Volume2: a beautiful volume control app

Let’s say you have a program that lets you control system volume via the mouse and/or via user-defined hotkeys.

Let’s also say that it can display stylish volume sliders on screen, and lets you choose from many different skins for these.

And, moreover, let’s say that it can control volume via hovering over and sliding your mouse over the slide of the screen. And, further, that it can display a system tray balloon notifier that shows the volume.

Well, you might say, all of these seem like nice functions to have. You might think to yourself that this is a fun little app that can be very useful. And you will be right.

And not only is the above precisely what Volume2 offers, it is also 100% free.

Volume2 SlidersVolume2 Side

PROS: things I really like about this software

  • Skins: very cool slider skins (about 30 or so as of this writing; see a small sample in the screenshot above/left)
  • Screen edges: can be used, such that sliding your mouse up and down the side of the screen will toggle volume up/down (see screenshot above right)
  • Hotkey controls: you can set user specified hotkeys to trigger a wide range of actions (including non-volume related actions such as brightness and even ejecting CD rom).
  • Mouse controls: are user customizable. I like the fact that you can set it to rotate the mouse wheel over the taskbar to control volume (or optionally over the desktop, over the tray icon).
  • Volume 2 event schedulerEvent scheduler: such as, for example, to set the volume on startup or on wake up. Note, however, that the event scheduler can be used for any kind of event, including displaying messages
  • System tray icon: also comes in different skins. The color of the icon is an indicator of volume (green=low, orange=mid level, red=high)
  • Easy to use: you do not need a PhD to navigate the settings (unlike for example, another program in the genre which I mention below).
  • Volume2 BalloonBalloon notifications: if you want, the program can display a balloon notification for volume in the system tray area (I personally quite like this, actually).
  • Memory usage: about 15 megs in memory, which is not a lot, especially when you consider the breadth of functions it provides.
  • Command line: supports controlling volume via the command line.

CONS:

  • Does not support setting volume per individual program: this is something that can be done in Vista and Windows 7, and which Volumouse 2, for example, supports. It’s addition would make an excellent program even better.

Freewaregenius 5-Star Pick

The verdict: this program is very nicely done, has terrific skins and functions (including the very original mouse to screen edge volume control, which I haven’t seen anywhere else). The developer has obviously put a huge amount of effort into this and it shows; this is a remarkably attractive and featured-rich program.

Version Tested: 1.1.1

Compatibility: Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 (works on 32 bit and 64 bit).

Go to the Program page to download the latest version (approx 5 megs).  (in Russian).


 
 
 
Samer Kurdi

Samer Kurdi

Has been reviewing software since 2006 when he started Freewaregenius.com
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  • Dude Spell

    Besides being the best volume control I ever used, it has a very welcomed katmouse like function.

    • Samer

      @ Dude Spell: indeed it does. I sometimes shy away from mentioning functions that aren’t directly related to the main function, just to keep things simple and to not overwhelm readers.

  • Martin

    Tried it, but i noticed there’s constantly a bit of processor usage and disk load. Even when not using any volume related function! Now I do use a really old machine here, so newer systems probably wont slow down with it, but mine did.
    I use Volumouse made by http://www.Nirsoft.Net (scoll down to desktop utilities). It’s not that rich in functions as Volume2, but works fine for me. Basicly I use it in combination with the left mouse button and the scroll wheel to increase or decrease the volume (you can configure the steps). While doing so a little vertical volumebar shows up.
    Ps. If you install it, make sure to turn of the Options Screen on start, once installed and configured it’s annoying.

    Kind regards.

  • Anon

    How does this software compare to 3RVX?

    • Samer

      @ Anon: I like it better than 3RVX.
      @ Martin: you are right in that there is some CPU usage, but it is very intermittent/far from constant on my Windows 7 64 bit. I will write the developer to ask about it though,

  • Morgan

    The program works very well, nice features but I have a slight concern. Avast wants to run it in its “Sandbox” and Online Armor wants it to “Run Safer”. Both of these programs are saying that its a keylogger. Volume2 has not asked to use the net to phone home. I am wondering if the keyboard shortcut options and causing 2 security programs to alert me to a possible keylogger?

