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My MacBook Pro running macOS 10.13.6 sporadically makes the following sound (see here for .mp3 format). I'd really like to know where this is coming from. Sometimes it looks like the computer makes the sound when the Ethernet cable and/or the power cable are disconnected, but I haven't been able to reliably link the sound to any of these events as the sound is not played every time they happen. Even just being able to record the sound using my phone was lucky. Also, normally this sound is made a few times over the course of a few minutes and that has been happening once every day or two for the last week.

I have followed the suggestions in the answers here and here. As the sound is played infrequently, some of the solutions haven't yet turned up any results. Every time I restart the mac the first thing I do is start the following command on Terminal: sudo fs_usage -w | grep -i "\.mp3\|\.aif\|\.m4a\|\.wav\|\.caf". The sound has played multiple times while the command is running but no audio file with that sound is shown in the command line.

I have looked at the Notification Center notifications and, although I have some from around the time this sound was played, none of those programs make this sound. I have also looked at the Notifications preference pane in Settings and no app in that list makes this sound (that I'm aware).

I've also searched the following locations for any .wav, .aif[f], .mp3 and .m4a file:

  • /Library
  • /System
  • /Applications
  • ~/Library

I played all the sounds I could find, but my search has come up empty. Naturally, the sound could be saved in another file format or be in another location...

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    Nothing I have plays the sound (file seems corrupt). In any event do two things: Start in Safe Mode (Hold Shift while booting) and see if the sound continues. If not, it's something on your system. Next, create a new user and use that for about as long as it would take the sound to "appear." If it doesn't it's something in your user profile. Once we figure that out, we can proceed from there. – Allan Jul 5 '20 at 23:41
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    @Allan The sound file is in .aif format and QuickTime plays it perfectly. But you can try the .mp3 I have just uploaded too (see edited question). Will try those other suggestions – Alex Jul 6 '20 at 0:05
  • I've tried QT, Apple Music and an 3rd party player (elmedia). None could play the file. But, not super important at this point see if the problem exists in Safe Mode and in another user profile. – Allan Jul 6 '20 at 0:22
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    @Allan I seriously do not understand how that is possible. You can play the .mp3 directly in the google drive page (the .aif needs to be downloaded first as google drive does not recognize the format). My gut tells me this is some rogue app or plugin which I cannot identify, and anyone who has heard this sound before may immediately know which software plays it. So actually having people listen to the sound is important – Alex Jul 6 '20 at 0:29
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    @Allan naturally if you're deaf hearing it won't help. Contrariwise, if you're not, and if you've heard the sound before, and know which app makes it, then we can immediately answer this question. I'm not questioning your methodology, all I'm saying is there are more options besides what you said and we can apply all of them in parallel – Alex Jul 6 '20 at 8:53
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Sound files are stored in ~Library/Sounds, Library/Sounds or in System/Library/Sounds folder. Look in these 3 folders and see if that particular sound file is there.

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  • Sorry, looked at all sound files there, none match – Alex Jul 6 '20 at 0:01
  • (I should add that I looked at all files with the formats stated in the question and that I could find) – Alex Jul 6 '20 at 0:12

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