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iRule needs a volume module !

I know this has been suggested before but now I am sure: iRule needs a better integration for volume control.
Given that most modern surround amps, receivers and pres are netcontrolled or via RS232 this should be possible.

It seems as if iRule can control everything very well. Now it's time to make a real smooth control possible.
One way would be a slider to control volume and similiar functions. The better way would be a round knob as integrated by Pioneer in their app. Another iRule user mailed this before:



This is a perfect gadget to control volume:
- it has a very nice look
- by turning it you can control volume in very small steps but you can also make a few turnarounds to ramp volume up faster
- with a slider there is always the danger to "slip", so the system runs far to loud. If you slip from the volume knob, nothing happens
- A slider needs a lot of place on the screen if it shall react precise

In general we need something that uses the iPads possibility to move things, be it a slider or a volume knob. I have spent a lot of thoughts about it, but even with variables, feedbacks and the someday coming feature of joining variables and feedback it seems impossible to move something on the display.

So please invent something like this !
You could use it for volume or input control but also for radio stations, center and surround level and so on.

By the way: This would be something I would pay for !

Nocko!
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  • Hi Jens,

    I was initially against the idea of a rotary volume control, but warmed up to the idea after actually using a couple of them, and finding I don't particularly like sliders as a volume control. I'm now of the (personal) opinion that a rotary knob is actually more usable than a linear slider when controlling audio.

    The issue at this point is that it's much more difficult than it seems like it should be. It's quite easy to make a volume knob that controls only a Pioneer. It's much, much more difficult to make a modular volume knob that will control a variety of equipment, especially with feedback.

    Anybody who likes the idea of a rotary volume knob element or module, be sure to visit the other thread, click the +1, and feel free to post.

    https://getsatisfaction.com/irule/top...

    I can't promise when it would happen, but I can tell we'd all very much like to see it in the app. Thanks for taking the time to write and voice your opinion.

    Regards,
    SC
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  • Hi Steve,
    thanks for your response and for the link. I didn't found it but I knew it was there.

    I understand that it will be hard to program this for more than one specific device, but I took a look at your modules. There you made sliders for a few devices. So in general iRule can work with moving elements, be it a slider or a wheel.

    The volume of both of my preamps can be controlled directly: I can't explain this techically precise because of my poor English. What I mean is, I can create a button with a command to set the volume to -20dB or -40dB or virtually any other value.

    To keep it short you can take a look at my layout in this thread, the picture at the end:
    https://getsatisfaction.com/irule/top...

    To the left of the volume buttons there is a column with "direct values" for volume.

    So I think a future volume control should be possible for devices that allow such a discrete volume control. The "only thing" you have to create is a scalable wheel or a line in which the user can integrate the discrete volume commands, or commands for inputs, a jog wheel or whatever. And then there has to be a "button" or graphical element which must be pushed to the desired level or position. I think in terms of programming there is no big difference between a slider or a knob. I think of a line or a circle of user defined commands which can be activated not by a touch with the finger but with another button that is pushed to the right command. Then it's the users decision if he is willing to programm 10 steps or hundred steps (my stereo preamp supports around 700 volume steps - will be a lot of work for me, too).

    Most of the devices that allow such a direct volume control will also have a volume feedback. So a good starting point would be your volume bar feedback which works perfectly with my amps (and I think with any other modern amp). Put a button on it and bend the damn thing and there is a volume wheel...ok, I go to bed now...
    Nocko!

    By the way: iRule is fantastic. I am just doing some "loud thinking". I don't want to critisize anyone or anything.
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  • The app called Dijit that interfaced with the Belkin Beacon used a knob that supported hundreds of devices. I can attest that it worked great for my Sony and Samsung TV's and Yamaha Receiver. It is possible. Not sure about feedback since the Dijit app did not support that.
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  • It is not hard to build, sliders are standard GUI widget. There are many developer environments that show how to set up a slider with enough flexibility to control 90+ percent of the applications.

    It is not that different from a button: just emit a signal based on the change of position of the thumb on the slider. After the min and max are defined, simply scale for the values in between.

    Not sure why some comments are over thinking this. I have built it many times before in various environments. Used horizontal, vertical, and round layouts. Have a numerical sidebar, or not, add spinners to the sidebar, or not. Define the min and max value. That sums the main requirements.

    Admittedly, I have had some strange requirements for customization at times. Mainly when defining min&max and a linear scale in between is not enough: A logarithmic scale on the value interpretation, or having a series of defined discrete values only, for example. But we are talking curtains, shades, light intensity, color hue, temperature, value, contrast, brightness, or any display setting for that matter, etc. All of those are simple linear sliders with a min and max value.

    I will be happy to give more help if you like
    • The one obvious omission I see in your response is that you don't account for what happens when someone manually changes the value.

      1. iRule already has this system of device codes, but we don't allow variable's inside of device codes.  Each code is static.  We have no way to currently build a command on the fly.
      2. iRule has a concept of feedback and feedback processing.  Currently that system is one way.  A value comes back from the device and we display a progress bar styled widget or some text.  It is in no way attached to a set of device codes
      3.  We would like to maintain the drag and drop experience for something like this and binding a device, a device code, it's feedback, and the GUI element into one aren't super simple given the current system.

      I'm not trying to say these problems are super sophisticated.  I think some people have over thought the problem, but on the other hand I think you may have oversimplified the problem.  You definitely have thought this problem out though, I can tell from the many different devices and variables you introduced in your examples.

      I believe this is a very valuable part of any control system, I'm not trying to make any excuses.
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  • Nice quick reply :) Indeed I can see there are intricate details in the original implementation that make it not as simple as it sounds. I have been there, done that too! Ofcourse I would like to tickle interest since I really need the sliders.

    I think your #1 is the key limitation. Since you have variables all over the system already, I would highly recommend pushing that into the command string contraction. (see for example Roomie: they simply put some weird characters ($$, ^^, etc ) in the string that get replaced with an argument value)

    #2 is actually advantage: simply link that feedback to a "set slider" command, or a set variable that in its turn can control the slider via an "entrance" routine

    #3 I can see why that is harder to do after the initial coding is in place. I can give it try: a) separate the slider from the device and its code, b) separate the feedback. Now the slider became a glorified button, it will need some work to move and all that, but you could still drag and drop it like an image. When it comes to binding it to a device, keep it simple and stupid, take the slider value and put it in the command string via dumb replacement scheme. To get the feedback to work, keep your existing and working feedback scheme, just put the result in a variable to further use in the slider.

    Thanks for being upfront about it, it is very important in my mind and for my applications. I have also purchased every other "iPad remote solution" so I can tell you it is important from a competitive stand point too. On that note I am quite happy with iRule so far (just starting out), so please accept my comments as constructive :)
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