    • Samer

      @ Morgan: I also use Avast and got the same prompt. I therefore uploaded the downloaded zip to VirusTotal and got a very clean bill of health (see it here)

      One positive report out of 43 is a pretty good indication it is a false positive, I believe.

  • Morgan

    I just want to clarify. I actually did the same thing as “Samer” did before I posted my comment. I believe the program to be safe. Samer..my question is still out there..do you think the keyboard shortcuts cause the “keylogger” alert?

  • Martin

    Samer, I know Volumouse by Nirsoft.Net isn’t that fancy as your beloved Volume2 :-) but I still think you should give it a try. There seems to be a new version (v2 Beta 3) available and that one actually does support setting the volume per individual program, along with some other new features. http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/volumouse_beta.html

    Download is only 74 kb, (64 bit-version) so it must be written quite smart. On my system it uses less then 2 Mb.

    Like I said, nothing too fancy, but it works like a charm.

    Kind regards.

  • irzyxa

    @ Morgan: The keyboard shortcuts is not “keylogger”, program packed with ASPack, for smaller size, so antivirus says about viruses

  • Oivind

    Another vote for Volumouse which I cannot live without.

  • http://free-sk.t-com.hr/T800/index.html T800

    I just tried it and it’s very good, I’m gonna use it instead of windows’ volume.
    Bring moar skins!

  • irzyxa

    New osd skins available for downloads

  • Nosh

    Longtime reader – love your blog!

    I’ve been using Volume2 for a few days now since I read about it here. I like the idea behind it but it has some issues for me (on Win XP).

    The first thing I noticed is that the mouse wheel functionality (ctrl+scroll) wasn’t very reliable, it’d stop working sometimes – so the idea of V2 replacing Volumouse had to be tossed out.

    I still liked it enough for its screen edge feature but I had some issues with that too. For one it doesn’t work well with a multi monitor setup – when I ask it to use the rightmost edge it works on the right edge of my main monitor (effectively in the middle of my workspace).

    I assigned it to the left edge and it works fine there for the most part but sometimes I’d lose focus of the taskbar or start menu or desktop… my mouse functionality on occasion was quirky even with regular apps. V2 is either not releasing the mouse focus properly or there’s somthing on my system it’s conflicting with. I don’t see others complaining about this so that may be the case. I’m hoping to find something else that offers the “screen edge” functionality since I love that feature.

  • irzyxa

    I track on different forums all the bugs and wishes of users, and in the next version is usually fixed / added. For example I have added support setting volume per active and individual program. So you can write your problems here.

  • irzyxa

    >>the mouse wheel functionality (ctrl+scroll) wasn’t very reliable, it’d stop working sometimes
    Disable check box “Scroll windows below mouse cursor…(KatMouse)” on tab System
    >>it doesn’t work well with a multi monitor setup
    >>sometimes I’d lose focus
    This will be fixed in new version

  • Nosh

    Thanks for responding, irzya. I’ve taken your suggestion reg. disabling the “Katmouse” option. Let’s see how it goes.

    BTW, I have the actual Katmouse program running on my system. :)

    Reg. the loss of focus issue, I’ve been trying to figure out what’s causing that. It only happens sometimes. I suspected Volume2 since on atleast one occasion shutting Volume2 down and starting it again solved/unsolved that issue. But this also happens when I have Listary running. I also have an Autohotkey script running and that uses system hooks too. I don’t think the problem is caused by Volume2 alone.

    Looking forward to the next release.

  • Robert Mills

    hi, the only feature i want to use is the schedule volume feature. i set up a time schedule and wait for it to change the volume and nothing happens. i,ve applied all settings and tryed many times. still no volume change execution. i.m using windows xp.

  • irzyxa
  • Robert Mills

    still no luck, here’s what i found out after testing on 3 different pcs running xp. i am setting the volume to change with the setting “every day” it will work every time within that day, with multiple time settings. as soon as its the next day those presets wont work. i have all the boxes checked for the days of the week. and have applied all settings. any help, thanks.

