Pandora Volume Control Method

Which method is preferred for controlling volume? (Please read post before voting)

  • Slider (like DS)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Wheel (like GP32)

    Votes: 1 100.0%
  • Buttons/rocker - (digital, like PSP)

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    1

DaveC

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There has been some debate over whether the volume control for the Pandora should be a wheel or slider. The wheel allows more range of adjustment which will make it easier and less touchy to adjust to desired volume. It is not as aesthetic and may allow dust to get into unit though. A slider is more fidgety and you have to make micro adjustments to get the volume you want. It does look nicer and may prevent dust from entering unit though. It seems there are advantages/disadvantages to both.

One method not discussed and discounted is the 2-button or rocker type digital control (like PSP/MP3 players). The reason this was so disliked is because of the way it was implemented on the GP2X. It had to be programmed for in every application itself. This made it a pain for devs, and often early versions of an app lacked the volume control entirely. When it was included it always worked different depending on the developer's implementation. Understandably this is undesireable.

If possible what if this digital control was implemented at the hardware level so that software does not control it or even know it is there? Devs would not have to worry about adding volume control code in their app. It would simply control the volume to the amp directly, or it could be handled in the low level firmware somehow. When the volume rocker was pressed a graphic overlay would momentarily appear on-screen showing volume level (like it does on many TVs). Of course you will hear the increase/decreasing volume in real time too so you don't have to see the bar incase you are using in audio player screen closed mode.

The advantage to this is as follows:

Huge volume range possible with finer steps. Can have more range than wheel/slider.

Very precise, easy to adjust, no tweaking around.

Robust - will not wear or be effected by dust, will be more durable than a potentiometer.

Will look nice and low profile.

Will be more compact.

Can be "locked" so that putting in pocket will not effect volume level if bumped.
 

Sobek

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For ease of use, for ease of price, for ease of hardware I would choose the digital hardware route.
It makes things a little more complicated for the firmware development, but, if observed objectively, it is the best of all the options in the end.

1 - Negligible possibility of hardware breakage, whereas a wheel or slider would have something on an order of magnitude greater chance of breaking.
2 - It would be much easier for someone, for whatever reason, to modify the function of said buttons if they were controlled in firmware rather than a fully hardware controlled.
3 - The volume state could be stored along with the data for the RTC(Real-time clock, for those not paying attention.) or in a similar way given that Pandora will have a battery for the RTC. I don't know if I'm talking out my ass, but I'd assume that it wouldn't be much of a stretch to store volume data in a similar fashion to the RTC's data(Please, correct if wrong.).
4 - Whether slider or wheel, the mechanism will accumulate debris(Sand, dirt, dead skin, etc.) and it will change the quality of the control. I don't know if anyone here has ever heard the volume control on an older, newer radio(You know: digital display with hardware volume.), but the control is often unpredictable as the mechanism becomes older.

Well, these are my reasons for choosing what I did, before DaveC made his points I was all for the wheel volume... now, not so much. I think this is the best way, hopefully someone with design control(However limited.) will see my points as valid.
I would like to think that I've influenced the design at least a little. :lol:
 

Squidge

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If the decision was between a plastic wheel/slider and volume buttons, then I would go with either the slider or the volume buttons. If however the wheel was a bit more durable (eg. thicker than usual and metallic) then I would go with that.

The only problem I see with volume buttons is that either the firmware needs to check the button status regularly, or they need to be placed on a pin that can generate an interrupt. If you then hold down the button (to increase the volume), it would generate a lot of interrupts, which could slow down the running application (as it would have to ignore X interrupts/sec to allow for a gradual change of volume, but those interrupts would still be using up valuable processing time). Also, it would mean that anyone creating homebrew without Linux still would have the problem of volume control to implement in there apps.

So what I'm saying is: Give me a chunky metallic wheel! :)
 

Alex.

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What about boot sounds or other unexpected niceties? A physical volume wheel or slider would guarantee muteness when you need it most, unlike a digital implementation.
 

DaveC

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Alex. said:
What about boot sounds or other unexpected niceties? A physical volume wheel or slider would guarantee muteness when you need it most, unlike a digital implementation.
Not really, if the buttons directly controlled the amp as stated in the post, it would make no difference. It would be basically the same as the wheel/slider and would have the same effect.

What Squidge says is true so it couldn't be implemented in FW. In that case and would have to control the amp directly through electronics. The PSP has the volume buttons though and games don't slow down when you use it (never noticed it anyway, but I don't use it alot). I am not sure how they do it.
 
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realyst

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I actually prefer the slider as it tells you what volume the unit is prior to turning it on.

It also prevents it from being "pushed in" by outside pressure, putting the pot at risk as you would have on a wheel.

But anything other then digital buttons. Less control, possible implementation problems, "controlling the amp" doesn't make much sense as power would need to be fed to some processor somewhere to decide if the up bit or down bit is 1 at some interval.

No digital. No way. No how.
 

Alex.

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DaveC said:
Alex. said:
What about boot sounds or other unexpected niceties? A physical volume wheel or slider would guarantee muteness when you need it most, unlike a digital implementation.
Not really, if the buttons directly controlled the amp as stated in the post, it would make no difference. It would be basically the same as the wheel/slider and would have the same effect.

This isn't an issue concerning apps that do not have volume controls coded in, it's about having total control over sound volume even before you turn the unit on. I want to be able to turn the slider or the wheel all the way down at any time, and be guaranteed that the unit will be mute when I turn it on, even from the sleep mode.
 
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magicman5421

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I think that the slider would be the best choice, but with some conditions. On the DS, the slider was made of some crappy piece of plastic that started jiggling the second I moved it around. If there is to be a slider, it needs to be well made. Same goes for a wheel.
 

fusion_power

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Squidge said:
So what I'm saying is: Give me a chunky metallic wheel! :)
Thats the spirit! :)
Here we go again:



This (metal) wheel has a diameter of 20mm and is 5mm thick, should be enough for "chunkiness". :)
 
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parag0n

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Voted slider but i'd be happy with a wheel too.

In my opinion the most important feature a volume control must have is a click at one end to make sure it is properly turned off, very useful for when it is in a pocket.
 

quote

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parag0n said:
Voted slider but i'd be happy with a wheel too.

In my opinion the most important feature a volume control must have is a click at one end to make sure it is properly turned off, very useful for when it is in a pocket.
Yeah, or make the slider/wheel indented and stiff enough so it won't move in your pocket
 
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Mr B

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pandora said:
parag0n said:
Voted slider but i'd be happy with a wheel too.

In my opinion the most important feature a volume control must have is a click at one end to make sure it is properly turned off, very useful for when it is in a pocket.
Yeah, or make the slider/wheel indented and stiff enough so it won't move in your pocketThe two doesn't do the same. The click at the low end, locks the sound at "off" and the hard to move makes any involuntary adjustments to the sound level smaller. The first one doesn't have a tough to turn wheel, and the later pretty much don't need the 'locked' click position for sound "off".
B!
 
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