I’m very happy as of late, you know?
Why? Well, one of my favorite pet disgruntles with KDE KMix (kde default audio mixer) was that it felt that the poor thing was abandoned.
Is felt old and misplaced compared to Mac or Windows 7 Mixer, or even gnome audio sound applet, with all the fancy media player support and all.
Veromix was the answer to my prayers. A PA (pulseaudio) plasma mixer, that even had media player (mpris,mpris2) support!
And best of all, written in python, so to add this plasmoid you just need to download the .plasmoid.
It was love at first sight.
Now i saw this blog post, about the rewrite of kmix as a QML plasmoid.
I was exultant!
Well, in my book, competition is good, and coo-petition is even better :)
So a new mixer can only add to the options available, and add pressure to up the standard.
However, this kmix qml is still some time for a formal release, and will probably only be included in KDE SC 4.7 or beyond.
Now, veromix is now and here, and can be added with a click of a button using GHNS (Get Hot New Stuff) directly from your current KDE SC 4.6 and below.
So i decided to write a short review of Veromix, what it currently does (lots of stuff) so you can read it, download it and start enjoying it. My not so hidden intent is to hope that the KDE folks always will read this and take notice on a mixer well done, so they can incorporate some ideas in the new kmix.
Remember, coo-petition is a GOOD THING!(tm)
So without further ado, here comes Veromix 0.11 beta 2 awesomeness :)
First, what IS veromix? From the author kde-apps site:
Veromix is a mixer for the Pulseaudio sound server.Features:
– Media Player Controls (aka nowplaying)
– per application volume control (replay & record)
– global hotkeys
– can life in system tray
So, since it uses PA it already has some advantages.
First, the sound “streams” are added and removed dinamically.
No more clutter, if you are (for ex), running skype, it will show a skype mixer WHEN THERES SOUND, or a amarok, or whatever.
As soon as you close (or the app closes) the sound thats being received, it disapears from the veromix plasma window.
First, lets take a look at veromix with skype sending a sound test and a flash playing in my firefox 4.0, along with my opened amarok (the media player support shows covers and gives controls for all MPRIS/MPRIS2 players, like amarok, clementine, rythmbox, etc).
Also remember, since veromix uses PA, you have PER APPLICATION sound volume, so you can control master sound as a whole, or set individual sound settings for each stream that shows up, this for output AND INPUT.
In this case, amarok is the LibVLC audio stream (since im using phonon-vlc and at this point), and you can see i was listening to AC/DC in amarok, from the cover support :)
Now, when skype stopped playing the test sound, i also closed the firefox tab with the youtube trailer (the plugin-container alsa playback), and automatically those “streams” where removed.
No manual intervention, a dream come true.
Same is true for recording, open skype, start talking into the MIC, and veromix will show your input.
Below i opened a sound recording app and the app was automatically available in the record tab so you could control the input.
As soon, as you stop the recording, the stream disappears :)
One other thing that i love about Veromix, is the one click output selection.
What does it mean? Imagine, that like me, you have a notebook with HDMI.
So you are listening to a ogg or you want to see Tron Legacy in your 50” TV with audio.
No problem, open your favourite player (VLC, SMplayer, whatever), and just click on the sound output in veromix to HDMI.
INSTANT GRATIFICATION IS ALWAYS GOOD :D
In this example im showing the analog stereo output, but you would only need to select the HDMI output and instantly the sound would have been redirected.
In conclusion, veromix is one today the best plasmoid mixer available for pulseaudio, and in my opinion, is a first rate mixer, period.
The author keeps adding stuff to the mixer, and im pretty sure more cool and interesting stuff will surface in the months to come.
But dont take my word for it.
Download it today via GHNS or site and give it a spin.
You will be pleasantly surprised, and maybe.. a little amazed :)