why is there no 'automatic' switch for each audio device?

Asked by Max Waterman on 2014-01-31

I've read the various discussions about this, but they seem to fail to take account of the fact that the user knows what he/she wants.

I had the common use-case where I want audio to automatically be enabled for the hdmi when I plug the cable in.

Note that I don't want that decision to be made for me, but I am quite happy to toggle a switch to say that is, indeed, what I want.

So, for example :

0) I want to watch something on my laptop displayed on my TV
1) I plug in the HDMI cable
1a) but no audio..what's wrong?...I do a quick search on the internet and/or stumble on the 'Sound settings' and see an HDMI entry
2) I click on HDMI
2a) yeah! sound! nice!
3) watch something
4) unplug HDMI device
4a) audio reverts to laptop's built-in speakers
5) the next day, I decide I want to watch something else
6) go to 0)
7) I now wonder why, at point 2a), there can't be a switch that I can toggle to make it do this every time I plug in the HDMI cable.

Since the audio is actually switched, and there is something happening in the tool to make the 'HDMI' entry appear, I don't see why there can't be a switch to make it switch the audio automatically when it is connected.

Note that I *don't* mean that something has to automatically decide for every user if this should happen, but each individual user surely already knows if they do want this (or not) and can tell the tool which way it should be (and save the setting, of course).

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When you plug in the hdmi it should make a udev event and you could make a script to switch the audio to the hdmi on insert.

You may have hdmi but you may have speakers connected to the soundcard, so this cannot really be made automatic as it will affect the people (like me) who use the soundcard and don't want to use the TV speakers.

It would be nice to have an option in the OS tobswitch or not to switch. You could report a bug to get this included but in the mean time you may be looking at udev rules etc.

Yes, I know why the choice isn't made automatic...I was trying to make that very clear.

I figured that allowing the user to indicate the correct choice should be easy, but it's so simple that I figured people must have thought about it already and there's some reason it wouldn't work.

On the other hand, it won't be the first time that s/w engineers are blinded by the desire to always to things 'full automatically' instead of 'semi automatically' (referring to the gearboxes in buses).

It seems that this might not have been thought of after all, so I'll file a bug.


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