Hi, again! Recently, I took advantage of the low introductory price and installed Windows 8 on all of my main computers. It has been a surprisingly pleasurable experience thus far and I enjoy using it on a regular basis. It’s quite fast and a dream to use once you get the hang of the new interface.
However! Using their extraordinary gift of foresight, Microsoft decided that Modern UI (Metro) apps must lose audio priority when a desktop app capable of playing audio (but not necessarily actively playing any) is running. Running apps such as Steam or even Firefox will cause this to happen.
Take my experience: I'm a loyal Google Music user but I don’t enjoy having a browser window open just to use the service, so I simply installed the free ‘gMusic’ app from the Windows Store. It’s a great little app that’s constantly improving and the developers are wide open to suggestions from the user-base. Streaming is fine while the app is in focus but once you switch out to any other running app (or even the Start menu), the music drops to barely audible.As you can imagine, I was quite stumped by this and took to the internet with my problems. Google helped a little, but it was evident that other users of Microsoft’s OS were having the same issue with many other apps
Note: This may or may not work for you. Your mileage may vary from my own as it’s largely based on what route your app’s developer decided to use.
- First go to the desktop, then right click the Windows volume icon in the task bar and click on "Playback Devices".
- Next in the "Sound" panel that pops up (and under the “Playback” tab), right click your Speakers and click on "properties" then go to the "Advanced" tab, and deselect the "Allow applications to take exclusive control of this device" check-box.
If you notice that Skype has been lowering the volume on other applications when it's open, then go to the "Communications" tab of the same “Sound” panel and select "Do nothing". Restart your PC.