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General Terrible Android glitch that Google ignores

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by Neonite, Apr 19, 2018.

  1. Neonite

    Neonite Lurker
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    So i've had this glitch for around a few years now, and i'm going in on this glitch that ruins smartphone experience.

    What is it?

    It's a sound glitch. What it does is makes Android smartphones play distorted / compressed audio through the speakers or through headphones. So far from numerous testing i've done i can tell that the glitch has ~3-4 levels of distortion, and the triggers randomly throw the glitch around between them.

    What does it do?

    The audio quality massively degrades to point where it feels like listening to one of those facebook memes that are reuploaded 60000 times. Granted not ALL of the audio gets changed, just most frequencies. Some sounds get completely unchanged, and the distortion seems to go up going from low to high frequencies of sounds, sometimes even changing how music sounds to point of bare recognition (at max).

    How does it trigger?

    The triggers that i could find are phone calls and messages. Messages must be the ones of the sim card and not an internet messaging app (BUT if Messenger is set to work as core messaging app its messages WILL trigger the glitch)

    Fixes?

    Restarting the phone does nothing. Unplugging headphones does nothing. Switching apps does nothing.

    "It's just your phone"

    This has persisted to me through 3 phones: Sony Xperia Z2 / Samsung Galaxy S4 / Samsung Galaxy S8.
    Each one had different OS versions. Can this really be a coincidence by hardware fault, by 3 different companies and different generation phones?

    "It's your headphones"

    This has also persisted to me through different brand headphones (Philips, Sony, Sol Republic).

    P.S.

    I have a suspicion this just might be with YouTube app, but it's really really hard to tell because things already sound different between YouTube / innate players / Spotify etc. (the differences are very small but everything counts with this). I'm sorry i cannot be more specific.


    I know that a mere post like this won't gather much attention for this glitch but i really, really hope they finally notice this and fix it
     

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  2. El Presidente

    El Presidente Beware The Milky Pirate!
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    I have genuinely never experienced this "glitch" in all my years of using Android devices.

    Could you be a bit more specific about the potential triggers please?
     
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  3. Neonite

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    Iam not super good at technology, sorry. The glitch happens after phone calls or after receiving text messages
     
  4. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
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    I'm at the upper end of the scale when it comes to tonal discrimination (been tested a few times, decades apart) and can't say I've ever encountered this either.

    Though you do say you think it might be just YouTube, in which case I'd be much less likely to notice as I rarely use that, and never for music. Of course if it is just YouTube then it may be a glitch in the YouTube app rather than the Android OS (which is also Google, but identifying the right target will help with getting a solution so this could be an important point).

    Some of what you report seems odd though, such as notifications from some apps having an effect but not others, or even the same app having an effect if used for SMS but not others types of message (because the app will certainly use the same notification mechanism in both cases). The only thing calls and SMS have in common is that they are using (different aspects of) the telephone connection rather than the internet. But over the years I've received many calls and messages while listening to stuff with no effect on quality afterwards - unfortunately not in a position to test with YouTube at the moment (don't have another phone I could call myself from this week).
     
  5. mikedt

    mikedt 你好
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    Can't say I've ever experienced this "glitch", and I've used quite a few Android devices of various types, including phones and tablets. And if it was a "terrible" problem with the system, surely others would have been howling about it?
     
  6. El Presidente

    El Presidente Beware The Milky Pirate!
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    Audio does dip when you receive a notification, but it should come back to normal shortly after the notification has finished. Does that not happen?
     
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  7. LV426

    LV426 I say we take off and nuke this place from orbit
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    You would have thought.
     
  8. Neonite

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    Well i know that much, no ha
     
  9. Neonite

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    I did figure none would believe me. How come this has happened only to me, through various phones too?
    And funny enough, when i tried to test whether it is exclusive to YouTube app the sound came back to normal and even trying to trigger the glitch didn't work. This is surreal
     
  10. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
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    It's called the "technician effect": the moment you ask someone to look at a problem it goes away ;).
     
  11. LV426

    LV426 I say we take off and nuke this place from orbit
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    aka the cardboard cutout effect. As soon as you have a critical mass of engineers looking at a problem, it automatically gets solved :)
     
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  12. Spec2nirvash

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    The glitch you speak of is Android’s safe audio limit function. Being a person who is hard of hearing, I’ve done my research on it.

    The safe audio limit operation varies slightly between operating systems and manufacturer protocol. I’ve experienced this since Jellybean.

    It presents with either very choppy audio, like as if somebody is cycling the volume knob from min to max about 100 times per second, or same effect as cutting the sampling rate to almost unlistenable quality. Most phones implementing the safe audio limit will display a “volume automatically reduced to protect your hearing”.

