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Poweramp and Android Auto - volume controlled on mobile, not on car head unit


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Hi folks!

Something weird is happening when I use Poweramp on Android Auto. I cannot control music volume on my car head unit, I can only do this on my mobile.

So this is what happens: if I plug the cable and start Android Auto with media volume mute on my mobile, I can't listen anything on Poweramp. Even if I press volume up on my head unit, nothing happens, volume is not up. I have to volume up my mobile to listen songs on Poweramp when connected to Android Auto.

Ok, when volume is up, I can control volume from my head unit. But it's like "volume over volume" control, just as some TV with a cable decoder: both have volume controls, but if I mute the decoder, I will not hear anything on the TV even if I volume it up. And vice versa.

By the way, I have checked the same scenario with Youtube Music. This doesn't happen.


EDIT: Samsung S21 Ultra, Android 12, Poweramp build 925

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If you mute the media volume on your phone, an externally connected output device will also be silent. You can't make silence sound any louder by using an external volume booster.

Most (but not all) Android Auto connections send the actual audio signal via Bluetooth rather than the USB cable. I set my BT level to 100%, and then control the listening levels with the volume control on the external device.

Bluetooth Absolute Volume can allow volume adjustments to be synced with either device, but it doesn't work nicely with DVC so the general advice is to turn it off.


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@andrewilley Agreed. But why do other players like Youtube Music or Fermata Auto work? When I'm running them on Android Auto, if I press volume up or down on my mobile, nothing happens. The head unit controls the volume.

There's one more point that maybe it's worth to mention: I have recently changed my car, bought a new one. On my previous car I don't recall having that issue with Android Auto and Poweramp. I have this issue now on the new one.

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@Phantom75 are your audio connected via BT or via other means? You can see current audio output type in Poweramp Audio Info dialog (bottom of it). If it's BT, try to disable Direct Volume Control temporarily in Poweramp and if it helps let me know. When DVC if off Poweramp volume controls do not work - all volume adjustments done by system.

Also it can be DVC enabled + Absolute volume enabled. In this case, due to double volume applied, Poweramp volume may be very low (you can hear anything close to max volume). See Poweramp Direct Volume Control settings page for the details.



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@maxmp here's what's happening. 

When I connect to the head unit and start Poweramp, I'm not connected via OpenSL, not BT. It's just like I'm listening directly from my mobile. 

I'm attaching two screenshots from audio info dialog. One from when I'm connected to the head unit and using Poweramp on Android Auto. The other is when connected to a Bluetooth mini speaker. I can notice a difference there. 



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@Phantom75 thanks for the details. Right, this is not a BT connection. You still can try to temporarily disable DVC (in Poweramp Direct Volume Settings - the top switch) and see if that helps. Also, if you have Volume Levels option in Poweramp enabled, try to set it to the System. Other than that there is nothing in Poweramp manipulating volume.

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@maxmp Volume Levels option is disabled because I'm on Android 12.

I have tried to disable DVC, with no success. But I can see in OpenSL ES Output that I can disable DVC by output device. Worth giving a try. I just don't know which device refers to Android Auto. Other ouput devices?

I'm still curious about how other players don't have that issue as well.

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Tried to disable DVC per device. Not working. Looks like there's nothing I can set on Poweramp that could make it work. At least I can't find any settings that would help. 

So far I have tested the same scenario on three different players: YouTube Music, Fermata Auto and Rocket Player. It's all good with them. Pressing volume down or up keys on my S21 when I'm listening to music on these players on Android Auto doesn't change the volume of the head unit. I can even mute media volume on my mobile and still listen to music on Android Auto on my car head unit normally. 

I'd really like to know why Poweramp doesn't work like these players. 

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