Control the volume with MediaElement
So today we are going to look at how to implement volume control, also with the help of a Slider. Yes, as with any good music player, we want our user to be able to turn the volume up or down as desired.
Set the volume level
If you remember, in the chapter on volume display, we introduced 2 components:
MuteButton, which is a ImageButton control for muting the sound,
and the Slider
VolumeTracker, for precise volume control.
As usual, let’s now make them usable with the help of Data Binding, and all this in an initialization method named InitVolumeTracker() :
No problems so far? In the end, it’s very similar to what we have set up for the playhead control!
Concretely, we have associated the position of the cursor on the Slider (
VolumeTracker.Value) with the volume level that is exposed by the MediaElement (
MusicPlayer.Volume). And if you have read the Slider documentation carefully, it says that the association of the Slider’s
Value property is bidirectional (
BindingMode.TwoWay), meaning that:
Any change in value from the source component (here, the
MusicPlayer) will have an impact on the target component (the
And vice versa, any new value from the target component (
VolumeTracker) will have an impact on the source component (
In other words, if the MediaElement’s volume went down to 0, then the Slider’s cursor would slide all the way to the left, and if the user moved the cursor all the way to the right, then the MediaElement’s volume would be set to 1.
Volume property only accepts double values between 0 and 1.
This is why, in the convert, we need to multiply the
MusicPlayer.Volume value by 100 to define the cursor position on the Slider (
VolumeTracker.Value). In reverse, while convertBack, we must divide by 100 the value chosen by the user via the Slider to correctly modify the value of the MediaElement.
Finally, all you have to do is calling the InitVolumeTracker() initialization method from the page constructor:
Now relaunch the project and check that you can modify the volume!
MuteButton, it’s even simpler! It’s already embedded in the MediaElement with the boolean
ShouldMute property. So all we have to do is detect the user’s click on the button and modify its value.
For this, let’s define first a new event called MuteButton_Clicked()…
… which will be initialized from our existing method, in the InitMuteButton():
This event is pretty simple, isn’t it? We simply invert the value of the
MusicPlayer.ShouldMute property to alternately mute or unmute the sound.
But we are not done yet! Because if you ever wanted to try it, here is what it looks like for now:
The audio is muted when the
MuteButton is clicked once, and reactivated the next time it is clicked. Not bad at all!
However, something is visually disturbing. It gives a strange effect when the sound is muted:
MuteButtonicon should have changed to represent the audio as muted,
VolumeTrackercursor should have slid all the way to the left, for the same reason.
Actually, these two controls would have needed to adapt to the volume level… Do you have any ideas? 😊
Ideally, the volume should be reset to the level it was before being muted. So we are going to record the volume level when the user clicks on the
To do this, we need another variable:
savedVolumeBeforeGoingMute variable must be of double type to match the value contained in the MediaElement’s
And now, you only have to modify the MuteButton_Clicked() event like this:
Now, when we detect that the sound is about to be turned off, we store the volume value in the
savedVolumeBeforeGoingMute variable, and then change ourselves the value of the
MusicPlayer.Volume property to 0.
Great! But we need to cover every conceivable use case… And that’s what we are going to look at in the next section.
A few enhancements
We are going to apply a few improvements, as there are still two situations where the behavior of our functionality is problematic.
For example, in the first case, the volume cursor remains locked at the far left:
This is completely normal! Although the volume has been reduced to 0, the variable
MusicPlayer.ShouldMute has not been set to true after all. Hence technically, the user is not reactivating the sound!
But then again, there is nothing strange about that. Actually, the root cause is the same as in the previous case! Even though the volume was increased, the variable
MusicPlayer.ShouldMute was never set to false. So, once again, the user is not reactivating the sound!
So, what do you think is missing? Here is a hint: it all starts with the change in volume value.
And that is only possible when the cursor is moved over the Slider… So let’s optimize the current behavior with a new event called VolumeTracker_DragCompleted():
And of course, don’t forget to initialize this event from the right method …
Relaunch the project, check that everything is working, and above all, enjoy the results of your efforts!
I hope you have learned a lot of new things today. In general, take inspiration from what you observe to experiment with new things. And as you go a little further each time, you will get more and more comfortable!
See you soon for a new chapter! 🙂
More articles in the series: