Occasionally, when I've had my mac on mute for a period of time (eg., several hours), and then plug in a set of headphones, I get a backlog of system sounds played to me. (chirps, new email sounds, etc).

These are sounds that would've/should've been played over the day, but weren't. It seems the sounds are queued / buffered, then when I plug in my headphones, the queue is emptied.

What causes this, and how do I prevent this?

  • 1
    I also experience this issue, but I think I only get mail sounds. I do not think it is strictly necessary to have the computer muted to generate the backlog, nor is it limited just to headphones--it seems any change in the sound output device might trigger it. I have noticed that quitting mail always stops the sound backlog. I would love to see a solution to this - it is still an issue with 10.7.3 – mr_kitty Apr 27 '12 at 13:40
  • Are you still experiencing this? – bmike Nov 14 '12 at 16:25
  • @bmike Not for a while. But, I haven't done anything to address the issue, so either it's just luring me into a false sense of security, or an auto update fixed the issue. – Marty Pitt Nov 14 '12 at 21:06
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    Why not answer here that it's gone and you are running 10.7.whatever. Should it return you can come back and edit your answer but at least people can know what version of Lion it started, that it might be mail related and it's less prevalent on 10.7.whatever now... – bmike Nov 14 '12 at 22:02
  • It is certainly not gone with a system upgrade. I just got a new Macbook Pro (10.8.2) and it has the same problem. My old Macbook did not. I give a fair number of talks with my computer plugged into the house audio system -- I can't wait for the first time that I have to endure 2 minutes of alert sounds before I can start. I'll check whether quitting Mail actually stops it. That would be good to know. – user37891 Jan 4 '13 at 19:28

This is a bug that still exists in 10.8 unfortunately. It also randomly happens now when turning on AirPlay Mirroring so you can hear it on the big screen!


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protected by Community Jan 4 '13 at 21:03

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