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I use a Nexus 6 on Lollipop. Sometimes I'll try to listen to music over Bluetooth while using Google Maps turn-by-turn navigation in my car. The volume on the music is reduced whenever Google Maps gives the next turn, which is irritating. I changed the settings in Google Maps to output using the device's speaker, but it still lowers the media volume over Bluetooth to give me turn information.

Is there any way -- ideally without needing root privileges -- to prevent this from happening?

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    I guess that's the reason Google Maps do it, to make sure that you can hear the next turn (and prevent users from blaming Google if they miss it). Anyway, your question is on-topic. – Andrew T. Oct 4 '15 at 4:14
  • @AndrewT. Yes, I imagine that's the case, but I am both aware of and accepting of the risk that I might not hear the directions. In any case, the pausing doesn't really work because the delay in Bluetooth means my music doesn't get lowered until after it's already given the directions. – Casey Oct 5 '15 at 15:10
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From what I've read elsewhere, this functionality is generally handled by the application playing the music/audio. So, I've been testing out various players, and found a couple that do what Casey is requesting, MX Player and Poweramp.

MX Player is primarily known as a video player, but it can also handle a number of audio formats (including Opus, which I happened to be looking for).

One drawback with MX Player is that it can't create dynamic playlists, so you have to have the songs ordered in folders to play in succession.

The other one that does what Casey is requesting is the music player app Poweramp, which lets you choose in its settings, under Audio->Audio Focus->Short Audio Focus Change, between no ducking (unchecked), and pausing (checked). Poweramp isn't free, though.

Another app, Rocket Player, is a music player that will let you choose between ducking and pausing, but will not allow you to disable it completely, which is what Casey is looking for. (The setting is under Settings->Sound->Audio Focus->Temp Focus Action)

For myself, I've found that, especially for audio books and podcasts, I actually prefer pausing to ducking or no ducking, so I like Poweramp or Rocket Player for this purpose.

  • Well, that's unfortunate since the services I have are tied to particular apps but I guess that is the answer. – Casey Dec 25 '15 at 17:27
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I'm not sure at what point it was added, but it is now possible to mute turn-by-turn navigation. This is not exactly ideal (I'd prefer to have the directions come out of the phone speaker and not pause Bluetooth), but it will do the job. Google provides instructions here:

You can silence voice navigation by touching the mute button.

  1. Open the Google Maps app maps. Maps logo
  2. Start navigation.
  3. In the top right, touch Sound. Sound
  4. Touch Mute. Mute

To turn voice navigation back on, touch Mute > Sound.

Tip: You can also silence voice navigation by touching the volume controls on your device.

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I found solution to this issue by using app called SoundAssistant. It has "dual app sound" setting, if you turn it on and choose an app for dual sound (in my case it is amazon music), google maps will not mute the music.

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To confirm what mmortal03 said:

"Rocket Player, is a music player that will let you choose between ducking and pausing, but will not allow you to disable it completely, which is what Casey is looking for. (The setting is under Settings->Sound->Audio Focus->Temp Focus Action)".

It does give the option to IGNORE all other apps now. Just tested it: maps, camera shutter sound - make sounds but no longer "duck" (more like stutter!) my music, listening via 3.5mm rn but should be same for BT.

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