Suggestion to include a sample sound file

I recently tried Haiku Beta 4 for the first time on several new and old machines I own. I’m impressed and many thanks to the devs on working on this! But one small suggestion I have is to include a sample audio file in future releases (similar to old Windows).

The reason is because it is essential to test if audio is working. The OS boots without any sound feedback and without indications that it’s working. I’m sure on at least one of my machines the sound wasn’t outputting at all, so that’s really important to know.

And no please don’t assume I’ve got internet for me to stream something online - in fact 3 network cards on my machines did not work with Haiku i.e. no possibility of internet - so therefore it’s very important to have a sample sound available out the box.


Ahoy @wertyui ,

First …
Welcome in Haiku community ! :slight_smile:

Second -
I understand your feelings related to net availability suggestions …
what about local availability ?

what did you block to insert an optical - or attach a USB - storage media to these machines to try out several kind of sound file(s) ?

I see only a bit problematic a MIDI file generally, but if you are a musician, or a collector, you could have created and/or stored such ones as well -

Thanks I’m very happy to be here!

Yes I ended up having to take an audio file from my main computer and put it on a USB drive in order to check and one machine did not output at all.

I therefore think having something out the box removes the need for any of this and is simple and easy. Something like “Highway Blues” wma from Win XP! (but something that is free of course)

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I agree with the need to include a sample file, it might be good to eventually include a polarity testing file (or utility too)


Ah, something like DemoSound in /Demos?

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I didn’t find anything of that sort in /Demos, and even if it existed the fact I couldn’t means that it isn’t user friendly at all. I would just like a sample file on the Desktop and it will be perfect.

To know if there is sound, I use one of the sound packs created a few years ago:

I open the sounds preflet and select one of the sounds as start sound.

We could choose some unobtrusive short sound and use it for the Beep event. You get a Beep when changing the volume with the slider of the Deskbar tray replicant, for example.
People can quickly silence their system with the Sounds preferences.


That is a very nice idea! It will take almost no space and everyone will explore it by accident, or not!?

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We also could do it the other way round: keep the system silent by default and include the sounds so people can easily enable them if the want to.

I’d include one steroe demo sound file by default, and set this as last-played soundfile in MediaPlayer. If you open it on a fresh install this would then be played.

True. Although, that would suffer from low discoverability. How would the user know there is a sample sound somewhere on their system? I’m always surprised people don’t use the “Find” function of the Deskbar when they are looking for something… :slight_smile:

Also a good idea!

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I think we have to separate the question about system sounds (which I was referring to) from the discussion about one or more sample audio files somewhere in the filesystem (which I think was the OP´s original suggestion). In case of the system sounds we could just pre-install the set that won the contest a few years ago and make them appear in the popup menu in the preference panel for the system sounds.

Sample sound files could indeed be hard to discover for users who don´t take the time to look around and discover things about their new OS (or indeed use the find function as you suggested) . Probably no easy solution to this. What we could do in any case is add a test button (or 2, for left and right) to the audio preferences panel which would play a simple sound just to see if it works.

Ok that got a bit longer as intended, sorry. The TLDR version is that I´m glad that Haiku is a silent OS by default. :wink:


Second that, having a sample sound like @nephele suggested wouldn’t be a bad idea, so +1 for me on that (my 2 cents). :slight_smile:

Should size of the sound file not matter?
It is to avoid including sound files on the install media?

Smallest size would be a “bing” on moving the volume slider, like Hundinger suggested. But the slider is not there at first install!?

So the idea like @nephele suggested +1 for me. Nice small solution for having at least one sound file which shows the user if sound works or not!

The sample files for different sound codecs could be downloaded or mentioned at least in the “Demo” folder as sample files online or as download!

Even BeOS R5 had a few demo sound files in (we all know them :slight_smile: ), I don’t think the size for a (few) file(s) should matter here?


I vehemently disagree, that contest was poorly thought out. My brother wanted to do a set too but could not because there was literally no way to test the system sounds since nobody bothered to fix the sounds beforehand, ergo none of the voters voted based on any useability in a practical sense, and only what sounded cool in that moment.


I have no opinion on this. I didn´t closely follow the contest back then and certainly don´t remember enough about it to participate in a meaningful discussion about it. But my main point was that one set of sounds would be included by default and be selectable in the preferences without having to search for the files. Since we had a poll back then my assumption was that the set of sounds that won would be the one that would be included. I personally don´t care which one we take and how it sounds because I´m never going to use it ;-).

Things didn’t change since then: most of the sound events are not actually triggered, and so, we could provide a sound set but there would be no way to use most of it.

Which, at the time the contest was held, probably got a bit in the way of people actually testing the soundsets. As a result, the entries were designed and evaluated based on listening them outside the OS, and not based on how they actually sound when using them in the system and having them beep and boop thousands of times a day. A thing that sounds pretty cool on its own may get quite irritating after you hear it a thousand times.

And, in general, the idea of a design contest is bad. People contributing don’t get paid, the reward is “we will use your work that you should have been paid for if this wasn’t a contest”, and, specifically in the case of computer systems, if a better design/solution comes up later, it’s hard to replace (or improve) the one that won the contest and was selected (this is a bit different in other areas, such as an architecture contest for a prestigious building, maybe. Once it’s built, you’ll likely not change it anyways).

So, yes, multiple problems: the very ideo of a contest isn’t that great, the entries were designed and evaluated without a way to properly try and test them, and finally, there still isn’t a way to use them.

We can still select a “beep” sound, since that one works, either from the contest entries, or from something else.