The Quiet Mac
July 15, 2005 8:59 AM   Subscribe

I've lost sound on a bunch of my OS X apps... very confused

So, out of the blue, the following apps no longer have sound: Quicktime (when in its own window though sound's fine when it's in a web browser), same for Windows Media Player, Flash (in a browser or not), my widgets... At the same time, things like Real play fine in or out of a browswer, the computer makes noise when I press the volume up/down buttons, and my email still dings. What's up? I've of course rebooted. No effect.
posted by dobbs to Computers & Internet (11 answers total)
Response by poster: I also have another issue which I was reminded of when I posted this question. I tried to reword on preview but it didn't work:

My Safari seems to have trouble submitting things... like, eBay searches, certain logins (like, at my bank). It just sorta refreshes the pages in question with my data still sitting in the forms. It's a little nervewracking.

Since Safari is my main browser and the sound and this thing started happening at the same time... are these related?
posted by dobbs at 9:10 AM on July 15, 2005

Response by poster: Arrgh. I'm on Tiger if that makes a diff.
posted by dobbs at 9:12 AM on July 15, 2005

Pull down your apple menu. Go to System Preferences... chose Sound. Chose the output tab. make sure that the output that you want to use is selected. Internal Speakers is prolly what you want. Make sure the output volume is up.

go to applications/utilities and launch Audio Midi Preferences. Make sure that your default output and your system output are both Built-In Audio or whatever it ought to be. Then look below at Audio Output box and see if everything is in order... no muting and the volume sliders are up.

Quit the applications that are silent and relaunch and give er a go.

Have you installed Soundflower or Audio Hijack or Wiretap? Uninstall them or launch them and see what they are doing.

I don't know what your Safari problem is about, maybe someone else does.
posted by n9 at 9:58 AM on July 15, 2005

Best answer: If n9's tips don't help you (and you should try those first), I have a couple potential solutions that are weird but have worked for a few users with "selective" audio loss.

It seems that iTunes is sometimes a key to audio problems. What some people have done to kick things back into gear is to delete iTunes and any iTunes installer on the hard drive(s). Spotlight can help you with this. Make sure you catch the "iTunes4.pkg" in Library/Receipts — you have to delete that, too. You do not have to delete your Music Library — don't touch your songs! After you've deleted the iTunes app and installers, download iTunes from the Apple web site and reinstall it. Restart and see if that has done the trick.

Another strange technique that some have tried with success is, if you have GarageBand, just launch it and quit it. No idea why that would work, and I've never seen this trick in action, but hey, it's worth a shot. Like I said, these are weird approaches to the problem.

As for your Safari problems, that's a new one on me, too. Other than recommending that you reinstall Safari, I can't offer much advice. Sorry!
posted by TPIRman at 10:20 AM on July 15, 2005

I had intermittent sound problems on 10.3 with QT, iMovie, and maybe some others. I eventually called Apple and they said that it required an archive and reinstall, which I never got round to doing, and then after a while the sound came back. Not that useful I know but just wanted to let you know I had a possibly similar problem - and that Apple knew nothing about it.
posted by carter at 10:29 AM on July 15, 2005

Best answer: On occasion I use an app called Audacity to edit wavs and mp3s, and it always screws up my sound. I was inches away from reinstalling OSX when I read that Garageband does something to core audio, and when it launches, can fix problems like these. Sure enough, within seconds of launching Garageband, everything springed back to life. It must reset a bunch of parameters or something, or re-initialize them -- oh hell, I dont' know what I'm talking about, but it works for me every time.

For Safari, if you haven't already, I'd clear my autofill data from Preferences, then close the app, Spotlight "Safari", and delete all preferences, etc that aren't related to your bookmarks. Empty your trash and relaunch Safari, maybe its a matter of some old corrupted data.

Hope this helps...
posted by jruckman at 1:12 PM on July 15, 2005

I should mention my sound problems then seem identical to yours now, and I got the same advice from Apple as carter.
posted by jruckman at 1:15 PM on July 15, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks for all the answers, folks. TPIRman, you found the solution. I opened Garage Band and then closed it and all of a sudden the sounds is back in QT, WMP and widgets!

Anyone know a flash site that for certain has audio that I can check it?
posted by dobbs at 1:32 PM on July 15, 2005

Response by poster: jruckman, which files relate to my bookmarks? I'd hate to delete them by mistake. (Will they be labled bookmarks?)
posted by dobbs at 1:46 PM on July 15, 2005

Best answer: (oh, didn't even see TPIRman's response) Bookmarks.plist is the one to look out for. Actually, you could probably get away w/ just deleting the file "Form Values" in [user]/Library/Safari, nothing else seems related.
posted by jruckman at 2:23 PM on July 15, 2005

Response by poster: deleting the file "Form Values"

Thaks, jruckman! That did the trick!
posted by dobbs at 3:41 PM on July 15, 2005

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