Looking For Windows 7 App To Stop Sound

Hello Again Experts -

I am finding it increasingly diifficult to maintain my sanity when going to certain "popular websites". I'm referring to Fox News, Zero Hedge, etc.

The problem is that going to these sites now trigger an avalanch of advertising. And, to make it worse, they start pumping audio appeals thru my laptop speakers or headphones. Often there is so much advertising clutter that I can't figure out which of the little panels is the culprit. If I can find it, I can usually quickly figure out how to get it to stop.

I am aware that I can go to the Control Panel and shut down or significantly limit the sound volume. But, this is a lot of work if at one moment you welcome sound for a certain application - and at another point in time, you'd like to track down the offending party for a good tongue lashing or worse.

Does anyone know of a little app that would allow sound to be turned OFF and ON by simply clicking on an icon in the system tray?

Thanks very much and "Peace be with you".

Gordon
gbmcneilAsked:
Who is Participating?
 
Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Hi Gordon,
You must have missed my post above on Sunday. I show all of the source code for your solution in my new article:
How to create an on/off toggle to mute the system audio/sound with a single mouse click or single keystroke

I hope you are able to be successful by reading that article and my AutoHotkey article, but if you have any problems, please post them here or at the article and I'll be happy to help. Regards, Joe
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Jim RiddlesPrepress/OMS SpecialistCommented:
If you use Chrome, you can install the app AutoMute located here.

It automatically mutes each new tab when it is opened, and you can choose when to allow audio.  Hope that helps.  Soon, Google will be updating Chrome to automatically include this functionality...it is already available in their beta version.
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KimputerCommented:
First of all, start using adblockers.
Second, why use an app? It's already available right there on your media keyboard. Just press the mute button.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Just mute the web browser and leave sound for everything else.  That's what I do:
Volume Mixer.Volume Mixer is the Windows utility for sound - not specific to the sound device.
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Hi Gordon,
You should already have a speaker icon in the system tray that looks like this:

system tray speaker icon
If you left-click on it, you'll get this:

system tray sound
Left-click the speaker icon there and it will mute the sound:

system tray sound muted
Do it again to un-mute it. So, two mouse clicks each time to toggle the sound on-off. Not bad, but if you really want it to be a single mouse click, or a single keystroke, such as a function key (e.g., F10) or a combo key (e.g., Alt-Ctrl-S), it's doable, but more effort (let me know). Regards, Joe
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Jim RiddlesPrepress/OMS SpecialistCommented:
@Kimputer, you assume that the author's keyboard has a mute button...it may not have one.

I personally can't wait for Google to deliver a non-beta version of Chrome that allows me to auto-mute videos.  That should have always been available in every browser created.
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gbmcneilAuthor Commented:
This must be a "hot topic" because I have received a number of responses. The issue is also surprisingly more complex than I orginally thought.
 
First off, let me modify precisely what I'm looking for. I'd like to have sound only turned ON for those websites that I have determined in advance I would like to have it turned ON. If I am just surfing around, I'd like the default to be OFF.

Now, obviously if I were bringing up a YouTube or a YouTube link, I'd like to have sound ON by default. And, there may be other websites that I use on a regular basis where I like to see them ON as well. And, I'd like to designate them as such. But, leave me be as far as remaining websites go (i.e., give me peace and quiet).

I never heard of an app or a browser that would do just this - anticipate my preference before I get to go where I want to go website-wise.

Complicating the situation are two other factors I can think of. Number 1 is that even the best applet to turn off sound probably isn't going to work if the source of the sound is an imbedded ad. The priniple offender here is AdChoices - which isn't a choise at all for the user. Does anyone know of a pop-up blocker that will prevent these panels from even appearing? I see an applet called Adguard for $49.95. Does anyone know if this software contributes anything to solving problem?

And, Number #2 is similiar to Number #1. It consists of videos (not necessarily in YouTube format) that are embedded in a web page. They come to like by scrolling any where near them. These might be rendered mute if they were found to be at un-predefined websites by just shutting down all sound while being viewed by the user.

I don't know if this clarifies the problem. I just hate these websites that keep mouthing off when you're trying to read something. Again, please leave me alone.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
I use Untangle as my router - it includes an AdBlocker but this is at the firewall/gateway point so you don't have control over it on a per session or per website basis.  That said, Untangle is free (paid version available) and far superior to your generic home routers.  And if you're putting this in in a business environment, you can put it in in bridge mode so you don't have to replace your existing router.

