Tired of software which disables your computer's functions? Do you miss being able to mute ads on your computer like you could with your television? Don't accept software which tells you when you can and can't escape commercial propaganda. With a little technical know-how, you can build your own external muting box and reclaim your right to silence.

Certain streaming media services dictate when you can and can't operate the mute button on your computer: If you press mute or turn down the audio completely, the advertisement pauses, leaving you no choice but to sit through the ad until your desired content is resumed.

The solution to this intrusion is inspired by the first TV mute switches, which appeared as after-market, third-party add-ons to television sets. In the early days of TV, ads were little more than loud announcements with little creativity, and just like today, they were louder than the TV programs they sponsored. After mute switches caught on, advertisers took greater care and creativity in how they pitched their ads. The ads heard in these modern, inescapable media environments harken back to those early days when no one had a mute button: They're all boring, didactic announcements. Now that the mute function has been rudely broken by content providers, I go back to the simplicity of an analog switch in order to reclaim the functions of my computer's audio facilities to shut up irrelevant advertisements.

I don't reject advertisements per se; I just reject someone telling me that I have no choice, and that I must listen to an ad, no matter what. No one would stand for a broadcaster which disables the mute button on your TV, and I won't stand for a program which imposes undue control over my computer's native functions.

An electrical schematic for the device can be found below. You can also build one with existing electrical accessories out of two RCA-to-minijack cables, an A/B switch box, and a male-to-male 1/8" inch minijack audio adapter.

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