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Sometimes I want to play games in (near) silence, and don't like the background music to disturb people. If I use the volume buttons, the ringtone volume is changed instead of media volume. When I'm already in the game, the volume buttons do change the volume of background music, but it's kinda too late.

Is there a way for me to change the media volume to a level I like, from the home screen, before starting apps/games?

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I used to go to settings-sounds-media volume, but since the 2.2 update that feature seems to be gone. I figure it has just been moved but I can't find it anywhere. Any ideas where it went? – user5983 Jun 17 '11 at 14:01
Cyanogenmod 12.1 or 13 has an option to make the volume buttons always control multimedia volume (settings, buttons, control ringtone) and this is a lifesaver for me. – Sin Jeong-hun Dec 20 '15 at 1:29
up vote 11 down vote accepted
  1. You can go to Settings > Sound > Volume and turn down the Media volume all the way to 0.

  2. I used AutomateIt to Mute Media sound unless the earphone is plugged.

  3. A hack that I used to do is to just cover up the speaker hole until I can turn down the volume.

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Nice answer! (1) can be used without an extra app, and (3) is just awesome :) – phunehehe May 29 '11 at 13:20

I use the Audio Manager app for this. It allows you to control all the different volumes -- Call, Media, Notifications, etc.

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I really hope Ice Cream Sandwich does volumes like Honeycomb. You change the volume, then can tap to expand to see all the volumes that you can change (media, notifications, etc). – Bryan Denny May 28 '11 at 17:40

If you have Tasker, you can use it to adjust your media volume based on proximity to a WiFi network and many other conditions. I have mine configured to set the media volume to 1 when in range of the office WiFi (as well as setting the ringer volume to an appropriate level, etc.). You can also configure gestures as triggers, but I have not tried this.

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On AOSP Android 6.0 Marshmallow, this feature is integrated into the OS.

From an article on Pocket-lint,

Android 6.0 Marshmallow: Volume controls

One of the places where Lollipop went a little haywire was with the volume and controlling those new notifications. These new fangled volume controls sent ripples across Android devices on Lollipop with manufacturer skins that followed, and have been tweaked by all and sundry ever since.

On Android 6.0 Marshmallow, they have changed. Hooray!

Hitting volume down or up will open the volume controller and a drop-down arrow will let you change the ringer volume, alarm volume and media volume independently. That means you can ensure that game you're about to start up in bed doesn't blare out music as soon as it opens.

Android 6.0 expanded volume control

Image courtesy of TrustedReviews

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On some firmware (e.g. Xperia Z series, WanamLite Jellybean ROM), when you hit the hardware volume keys, a slider pops up with a settings icon next to it. Tapping on this icon allows you to change the Media Volume:

Jellybean method

Click image to view larger version

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It is not the standard volume control box and may be OEM specific or only available in custom ROMs. Hence this might not work for all the phones. – k1chy Mar 13 '14 at 8:39
@k1chy, oh really? So it's still necessary to go all the way into settings on vanilla Android 4.1? This screenshot is actually from the WanamLite ROM, but I thought the same feature was on stock Jellybean actually. – Tim Rae Mar 13 '14 at 9:33
yes. Even in stock 4.4 (Nexus 5) it is the same way. Custom ROMs have the expandable volume control for ages though. – k1chy Mar 13 '14 at 12:11
Works for me on my S4! Exactly what I was looking for. – WillC Aug 9 '15 at 23:42

Much simpler way to do,

  1. Open your music player(any) app
  2. Without playing any song just lower the volume from the volume rockers(buttons) while in the app.

This will lower the all media Volume. :-)

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The people at bug #65491 and Android Central suggest the app Rocker Locker.

  1. Install Rocker Locker.
  2. Launch it (screenshot).
  3. Tap “Enable” (screenshot).
  4. Remove the automatically created app shortcut from your launcher/homescreen (do not uninstall it, of course) because you are never going to need to open it again.

This app was created specifically to address the annoyance with the functionality of volume buttons in Android 5.x (Lollipop). The app causes the volume buttons to always change the media volume instead of ringer volume. It works from the lock screen. It claims to work across restarts, though I haven’t tried this.

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