Last updated December 11, 2016
When I wrote about volume controls in video and audio players earlier this year, it was because my friend Tim Nekritz tweeted about the lack of volume control for desktop/laptops on the National Public Radio (NPR) First Listen site.
I decided to investigate and found out NPR wasn’t the only site without volume control on their audio player.
SoundCloud also used an audio player
with no option for volume control, see comment from Nigel Wade for update on SoundCloud volume control.
I hoped this wasn’t a trend:
Providing controls to adjust volume is as important as providing controls to play, pause, and start audio or video.
Lack of volume control on a video/audio player for the desktop or laptop computer is a usability issue.
Users are accustomed to controlling what they listen to or watch on their desktop/laptop. For those users, that means a player that allows users to:
- Manage volume
Users shouldn’t be forced to use their desktop/laptop volume controls, and risk missing other audio notifications because their only option is to manage audio at the desktop level.
Two Months Later
Sadly, nothing has changed in the past two months.
NPR’s First Listen section still has no volume control. Their player has three controls: combined play/pause, replay last 15 seconds, and a non-working (at least for me on desktop) skip control.
SoundCloud has one combined control for play and pause ;
no volume control is included in their player volume control can be found at the bottom of the screen.
What You Can Do
If you want volume control back in NPR
and SoundCloud audio players, my recommendation is to contact their customer service department.
Reach out to both companies on Facebook or Twitter or whatever social media channel you use.
Add your comments to their contact forms/help forums and let them know you want volume control back in the player.
Here are some of their sites:
- NPR online contact form
- NPR Twitter account
SoundCloud help forum: there are several volume control threads in the forum that you can add to (some get closed after a specific time), or start your own. Here’s a volume control message from earlier this month. SoundCloud Support Twitter account
Post updated June 22, 2016, thanks to a comment from Nigel Wade about location of SoundCloud’s volume control. Based on the number of other SoundCloud users who have complained about the volume control, I’m not the only one who couldn’t find it.
Volume Controls Available on NPR Audio Player with Chrome Extension
Here’s how the volume control displays in the player, with a slider the user can drag to increase or decrease the volume.
Thank you, TJ!