I used to use the adblocker all the time at home - but streaming TV from major stations tends to complain and won't let you watch things, so I eventually disabled it.  But it's still on on my office network.  I barely notice it.
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gbmcneilAuthor Commented:
Very interesting Lee W. I will have t look into that. Do you recall if it prevented AdChoices from running?  I currently see AdChoices panel ads displayed in both iExplorer 11 and Chrome.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Honestly I don't recall - I just don't recall being bothered by things like that - which does happen occasionally now (why I have my web browser muted).
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Hi Gordon,
I just finished an AutoHotkey script that does the following:

• Puts a music note icon in the system tray (fwiw, gets the icon from c:\Windows\System32\shell32.dll). Looks like this:
music note icon
• A single left-click on the icon toggles the Mute setting.

• A hotkey of your choosing also toggles the Mute setting, such as F10 or Alt-Ctrl-M.

• A right-click on the icon gives two context menu choices — Toggle Mute (the default) and Exit.

• Hovering on the icon gives this tool-tip help:

ToggleMute tool tip
So, a single mouse click or a single tap on a key toggles the mute setting. Btw, as Kimputer mentioned, keyboards with multi-media keys already have a Mute (toggle) key, but as Jim pointed out, many laptops do not have keyboards with multi-media keys — I presume your laptop is among the latter.

I wrote the script before seeing your post with the additional specs, which, as you noted, present a much more complex issue — and one without an obvious solution, as far as I can tell. So, will a simple tap on, say, F10 to stop the sound work for you? Followed, of course, by a simple tap on F10 to start the sound. If not, it's back to the drawing board. :)  Regards, Joe
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gbmcneilAuthor Commented:
Hello Joe and the rest of The Experts contributing to this topic -

I never heard of this particular hotkey capability in Windows 7. No doubt this scripting language would have other applications.

I see that you have linked to a page more fully describing AutoHotKey. Many thanks for your efforts.

Would you be willing to post the code?
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Hi Gordon,

> No doubt this scripting language would have other applications.

Yes, AutoHotkey has virtually unlimited potential in Windows. In the past few years, it has become my programming/scripting language of choice. That said, there are many other robust languages that have great applicability in Windows, such as PowerShell and VBScript — and sometimes a simple (or complex) batch file (.bat) can do the job — as long as someone like Bill Prew is writing the code. :)

> Would you be willing to post the code?

Yes, but while I'm at it, I may as well publish an article or video here at Experts Exchange to share with the EE community. I'll try to do that tonight or tomorrow. Regards, Joe
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Hi Gordon,
Following up on my previous post, I wrote this article for publication here at EE:
How to create an on/off toggle to mute the system audio/sound with a single mouse click or single keystroke

As mentioned in a previous post, I wrote the script in the AutoHotkey language. I hope you are able to be successful by reading the article, but if you have any problems, please post them here or at the article and I'll be happy to help. Regards, Joe
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gbmcneilAuthor Commented:
You know, I never heard of "Hot Key Script". Can you point me to a reference manual, too?

Many thanks for your efforts, Joe.
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
> "Hot Key Script"

To be clear, it's AutoHotkey.

> point me to a reference manual

Links to everything are in my AutoHotkey article. That will lead you to the documentation, example scripts, tutorial, etc. Also, after installing it, you'll have an excellent Help file. I made a shortcut to it and called it AHKhelp:

"C:\Program Files\AutoHotkey\AutoHotkey.chm"

Put the shortcut wherever you prefer — Start menu, Desktop, pin it to the Taskbar, etc. I put it in my TrayLaunch app — written in AutoHotkey, of course. :)

You're very welcome, Gordon, happy to help. I hope you find the new article helpful, too.
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gbmcneilAuthor Commented:
Hello Joe -

I'm confused. Are you going to post the code to switch my sound ON and OFF?

Thanks.
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gbmcneilAuthor Commented:
How do I give Lee W and "assist" on this question?

He introduced an approach that I was unaware of when I posed my question.
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Gordon,
You may accept more than one comment from the same member and/or more than one comment from many members as solutions. One comment must be the "Best (Accepted) Solution", while multiple other comments may each be an "Assisted Solution". Also, you may split up the points however you want. This EE support article explains it all:
How do I accept multiple comments as my solution?

However, since you've already closed it, you'll need to have it re-opened in order to accept Lee's post as an Assisted Solution. To do that, click the Report Question link underneath the question and request that the question be re-opened. An EE Mod will re-open it and then you'll be able to re-close it as you please. Regards, Joe
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gbmcneilAuthor Commented:
Thanks. I've piut the request in.
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Great!
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Gordon originally gave me all the points, but then said that he wants to "give Lee W an 'assist' on this question". Thanks to ModeIT for reopening the question, but Gordon hasn't come back to close it in more than three weeks, so I decided to take a run at it. I don't recollect which of my post(s) that Gordon originally selected (but I do have the email showing that he gave me all of the points) and I don't know which of Lee's posts that he wants as assists, so I'm going to use my judgment and pick the ones that I think are helpful. I also don't know how Gordon wanted to split the points between Lee and me, so I'm simply going to split them evenly, which I think is fair. Regards, Joe
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