  • http://code.google.com/p/volume2/ irzyxa

    @ Robert Mills: Please send me your file ‘Schedule.ini’ on my mail irzyxa@gmail.com. (Path to file c:\Documents and Settings\_UserName_\Application Data\Volume2\ or in folder with program c:\Program Files\Volume2\)

  • http://code.google.com/p/volume2/ irzyxa

    @ Robert Mills: I found and fix bug with work schedules. Thank you for testing

  • Kevin

    My question is whether or not this program will still work while playing video games that might detect this as a hack. This was the reason why I stopped using 3RVX, as I had to keep minimizing the game just to adjust the volume.

  • http://code.google.com/p/volume2/ irzyxa

    @ Kevin: If you want disable volume control in games, set option “Disable volume control in full screen mode” in true. If you want control volume in video players, add it in list this options (see screenshot) https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-RSQHW9Qc09Y/TlCbCBpzniI/AAAAAAAAAG8/rH2X_kn6c9g/s800/Skrin_FullScreenAppList_01.png

  • Subbrilliant

    Thank you Irzyxa for developing this excellent software and thank you Samir / FreewareGenius for introducing me to it.

    If I could make one suggestion it would be to have a method to change the color of the Screen edge popup. Currently I have “Show” deselected in the Popup field and moving my cursor to the preferenced edge still allows the volume to be adjusted via that method which I actually prefer however some users might wish to have the popup, (green stripe), showing if they could alter the color to match their theme.

    Thanks again.

  • Subbrilliant

    Correction: Samer

    My apologies.

  • http://code.google.com/p/volume2/ irzyxa

    @Subbrilliant: This option was added in new version, and also was added screen edge popup transparency

  • Ander

    This is the ONLY volume control I’ve found consistently reliable under 64-bit Windows 7.

    And it’s a good thing there is one, because Win 7′s wimpy little system-tray “speaker” volume indicator is terrible. It’s hard to see, and shows only 3 levels of volume change.

    3RVX looked promising, but on my system it’d refuse to work when I’d resume from Sleep mode.

    Volume2 is fantastic. I’ve used it for weeks now and it’s worked every time.

    Martin: I don’t know what kind of system you have, but since I read your post I’ve been watching Volume2 in Task Manager, and it has yet to show even 1% use… Maybe it’s time for an upgrade? ;?)

    I looked at Volummouse, but it supports ONLY the mouse wheel, no keyboard shortcuts. Maybe I’m an efficiency maniac, but if I have to grope for the mouse each time I want to change or mute my sound, I may as well click on the speaker icon as use the wheel—I’ve already wasted the time taking my hands off the keyboard.

  • Ander

    BTW, I’ve also tested Volume2′s distributable on Jotti’s malware site, where 20 out of 20 anti-virus engines declared it safe.

  • http://code.google.com/p/volume2/ irzyxa

    Available new version 1.1.2 and project renamed to Volume²
    http://www.volume2.googlecode.com

  • http://code.google.com/p/volume2/ irzyxa

    volume2.googlecode.com

  • Jon

    This program is BAD NEWS!!! I installed it on Windows 7 and it locked up my machine and generated TONS of disk activity. I still haven’t cleaned everything off that I need to do to recover.

    DON’T USE THIS PROGRAM!

  • rafa

    Great! nirsoft volumouse was my choice for windows xp. when i moved to 7, it didn’t worked, so I didn’t have something to control my volume in a practical way, until now. Thanks for this recommendation.

  • hplpb

    So far, so good. Tried 3VRX and volumouse before trying this. 3VRX for some reason stopped showing the tray icon after the first run and I couldn’t get to it’s settings, and I just didn’t really like the interface for volumouse. I have a bluetooth mini keyboard and I have to press FN + F3,F4 or F5 for mute, vol down and vol up which is annoying since I’m trying to use it like a remote control and you have to use two hands for those shortcuts. WIth this I was able to just set F6,F7, and F8 for my volume mute/up/down keys. Works perfectly, except that I have to close the program when I’m done using the bluetooth keyboard, or I can’t use F6,F7, or F8 for anything else, even when I choose “disable volume2″.

  • henny grevelink

    Please update your review for the latest version of Volume2. It works great on Wondows 8.1 Even in the Windows 8 start/metro screen