Matthew Gatland

How to make YouTube (or other video websites) louder

November 24, 2017

Sometimes I find a YouTube video of a conference talk that’s just too quiet. Even when it’s set to maximum volume, with Windows set to maximum volume, it’s still too quiet.

The YouTube volume slider set to maximum

The Windows volume slider set to maximum

You can easily fix this with JavaScript!

First, open your web browser’s JavaScript console. In Chrome, click on the menu button, then ‘more tools’, then ‘Developer Tools’ to open the developer tools.

Opening the developer tools as described above

In the Developer Tools, click on the Console tab.

Open the console

Click in the empty white space after the > symbol. Now you can type or paste code into the console.

Click on the console

Copy this code and paste it into the console.

var videoElement = document.querySelector("video")
var audioCtx = new AudioContext()
var source = audioCtx.createMediaElementSource(videoElement)
var gainNode = audioCtx.createGain()
gainNode.gain.value = 2 // double the volume

It will look like this once you paste it in:

The code, as it will appear in the console.

Press enter to send the code to your browser. The video should immediately get louder.

If you want to make it even louder, copy this line, paste it in and press enter. You can change the number to a higher value to make it even louder.

gainNode.gain.value = 3

The code, as it will appear in the console.

What just happened?

Imagine that the video was a physical object (like a phone), and it was connected to your speakers by a cable.

We unplugged that cable and connected the video to a new object called a gain node. Then we plugged the gain node into your speakers. Sound flows from the video to the gain node to the speakers. The gain node has a volume dial on it, and we can adjust that dial to amplify the sound.

How to recycle CFL bulbs in Auckland

July 04, 2017

I’m writing this post because I googled that title and took a long time to find the answer. Hopefully I can make it simple for you:

Take your energy saver bulbs to EcoMatters in Newmarket at 1 Olympic Place, New Lynn, Auckland. They are open from 10am-4pm on weekdays, or 10am to 1pm on Saturday.

You will be charged $1 per bulb. It’s a small price to save the planet.

EcoMatters will take the bulbs to Interwaste, which seems to be the only company in New Zealand that can actually recycle them. Interwaste works with bulk amounts. If you have hundreds of bulbs you might want to go to Interwaste directly. If you only have a few, EcoMatters is the place for you.

I wrote this in 2017. You might want to recheck the EcoMatters ‘Recycling Weird Stuff’ page to check nothing has changed.

(The page says Bunnings Warehouse recycles bulbs at no charge, but I don’t think that is true in New Zealand.)

In case you didn’t know

CFL stands for Compact Fluorescent Light. They may be called ‘Energy Saver’ or ‘Energy Saving’ lights on the packaging. They are the little tubey lights that cost more to buy than old-style light bulbs, but last longer and use much less energy. This makes them cheaper and better for the environment in the long run.

CFLs contain mercury, which is highly toxic. They should not be thrown in the rubbish.

Proper disposal information isn’t displayed on the packaging or in stores anywhere :( But now you know! Tell your friends. Save the world.

(By the way, you probably shouldn’t buy any more CFLs. LED bulbs are better now – they might cost twice as much, but they last 3 times as long, they’re even more efficient and they don’t contain mercury.)

More on e-waste

May 03, 2017

I’m sorry I’m writing about e-waste again. Throwing out my old computer stuff has been surprisingly emotional. Especially this:

Photo of an Antec Lanboy computer case and Matthew sitting in the back seat of a car

Me and my Lanboy

I bought this case after I moved to Auckland. I wanted a gaming computer, and gaming laptops were much too expensive, so it had to be a desktop. But I also knew I would be moving it around a lot – back to my parents’ house in all my university breaks. I researched the best affordable lightweight PC case there was, and this was it:

Photo of an Antec Lanboy computer case

The mighty Antec Lanboy

They didn’t make them any more, but I found one second-hand on TradeMe. I picked it up from a fellow nerd and carried it home on foot and bus with its cute carry-handle.

Since then, me and my Lanboy had heaps of travel adventures. As well as holidays at my parents’ house, I moved flat at least once a year for many years.

By the time I built my next computer, life had settled down – and I had a laptop to take on shorter trips. I bought a heavier, more spacious case and Lanboy retired to the corner of my bedroom.

Today I took him to the e-waste place. I feel a little guilty. I could have continued the legacy by handing him on to a new young nerd. I doubt the e-waste people will appreciate his value, except as scrap aluminium.

But he wasn’t having much fun gathering dust in my room. I’m sure this is all for the best.

Antec Lanboy computer case atop a tower of e-waste

Off to the endless lan party in the sky.