Welcome to AudioActivity!
This app uses a timer to play a small audio recording using your system’s default sound device at a regular interval.
The app was originally written to overcome the inconvenience caused by certain wireless speaker systems which turn off their transmitters after so many minutes of inactivity. For those of us who depend on consistent audio feedback, any interruption of audio can be unsettling. In this case, since the interruption is caused by hardware, and it can be avoided by playing a sound at a regular interval, then an app to address this issue is called for. With the AudioActivity app enabled, a small three-second recording of the ocean is played every so many seconds, allowing the connected audio device to remain active indefinitely. Now, since even Window-Eyes speech will keep the connected audio device active, the app is designed to start the timer the last time Window-Eyes sends speech to the synthesizer. Of course, this might not be the same as when you last heard speech, since Window-Eyes can send a large amount of text to the synthesizer at one time; be that as it may, the app will certainly help to keep the connected audio device from going inactive, since it will always play the sound recording regularly.
The app menu
The AudioActivity entry on the ap menu has the following options:
Toggle audio activity. This option starts and stops the timer which, when elapsed, plays the audio recording; this option is equivalent to pressing the ToggleAudioActivity hot key, which you can assign using the Hot key Manager; note that whenever you start and stop the timer using either of these methods, this setting is saved to disk; this setting will be active when you restart Window-Eyes or AudioActivity.
AudioActivity configuration. This option opens a dialog box with the following controls:
Timer value (seconds). This is an edit box where you type the number of seconds for the timer; this edit box only accepts numbers, and you should enter a value slightly smaller than the length of time it takes for the connected audio device to become inactive; this information may be found in the user’s guide for the connected audio device you are using, or you may need to use trial and error to find the best value; the default is “100,” and the minimum acceptable value is “15.”
Volume. This is a group of radio buttons which control the volume of the three-second recording of the ocean which is played when the timer elapses. The default setting of “Low” should be sufficient for your connected audio device to detect that an audio signal was received; a low volume is probably best, since too loud a sound might be distracting. However, if this volume is insufficient, you can set it to “Medium” or “High.”
The Restore defaults button in the configuration dialog will restore the values the dialog had when the app was first installed, namely, Timer value (seconds) is set to “100,” and Volume is set to “Low.”
Finally, The configurationn dialog Help button speaks a brief summary of the information you need in order to complete the dialog.
Important notes and Reminders
- The ocean recording is played using your system’s default audio device; as already mentioned, the app was originally written to prevent a wireless speaker system connected to this device from becoming inactive; some plug-and-play audio devices create their own playback and recording entries in the list of Windows audio devices, and possibly these can become disconnected after a period of inactivity like wireless devices do; therefore, keep in mind that, if you wish to use the app to prevent a device from becoming inactive, you must set it as the default audio playback device.
- If you use the Winamp media player, and it happens to be playing when the timer goes off, the ocean sound will not be played, since it is not needed to keep the connected audio device from becoming inactive; the assumption here, of course, is that Winamp is using the default audio device.
- Also, as previously mentioned, the timer always begins the last time Window-Eyes sends speech to the synthesizer.
- Note that the three volume settings correspond to one, two and five percent of the original volume of a particular sound file, and you can find this file, along with the other files associated with this app, in the current Window-Eyes profile folder; the names of all associated app files start with “AudioActivity.”
Good luck, and I hope you enjoy this app!