    Sometimes you will see an OK button. In some cases, when you press OK button, SAL will be disabled for a specific amount of time, which is determined by the manufacturer in a value set in audio .prop files. Some handsets have a 30 minute lapse before the SAL is enabled again; and some manufacturers set it to less than 1 second so that the SAL stays active. You cannot change the values of the SAL operation unless you have root access.

    However, it is possible to modify the SAL operation using Tasker and AutoTools apps, which exploits the Android system accessibility to gain system permissions in order to change these values and keep tricking the system into thinking the OK button was pressed and keep resetting the timer before the lapsed time hits.

    There are a few articles out there about this, and some have links to pre-made Tasker scripts you can download and simply load up when you have AutoTools and Tasker installed. And yes, you are going to have to pay a few bucks for the Apps, but it’s worth it because Tasker is useful for MANY other things. I’m sure lots of people here agree with that.

    Be warned though: Google is well aware of the accessibility exploit that Tasker uses and is either working on, or has completed a patch to block Tasker and other apps from utilizing accessibility to rake system permissions. I’d do your research on it. Google has given us deaf people the middle finger several times over because stupid people can sue Google for being stupid with headphones. I really wish they would just implement a disclaimer allowing the full line out volume so I can enjoy my music, and allowing morons to be accountable for their own stupidity....

    So fu@k them. I went and bought an iPhone. Now my music is loud enough, no more MM, nougat or Oreo bugs, frozen keyboards. Stupid new shit that gets more annoying with every new OS. They haven’t even optimized Nougat for a lot of devices yet, and now Android Penis 9.0 is rolling out. Pistachio, pud, praline or whatever it will be named. Kinda scourged by spending what I did on a new iPhone, but it works beautifully and with every day that goes by I appreciate it more and more because I see how bad Android was getting. IMO Lollipop 5.1 was perfection and Marshmallow was the beginning of the end of it for me.

    Peace!
     
  13. Spec2nirvash

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    P.S.

    My above post was not put there as a “screw you all, I have an iPhone now”. Simply helping OP understand what’s behind the glitch, what google is doing about it and how he/she can hopefully bypass it and enjoy music on a really expensive device that shouldn’t have the SAL in the first place.

    I still enjoy Android, still own many of them, but I just cannot use one as my daily flyer anymore. Every time I find a way to bypass stupid shit, google quickly seems to find a way to block it, and chaos ensues. Yes, I love my music that much and I enjoy a device that isn’t plagued with security flaws and seemingly endless bugs. And also because I use Torque app, something that Apple won’t allow me to use anytime soon lol.

    Having no on-screen or physical navigation buttons after 8 years SUCKS ASS, by the way. Gonna take an eternity to get used to that.... damn you Apple.
     
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  14. mikedt

    mikedt 你好
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    FWIW I've never observed this on Chinese phones here in China, namely Huawei, Oppo, Vivo and Lenovo, including a new Huawei Mate 10 with Oreo, and only ever seen it on Samsung devices myself. However I do believe it is a legal requirement in the EU that all phones sold there have excessive volume warnings and limit volume levels(SAL) accordingly, i.e. devices that have CE approvals.
     
  15. Neonite

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    As far as i'm getting it's for safety of a person's hearing but shouldn't that be tampering with the volume and not the actual sound quality?
     
  16. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
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    In my personal (European) experience that's all it is.

    In fact in my experience of devices that have it at all it is nothing more than a warning that I have to click through: once per ROM install on my old HTC phone, occasionally on my Samsung tablet (but by occasionally I mean "once per reboot" rather than for some fixed length of time), and doesn't prevent me raising the volume higher nor change the quality (because I'm listening when I raise the volume, and would notice if the quality changed at that point). I don't recall ever seeing it on my Pixel at all. But then I've also not encountered the other problems that Spec2nirvash mentions, so our experiences differ in other respects.

    Mind you, the music apps I use all use their own codecs rather than the built-in one (PowerAmp, Neutron, USB Audio Player Pro) so I can't comment on whether a built-in music system on some devices does distort the sound as well.
     
  17. Xyro

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    That has been my experience of the system. Like @Hadron, the volume won't go beyond ~80% until I click okay, and doing so will persist until I reboot. Most importantly, the audio quality is the same, to my ear. So I'm not sure that SAL fits with the symptoms that @Neonite describes.
     
  18. Spec2nirvash

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    Every Kyocera device I’ve had with the exception of the DuraForce Pro would chop the music up with every step louder you go. The DFPro would keep lowering the volume automatically after a short time and reset SAL. After doing that, Spotify’s hidden volume bar would drag down alongside with SAL. When that happens, not only would I have to acknowledge the warning again, but would also have to go into Spotify device settings and turn THAT volume back up as well, otherwise the volume is reduced at the Spotify end of it. Android is such a pain in the ass in that department I swear...

    And somebody mentioned nothing like that happens on their Pixel. When I was running a Nexus 5, didn’t matter which OS, custom or stock. There was never a volume limited implemented.
     

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