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I recently switched from PC to Mac and one thing I miss is Windows' application-level volume control (i.e. mute Firefox, turn up iTunes, turn down Skype etc). How can I achieve the same on a Mac? Or better yet, I want volume settings based on location (using HTTP location API or WiFi network name) and time of day or day of week etc.

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FYI - I'm not aware of any way to control volume on a tab-level. – TJ Luoma May 9 '13 at 22:53
This is seriously naff - how can there not be a free solution to this?? – geotheory Apr 3 '15 at 12:30
I will be happy to pay for one too – pathikrit Apr 3 '15 at 12:31

Detour is no longer under development, and doesn't work in MacOSX 10.5+

Hear is a rather expensive utility ($49.95) and has a number of other audio "Pro" features.

Jack is a low-latency audio server written originally for GNU/Linux and I believe can change volume on a per-application basis. And it's free.

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There's an alternative UI for Jack by the name of QjackCtl. A compiled binary can be fetched here. – user36018 Apr 11 '14 at 18:42
Maybe it's changed, but I'm seeing Hear is $19.99. May give it a try since SoundBunny apparently won't work with an external audio interface. – Jonathan van Clute Feb 2 at 18:23

SoundBunny ($9.99) also provides this function. Supports 10.6, 10.7 and 10.8

SoundBunny by Prosoft Engineering

Update: As pointed out below by Steve Moser SoundBunny cannot change the volume of Sandboxed applications.

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+1 for a great app. It also comes with a 30-day free trial. – TJ Luoma May 9 '13 at 22:52
Sadly it looks like it doesn't support sandboxed apps. – Steve Moser Jun 28 '13 at 18:40
-1 for commercial solution – geotheory Apr 3 '15 at 12:27

Just found it's very similar to the one found on windows.

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BAH... requires at least Yosemite?? Suck. – Jonathan van Clute Feb 2 at 18:09
And it's expensive! – Iulian Onofrei Feb 26 at 12:16

I use Butler & USB Overdrive to setup key commands and map media keys (play/pause/skip back+fwd/volume/mute) to control iTunes & Spotify, as well as other system wide controls. Regular in-app key commands can be setup in the Mac OS System Prefs -> Keyboard -> Application Shortcuts. While these will give you more control via key commands when you're working in the app, they won't work if the specified app is in the background. So if you want to change the volume of iTunes or Spotify, skip tracks, or pause while you are working in another app, these 2 apps will allow you to do that. Both apps provide built-in basic itunes controls, but I had to use Applescript to control Spotify. Here are some Applescript examples that can be used for these types of functions in both of these apps: [the form wouldn't let me submit more than 2 links so i had to make this inactive]

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This does not provide an answer to the question. To critique or request clarification from an author, leave a comment below their post - you can always comment on your own posts, and once you have sufficient reputation you will be able to comment on any post. – patrix Nov 2 '14 at 13:34

Here's a possible workaround, for a subset of use cases, that doesn't require any new software.

We use Slack at work, and I like to play iTunes kinda loud (in my headphones). Sometimes I was missing Slack audible "bings".

Just fyi that you can set iTunes volume lower in the iTunes UI, and then set the overall system volume in upper right system menu reasonably high, so that relatively the non-iTunes notifications will be noticeable.


  • iTunes volume can bet set independently of other sounds, WITHIN the iTunes UI
  • And then the overall volume in the upper right controls the combination of everything.

I suspect this works in other apps that have an independent volume control.

Note: I see some possibly similar answers with negative votes, but I've taken the time to explain how it works, and clearly disclosed that it's a subset/workaround to what was asked, so please don't ding me for this answer.

This is one of those things that's "obvious" to gurus, but not obvious to the rest of the folks using Mac.

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Related question here… – Mark Bennett May 21 '15 at 17:14
up vote 0 down vote accepted

A free open source one if you don't want to pay for VolumeMixer is this one:

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While focused on the app.. OS X Mavericks:

Command+option+up/down arrows

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In which applications does this work? – patrix Mar 16 '14 at 9:46
Cmd + ctrl up/down changes volume in online music streaming, but that's not the same as the browser – geotheory Apr 3 '15 at 12:29

Control+Command+Up/Down Arrows works for me Mac OS 10.9.5

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Doesn't address the actual question, this is just how to adjust the overall Mac volume. – Jonathan van Clute Feb 2 at 18:10

On mac, with i tunes the command is cmd and the UP arrow, this also works for divx, vlc ext, with the internet, just use the volume controls F11 / F12.

No need to spend monies on silly apps!

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That's not what was asked. – Matthieu Riegler May 9 '13 at 8:54

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