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Windows XP Professional: The Missing Manual by L.J. Zacker, Craig Zacker, David Pogue

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Sounds and Audio Devices

The five tabs within this panel control every aspect of your microphone, speakers, and associated software.

Volume Tab

These controls govern 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 open a much more convenient volume slider.

This dialog box also offers these buttons:

  • Advanced. Opens the Volume Control program described on Section 8.4.3.

  • Speaker Volume. Produces sliders that let you set the left and right channel volumes of your PC’s audio independently. (This essentially 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.)

  • Advanced (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.

Sounds Tab

Windows plays little sound effects—beeps, musical ripples, and chords—all ...

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