1. Is a Graphic Equalizer used? (click to see an example screenshot)

Note: On the left are ten sliders for some (that screen shot is an example only) which correspond to ten divisions of the audio spectrum. Moving the leftmost slider up increases the power of the lowest frequencies, moving it down reduces them. Similarly, the rightmost slider controls the upper tenth of the spectrum (the highest frequencies). To the immediate right of the sliders are two buttons which turns a graphic equalizer on or off. The bottom button toggles through several presets that are based on popular styles of music. For example, the Jazz preset will boost the middle frequencies more than the Acoustic setting. If you make changes in the Custom preset, those changes will be saved for the next time you use the Player. To the right of those two buttons is a final horizontal slider that allows you to adjust the stereo balance. Moving it to the left increases the apparent volume of the left channel and to the right increases the right volume.

2. I'm sure there is a setting somewhere which causes the volume control applet in the Tasktray to take on its default settings. Please read the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) article, "How to Troubleshoot Wave Sound File Problems in Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows Millennium Edition (Me) (Q140334)."