One of the features that I appreciated most about Fedora was the fact that it would play a sound when you changed the volume – a preview so you knew exactly how loud 75% volume is. Unfortunately, no other distribution that I have used seems to employ this, and when I switched over to Ubuntu to try the Unity interface I found myself missing it.
As it turns out, I don’t need to miss it. The audio preview is provided by the sound theme, and while the default Ubuntu sound theme does not have a volume change sound, there are other sound themes that do; both
sound-theme-freedesktop provide the file audio-volume-change.(wav|ogg).
Install one of these sound themes and then open Sound Preferences (on Ubuntu right-click on the volume icon and select Sound Preferences). Go to the Sound Effects tab and select one of these newly installed sound themes. Also make sure you have the alert volume turned up the whole way and not muted. This doesn’t take effect everywhere, unfortunately; changing the volume using the tray volume icon will not play a preview, but changing the volume inside of sound preferences will. Fortunately, my preferred method of changing volume – hotkeys – also trigger the volume preview. See the video below for a demonstration.
While this was written on/for Ubuntu, there is no reason why it shouldn’t work in other distributions; if you use this and it works for you, leave a comment below and let everybody else know where it works.