Feature idea: turn off UI sounds when iTunes is playing

in macOS edited January 2014
This is an idea for an OS X/iTunes feature, or it could be made into an application/add-on. I have no experience with scripting/development so I can't put it together myself.

I have my user interface sound effects on because I like the aural feedback, and I expect that most users have the same (if only because it's the default). When I'm playing music from iTunes over the speakers hooked up to my Mac, it can be pretty annoying to have the "empty trash" or "alert" sound interrupt my music. This doesn't happen when I play through AirTunes, but that's not always the case.

Does anyone else think this would be a good idea or am I the only one running into this problem?


  • Reply 1 of 6
    slewisslewis Posts: 2,080member
    Um it's a great idea but the idea behind the System noises is to give you feedback no matter what's going on.

  • Reply 2 of 6
    Right... So? This is a particular instance where I'd want the sounds disabled. The "empty trash" sound makes for nice feedback when the computer's otherwise silent, but it's just annoying when I have music playing. It's not the same as the "alert", which may mean that some app needs my attention.

    QT and DVD Player already disable the screensaver during video playback, regardless of the original idea behind screensavers - because having a screensaver pop up during a movie would be really annoying. I'm just suggesting a similar behavior for sound effects and music playback.
  • Reply 3 of 6
    dacloodacloo Posts: 890member
    good idea! It's just a checkbox in preferences away....
  • Reply 4 of 6
    provageprovage Posts: 1member
    We have also wished to turn off UI sounds when iTunes was playing. (We use one Mac to play music throughout our office - but still want to use it for work as well.) While we wait for iTunes to have a preference checkbox - we build a small applescript as a temporary fix (following). When ran the script checks to see if iTunes is running.

    If iTunes is not running: turn off alert sounds and turn on iTunes.

    If iTunes is running: turn alert sounds to 50% and quit iTunes.

    Next we made an alias of the script and replaced our iTunes aliases (the dock, etc.).

    The only non-ideal part of this is that if you just "quit" iTunes, it won't turn your alert sounds back on. For it to function correctly, you need to click this icon to run iTunes and click it to quit iTunes.

    iTunes_alertoff script:

    tell application "System Events"

    \tif process "iTunes" exists then

    \t\tquit application "iTunes"

    \t\ttell application "Finder"

    \t\t\tset volume alert volume 50

    \t\tend tell


    \t\ttell application "Finder"

    \t\t\tset volume alert volume 0

    \t\tend tell

    \t\tactivate application "iTunes"

    \tend if

    end tell
  • Reply 5 of 6
    this is one thing in windows that i'd really like to see introduced on macs. separate volume controls for different things on your computer only makes sense. i don't need my ichat noise to be as loud as my music.
  • Reply 6 of 6
    I have my system sounds go through the speaker on the Mac Pro. Everything else I have go through my Audio Interface...So you can do what your asking kind of.
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