System volume % versus application volume %?

In KDE, on the bottom right of the display (I guess in what might be called the default layout) is the volume icon which displays the volume for “Devices” and “Applications”. My devices show 100%. The same is visible in System Settings.

My question concerns the volume for applications. I was building a custom audio UI in a web browser and the volume setting wasn’t working as expected; so, I tried it on the browser’s default audio tag UI and the issue is the same but a bit more difficult to quantify because the browser’s volume UI is a sliding ball that displays no percentage value.

When viewing the application volume, it appears that the browser volume percentage relative to that of the system is as below and the system appears to be the correct value.
Browser / System
1% / 22%
2% / 27%
3% / 31%
10% / 46%
20% / 58%
30% / 67%
50% / 79%
80% / 93%
90% / 97%
100% / 100%.

These are numbers that display for Firefox. Chrome is shown as 100% regardless of the where the browser is set but it appears to follow the same pattern of loudness, meaning that it is much louder than the browser volume UI would indicate.

Is this a browser issue or might I have some setting incorrect in System Settings? I don’t mess with much in the settings and it appears that audio is set at the default: 100% volume and equally balanced between two speakers.

I’m playing an mp3 lecture, no music or anything complex. But, even if I go a website of a speaking podcast that has nothing to do with my own code or mp3 files, the browser volume UI has to be turned way down before the speaker volume decreases.

Thank you.

I have found that the best approach is to have the application volume at 100% for most applications, and to instead then set the system volume to a level where everything sounds comfortable to you and does not bother your neighbors. On my system here, that’s about 50%.

Sometimes I have to raise that a bit, e.g. with certain videos on YouTube, because my browser volume is already set to 100%. But I have found that I also have to set the application volume and notification volume lower than 100% for certain apps, because even with the system volume at 50%, it otherwise sounds too loud.

But then again, the good news is that Plasma remembers the setting for each individual application. So once everything is set up properly, you rarely ever have to touch that volume slider anymore.

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Thank you. That’s probably a better way of handling volume as an individual user; but for my audio UI, if the user chooses to change the volume within the web page, it doesn’t work properly because there is not a 1:1 correlation (or however that should be stated) between the browser and what the system shows for application volume. I mean a 1% change in volume or an absolute value of some percentage volume according to the browser code does not result in 1% change or the same absolute volume in the system’s application volume setting.

Also, the two do not “communicate” in both directions. A change in volume from within the browser does change the application volume display in System Settings and the volume icon display. But changing the application volume in System Settings or the icon display, although it changes the speaker volume, does not change the browser’s volume UI value.

For my project, it might not matter; because, although I’m using a browser as the UI, it’s not via the internet but a small local server written in Tcl; so, perhaps, the Tcl code can access the system volume and I can set the browser volume to 100%. I’m not sure a user would like that but it’s better than having a browser volume start at 22% system volume for browser volume of 1% and then increase sharply and sort of approach 100% like a mathematical asymptote.

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I used to help a friend maintain an audio player for online radio stations. He created a volume slider based on: How To Create Range Sliders -
Demo page W3Schools Tryit Editor shows a numerical value for the slider

If the input slider range is set to min="0" max="100" numerical value displayed for volume would correlate precisely with percentage value, but keyboard controls only increase/decrease volume by 1%

We used min="0" max="20" so keyboard volume controls changed volume in 5% steps
Numerical value multipled by 5 to correlate with percentage values
and default volume for slider was set to 75%: value="15"

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It’s a browser problem with using Firefox in Plasma that is apparently not easy to fix. There should be some other threads about it on here.

KDE uses the same Firefox browser as other DEs so problem may be due to KDE audio GUI controls

I suggest KDE users install pavucontrol-qt to check audio levels. That should give consistent results on any DE and shows volume in percentages and decibels. Decibel values have better precision and accuracy but use a logarithmic scale

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