If you like to listen to music or an audiobook, or watch a movie or TV episode before you fall asleep, you may like an option to gradually turn down the volume on your PC to help you dose off. The problem here is that the majority of media players do not support a feature like this, so that you either have to lower the volume manually over time, or use a third party program like VolumeOut for it.
VolumeOut is a free portable program for Windows that has been designed for this sole purpose. All you need to do is set the interval in which you want the volume on your PC to be moved from the current volume to zero.
The program adds an icon to Windows' system tray. A right-click on it displays a context menu with options to start and stop the process of reducing the volume gradually, and for setting the interval in which you want that to happen.
Valid values range from 1 to 240 minutes. Remember that the volume is turned down gradually over the time period. If you select 240 minutes for instance, you will notice that it will take quite some time before you notice any difference in volume, while you will notice an immediate change when you select one or two minutes. The whole process depends solely on the starting volume and the selected interval.
Once you have made the change you can start or stop the countdown with another right-click and the selection of the appropriate option from the context menu.
This program certainly works best if you like to listen to music when you go to bed, and not so well for media that requires some level of attention until the end. So, Internet Radio or a custom playlist works fine, while audiobooks, movies or television series not so much as it is likely that you will either fall asleep before the end or that the volume is so low that you can't understand what is being said anymore.
Still, if you do not mind that or like to listen to music in bed, this one is a program that you may want to try out.
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