Sound settings: get and set properties of sound devices, notably a name

  7 years ago
  Under review

The Sound settings window accessible from the Hardware section of the System settings window is rather impoverished in this regard.

I have one USB sound device for example which is labeled G930, which is quite neat as it happens to be a Logitech G930. I'll grant it that.

But I have another USB sound device attached which is labeled simply "Speakers". This device happens to be a LineX USB FM Transmitter.

Now lsusb strangely lists it as: "Texas Instruments Speakers"

while "cat /proc/asound/cards" lists it as Windows 7 does with the description "USB-Audio - Burr-Brown Japan PCM2702"

and usb-devices lists it similarly as:
S: Manufacturer=Burr-Brown Japan
S: Product=Burr-Brown Japan PCM2702

and aplay -l also lists it as:

card 3: PCM2702 [Burr-Brown Japan PCM2702], device 0: USB Audio [USB Audio]
Subdevices: 1/1
Subdevice #0: subdevice #0

So why then does the Sound settings list it as "Speakers"?

That a side, this window would improve magnitudes if we could see the properties of each listed playback device at least what aplay shows me or for usb sound devices what usb-devices shows me, and above all, it would rock if I could choose a name for the device that it appears with on that window in future (because on Windows 7 that's what I did, I just relabeled it "FM transmitter" and the G920 to "Wireless headset".

The whole family can then use the machine and choose a sound device with insight.

(short on time, but rather happy to consider tinkering, if I work out how I don't mind contributing to the code to add features like this over time)
Latest comments
bernd-wechner 6 years ago

With Mint 18 Beta out I see that the sound applet is now written in Python:

A perfect point in time to add this feature of being able to name sound devices. If Mint 18 doesn't implement it there is hope that if the applet is in python and I can find it, I can patch it myself to support that and make a contrib to the project if it's willing to accept it.

it is to my mind pretty paramount for the management of multiple sound devices (and I routinely have a few) to be able to name them locally to get around the lousy default names that need testing typically to work out which is which.

bernd-wechner 7 years ago

It strikes me this could be a Cinnamon idea mind you, not a LinuxMINT idea. Thoughts?

bernd-wechner 7 years ago

Hammer459, I agree, It might be a support issue, if the LinuxMINT Sound Settings window names for sound cards can be renamed somehow (y tweaking a file in the filesystem) and I'll post a question in the forums.

But, it is also an idea. To make such a tweak and further access to sound device properties accessible here for a slick user experience.

It is not a support questions to suggest as I have that the Sound Settings window should provide access to teh properties of sound devices and notably a name.

It is not sufficient that the name reported by the HID is used for reasons described above (namely as a user I want to be able to personalize the names of these devices). I can one Windows 7 (for sound devices, but furstratingly not for video sources but that's a side issue and we could do better no MINT).

It's also a support offer as much as it is a question given I'm, happy to consider contributing code to make at least basic naming in that window possible or cut my teeth at an extension - with concerns that it's one of many things on along list of course, but one that I have some personal passion for clearly ;-).

LinuxMINT purports to be and out of the box media ready system and it plays to its pitch that it make a diversity of media devices easily identifiable (by correctly reporting the names the USB device provides) and customizable so it can be set up for less savvy users - for example in my family who would know how to select "Wireless headset" as a play device but not what a "G930" is without training.

Hammer459 7 years ago

USB device driver asks the attached device what it is and then (presumably) the sound settings dialog presents those devices. So ask the developer of the device why the name is missing...

This is really a support issue that should have been posted in the Forums. (link provided at bottom of this page)