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Because my laptop volume controls are state of the art in the field of bad usability, I decided to map two keyboard shortcuts to make my own volume controls. I found that amixer should be helpful:

Super+Arrow Up        amixer set Master playback 2dB+
Super+Arrow Down      amixer set Master playback 2dB-

This works, but if I turn the volume too low, I cannot take it back. It stays muted and my "volume up" command does nothing. When I try these commands in terminal, it gives following outputs:

$ amixer set Master playback 2dB-
Simple mixer control 'Master',0
  Capabilities: pvolume pvolume-joined pswitch pswitch-joined penum
  Playback channels: Mono
  Limits: Playback 0 - 64
  Mono: Playback 4 [6%] [-45.00dB] [on]
$ amixer set Master playback 2dB-
Simple mixer control 'Master',0
  Capabilities: pvolume pvolume-joined pswitch pswitch-joined penum
  Playback channels: Mono
  Limits: Playback 0 - 64
  Mono: Playback 1 [2%] [-47.25dB] [on]
$ amixer set Master playback 2dB-
Simple mixer control 'Master',0
  Capabilities: pvolume pvolume-joined pswitch pswitch-joined penum
  Playback channels: Mono
  Limits: Playback 0 - 64
  Mono: Playback 0 [0%] [-99999.99dB] [on]

And now it is broken. Following does nothing:

$ amixer set Master playback 2dB+
Simple mixer control 'Master',0
  Capabilities: pvolume pvolume-joined pswitch pswitch-joined penum
  Playback channels: Mono
  Limits: Playback 0 - 64
  Mono: Playback 0 [0%] [-99999.99dB] [on]

I have to use my mouse, grab volume toggle on my panel and raise it manually. The value [-99999.99dB] looks suspicious, but I have no idea what does it mean.

Could anyone adjust my two volume commands they could avoid such issue?

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1 Answer

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Looks like a bug, you should report it.

Meanwhile, you could instead use

amixer set Master playback 3+
amixer set Master playback 3-
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Brilliant! amixer set Master playback 3- comes with the suspicious value -99999.99dB too, but it is actually able to go back and raise the volume. As you suggested, I filed the bug: bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/alsa-utils/+bug/1078233 Thank you! –  Honza Javorek Nov 13 '12 at 10:52
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