Where’s that Sound Coming From?

Stop the Noise. Don't really stop the noise, I usually like it, but nonetheless I like this photo too.

Sound Thinking

Where's that sound coming from?
An app inside my box?
Is it ITunes on the desktop
Or YouTube in the 'Fox?

A Skyper shouting at me?
Or Pandora playing faves?
Media Player come to life?
Hmmm ... Real with recent saves?

A podcast I'm preparing?
A vidcast made for nerds?
Nope, it seems to be this picture,
It says a thousand words!

Huh?

I started writing the first four lines of this post when I realised I was writing a “poem”, so I just kept going even though I’m clearly no “poet”.

Anyway, my point is:

  • People multitask, running ten or more browser and desktop apps at the same time.
  • Sound is arising a lot inside the browser these days, and I’m not talking about Axel F midis running in an off-colour GeoCities page. YouTube and wannabees, Flash telephony like JaJah, Podcasts being played by publishers as well as aggregators, Flash and Ajax games. Hopefully we’ll see more Ajax developers introduce Richer Plugins to include sound, because good sound effects make interaction more productive and more fun.
  • So I’d like to see an app that locates the visual source of the sound, which 95% of the time, can indeed be traced back to a particular window or browser tab. And if there is such an app, it should be baked into the OS. For instance, you could use an Alt-Tab-like sequence to isolate each sound as you rotate through the various sources. Nothing more annoying than having twenty browser tabs open and not knowing where the sound is coming from.

Update Feb 26, 2012: And finally Chrome introduces it. Available now on Canary channel.