Silly Sliders - Compete To Create The Silliest Volume Control
Written by David Conrad   
Sunday, 11 June 2017

Programmers on the Reddit Programmer Humor group have been having fun with volume control sliders. Some of them provide food for thought as well as a chuckle.

It all started with an innocent question "Who can make the best volume slider?" complete with an example of a pop-up vertical slider but one that is adjusted horizonally, i.e. along the smallest dimension, and hence a next-to-impossible task.




Other ideas seem to be based on the principle that the UI should torment, but possibly reward tech savy. For example, there is the computationally unfeasible PiVol submitted by Redditor johnnyboy1111 which sets the volume according to how many digits of Pi you type in, but if you get one wrong it rejects the entry.

For a skeuomorphic solution, but one that kind of misses the mark, why not use a winder to crank up the volume. 




Can you even remember when a winder handle controlled the volume of anything. Perhaps it's a reverse invention and car window winders will develop into volume contols - oh wait most cars don't have window winders any longer.

Of course, there were lots of jokes about having to buy in-game credits or similar in app purchases to increase the volume:




Of course in our increasingly perfect AI world you wouldn't have to adjust the volume an intelligent agent would know exactly how loud something should be. The only problem is that I'm not sure Clippy would qualify as an intelligent agent and it would certainly cause many users to throw rocks at the screen:




I don't really know why this one amused me, perhaps it is the surrealist horror of it all. I really do think that this one will have me waking up in the middle of the night in a cold sweet worrying that I might have deleted my entire drive when I muted the clock radio:




For all the users who have thought that they were the ones in control of their input, my final selection is just pure sarcasm. Perhaps this is a new take on "data just wants to be free" and not forced into server-defined straitjackets:



 I could go on for much longer, there are a number of  variants on the idea of "put in a ticket to ops and the volume will be changed" and one or two that demand to know that the user has the right to change the volume. But the fun has to stop. Well it really doesn't, because you can just go to the humor Reddit and browse the rest.

The strange twist in the tail is, of course, that the focus on the volume control as a figure of fun is all because of the way that some apps try to protect users from listening at too high a volume because of a European law. The slider usually gives you an opportunity to override the protection and set a level higher than recommended, only to reduce the volume a few minutes later to protect you ears. Such an authoritarian volume slider is difficult to parody.



More Information

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Last Updated ( Sunday, 11 June 2017 )