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Sound Level Notifications in Windows Store Apps

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In a recent post I showed you how to register your background audio capable Windows Store apps for media transport control. This is a requirement in order to get your app into the Windows Store. To provide a great user experience you’ll also want to consider registering for sound level notifications. I’ll show you how to do so in this post.

Sound level notifications are new in Windows 8 and provide your Windows Store apps with information on its audible state (muted, low, and full). Your apps can query the system at any time to determine what state it is in, and apps can subscribe to system events when their audible state changes. While it is up to you, the developer, the determine the best behavior for your app upon receiving a sound level notification, there are some guidelines you can follow based on audible state:

Audible State Suggest Behavior
Full No change required
Muted Pause playback
Low In this case it is likely that a Real-Time Communications app (i.e. Skype or Lync) is in use at the same time. Your app can either continue playback or pause playback, whichever you deem most appropriate. Better yet, why not make it a setting within your app and let the user decide!

In the case of my Radio Soma app, I pause playback when a Muted or Low sound level notification is received. Here’s some abbreviated code to show how I’m handling it:

Hope it helps!

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More Stories By Adam Grocholski

Hey there! My name is Adam Grocholski, and I'm a Technical Evangelist at Microsoft where I spend time focusing on Windows, Windows Phone, and Windows Azure. I live in the frozen tundra of Minnesota and run thinkfirstcodelater.com. You can also follow me on twitter at @codel8r.

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