Often when I view a web site that uses Flash, I am spared the annoying, seizure-inducing animations thanks to firefox and the flashblock module. Flashblock is great because it allows me to choose if I want to view the Flash or not. In the rare case that I want to see it, I'm usually treated to the endearing Flash experience of...
...being blown out of my seat because the volume is so !%@# loud.
At first I thought it was my settings. I would jump to the volume knob on my speakers and adjust it so the Flash is at a reasonable level, and enjoy whatever it is I'm supposed to be enjoying. But when I went back to other applications, the sound was far too low and I'd have to turn the speakers back up.
This happened not once, but happens almost all the time. I've noticed it so much that now I mute or turn down my speakers before I go to a Flash site, anticipating the problem. Rarely do I run across a site where doing this wasn't a good idea. This is such a consistent problem that I avoid the use of Flash altogether, and usually avoid web sites that use it.
So what's the problem? Either there is some vast conspiracy between all the Flash developers to pump up the volume, or there's a problem with the Flash creation tools. My guess is it's the latter. I'm sure there's a setting in the software somewhere, and it seems the default is set way too high. I find it hard to believe that designers haven't noticed that they are constantly adjusting the volume as they switch between applications during development. This is such a problem in the music/mp3 world, that a standard has been proposed to solve it.
Macromedia/Adobe needs to look at all aspects of the user interface, including the volume levels. Until then, if you're a Flash developer, please pay more attention to this. Navigation clicks don't need to blow me out of my seat.