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Dynamic volume scale based on listener's usage

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000200326D
Publication Date: 2010-Oct-06
Document File: 2 page(s) / 44K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database


A program is disclosed which modifies the spacing of virtual detents on the volume scale of an audio device. The program is used on a device with volume controls and a volume scale with fixed-position detents. The program monitors usage of the volume controls, and uses this information to calculate new positions for detents on the volume scale.

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Dynamic volume scale based on listener 's usage

A common control mechanism for volume on portable audio devices is an "up" and "down" control. Internally, a volume scale is maintained, ranging from very quiet to very loud. Along with this is as a position on the volume scale that corresponds to the device's current volume level. Upon actuating a control, the device adjusts the current volume level by a fixed amount.

    By using this mechanism, the detents on the volume scale - the fixed levels of volume on the scale that the user traverses - must be manually chosen by an engineer. If the engineer chooses too many detents (ie. The up / down controls only adjust the volume by a small amount) then it becomes difficult for users to traverse the volume scale. If the engineer chooses too few detents, then the user may be unable to find a volume level appropriate for them (ie. At one detent it is too quiet, and at the next it is too loud). A volume scale with a fine level of control is desirable by users, and so this described tension is something that must be taken into account by the engineer.

The following diagrams illustrate the described detent spacings:

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Standard volume scale

Too many detents

Too few detents

    A further factor inhibiting this design is that of background noise. When background noise is taken into account, many of the quieter volume levels can be discounted. Then, the actual choice of volume levels available to the user are even fewer.

    Disclosed here is a program for determining the levels of volume that are 'interesting' to the user and increasing the concentration of detents around these levels, whilst decreasing the concentration of detents elsewhere.

    The program monitors the volume scale. When a user adjusts the current volume level, the program takes note of the level they adjust it to and considers this level to be "interesting". The user may use the device in a variety of locations, using a variety of different levels of volume. After some amount of usage, the program will built up knowledge of all "interesting" volume levels. When a user now adjusts the volume level, they will find that spacing of detents is such that there are more detents close to interesting levels of volume and fewer detents elsewhere.

    Call these "interesting" volume levels 'anchors'. Initially, the volume scale has no anchor points, so the program uniformly places detents across the scale.

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    When the user adjusts the volume f...