Focus ducking in ARC

Can we get (an option for) focus ducking in ARC?

At the moment, when ARC is playing music on my phone (Pixel 6, Android 13), and a notification comes in or other software wants to make some noise, playback in ARC stops completely (ARC then resumes when the other app has finished).

With any other decent music app (I normally use TIDAL), the music is ‘ducked’, that is, the volume temporarily lowered slightly, so that you can hear the other notification over the top, but music playback continues uninterrupted. Volume is restored when the intruding sound finishes. Plenty of apps have a user-configurable to do this (or just to continue playing at the same volume).

I find the complete stop of playback much more jarring. I am guessing this might be because ARC uses exclusive mode for the audio device, whereas ducking & mixing requires sharing. It would be great if we could have an option in ARC to do this (since I’m sure there are people who want to keep exclusive mode, but personally on my phone I don’t really care about absolute fidelity as much as convenience & comfort).

I have the same request for my Pixel 4a (Android 13) when I use it to navigate while listening to music through ARC. Normally the music slightly fades when there’s a navigation/direction by voice popping up when using one of all my other music apps. With ARC on my Pixel device the music stops also completely and after the announcement it starts again. This only happens with ARC…

I hope roon is able to look into this!

I use ARC to listen to podcasts almost exclusively. Focus ducking is not what I want when listening to podcasts. If Roon Labs introduce it, then it must be selectable by an option setting as far as I am concerned.

Of course; sensible/common defaults with configurable options is always the way it should be.

We know a large portion of Roon users are all about tweaking and customisation, and that means options.

On the subject of podcasts and audiobooks though, I do kind of like how Google Play Books does it when in the car (this is my only experience with audiobooks) — it pauses the audio book while e.g. the driving direction speaks, and then when it resumes, it winds back 5 seconds or so, rather than resuming exactly where it left off. Works well for speech, I feel.

And that listening experience for podcasts is what I get with Roon ARC, although the rewind is only a second or two - enough for me.

Ah, good to know!

Please implement a configuration option to “Disable Audio ducking”
Current behaviour. As expected Roon Arc lowers volume on incoming notification on Android
New behaviour: With the option enabled, RoonArc disables audio ducking and maintains contant volume when a notification sound is mixed in.

Audio Ducking is an Android feature I hate, turning off notifications etc is just a PITA.

Interesting idea, I’ll bring it to the team.

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That’s weird, for me on my Samsung the volume is not lowered when a notification is received, but instead the playback is stopped completely for several very long seconds. I would much prefer it to just lower the volume for a bit like it does when I use Spotify for instance. Or like the suggestion just keep playing regularly.

Yes, it is the same on all my samsung devices. Playback stopped completely for the sound/notification, then it resumes.

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I’ve never owned a Smsung but I believe that it has a more enhanced Sound control bit on its settings allowing more control. I use Google Pixels

To be clear I think the correct term is Audio Focus when an App gets paused and another app uses the sound)

I had thought that Audio Focus was being replaced by Audio Ducking and from v12 onwards Google is moving back to some kind of semi automatic procedure where it will take care of bad apps not dealing with focus/ducking correctlyand handing control back to the original app

I would be quite happy if there was a “Disable Audio Focus” option too

The current work around is turn on Do Not Disturb on an automatic or manual matter but I have always considered this a poor solution to a feature I personally hate (Audio Duck/Focus)…This is because Android seems not to check for notifications when DND is on. So if I pick up my phone to check for messages then they don’t appear till DND is off (I dod this all the time when I train people as my phone is on DND when speaking)

I frequently casdt my music to a local bluetooth speaker or headphones and it is highly annoying to havethe playback suppressed by notifications when I want to be able to see them easily but not hear them.

From what I can tell it really stops completely, to the point where when it resumes it needs to buffer the stream again (I’m seeing the spinning loading animation). That’s why I think the pause is disturbingly long. Also, when it does resume, it doesn’t continue from the exact location but from about a second or two earlier. It’s just a bad implementation.

I’ve merged your thread into the existing thread on Focus Ducking…


Which, when you’re listening to podcasts, as I do, is actually a good implementation. :slightly_smiling_face:

Podcasts yes, music no :slightly_smiling_face: