Do you want an easier and/or more visually pleasing way to control the volume settings on your computer? Do you ever wonder if your computer is doing anything but cannot easily see the hard drive LED on your computer to see if it is blinking? You are in luck! Today I am reporting on two cool Windows freebies to solve BOTH these things!
First off is Volume2, an easy to use and configure program (link below) that allows you to control your PC's volume. Gone is the boring Windows volume control, in its place is a stylish, more useful control. You can even choose how cool you want it to look via its OSD (On Screen Display) choices. Currently I am taken with the 'Digital Blue Control' pictured above but you have LOTS of options here - retro, modern and even Mac-like OSDs!
Another nice feature that I use is the mouse control. When hover over it you can spin your Mouse's wheel to turn UP or DOWN the volume. You can even set the middle click of your roller mouse button to MUTE and UNMUTE Volume2 which is handy to quickly turn off the sound. Another favorite setting is showing an indicator on screen when you turn up or down your brightness, insert or eject a CD/DVD (if your computer still has one of those!) and when you insert or remove a USB drive. There are lots of options so go grab a copy and check it out. Once you love it, you can set its icon to 'Show Icon and Notification' and hide the regular Windows volume control - this is done under Customize in Windows, not in the Volume2 app. Leave a comment if you need help with this bit.
The second Tool Tray treasure is Activity Indicator (link below). This beauty is useful when you cannot see your hard drive's activity light. Today's hard drives are very quiet, especially if you use an SSD (solid state drive) AND often you cannot see your hard drive indicator LED light because your PC is on the floor under your desk, of you have an all-in-one computer with the LED on the side, or you run your laptop closed and hooked up to a larger desktop monitor when at home (like I do!).
Like Volume2's OSD you can pick which style (or icon set as Activity Indicator calls it) to display in your Tool Tray. Mine happily blinks blue with the letter 'C' appearing and disappearing as my hard drive spins (or gets accessed in the case of an SSD); see the image below. You can also have it blink your Caps, Num or Scroll lock LEDs on your keyboard to show activity, however I did not have much luck with this feature. You can log hard drive activity, add an extra indicator for another hard drive (like your D: drive, etc.), set the speed of the blinking, and so forth. This is a hugely useful app! I have both this and the neat, new volume control set up to start when Windows starts.
Okay, we are all looking for ways to make our computer perform better and appear cooler at the same time so this post is your ticket to get that done.
Here are the links:
Volume2 : https://volume-2.en.softonic.com/
Activity Indicator : https://sourceforge.net/projects/activityindicat/
Oh, and I do not make any money from either of these in case you were wondering. =]