A Weird Imagination

Reacting to active window

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The problem#

Which window I have focused is a signal to the computer for the state I want it to be in. For instance, I normally leave my speaker muted so, for example, I don't accidentally play sound from a website with unexpected videos. But this means that when I do want sound, I need to manually unmute the sound, even though I've already told the computer that I want to watch Netflix, which always involves turning on the sound.

Of course, for the particular problem of unmuting the sound, adding a keyboard shortcut and rereading xkcd 1205: Is It Worth the Time? probably would have been a more appropriate solution. But I wanted a general solution to the problem.

The solution#

Download x11_watch_active_window.py. Then the following script will unmute the speakers if Netflix is focused:

x11_watch_active_window.py | while read -r FocusApp
    if [ "Netflix - Google Chrome" = "$FocusApp" ]
        echo Netflix is focused, unmuting.
        pactl set-sink-mute 0 0

The details#

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