces Automatic Stream Attenuation or otherwise know as Ducking. Ducking, is an API that provides the developers to allow their applications to turn down the volume or pause if there is a trigger. Let’s say you’re watching a movie and you get a call on Skype, currently, Skype will ring over your movie/music.

Wouldn’t it be cool, if Skype could just pause the movie or fade the volume when it rang? Good news. Windows 7 allows developers to add that functionality in their applications.

This from what I understand is the result of the per application volume control introduced in Windows Vista, so now media player’s volume can be attenuated without having to change the main volume.

These seem to be some really cool, small but absolutely handy additions to Windows to make the UX more awesome.