A prominent orange dot in macOS Monterey is causing problems for artists

Posted:
in macOS edited December 2021
Live performers are complaining that Apple's macOS Monterey microphone in use alert, an orange dot in the Menu Bar, has rendered the Mac unusable during events.

A prominent orange dot in macOS Monterey is causing problems for artists
A prominent orange dot in macOS Monterey is causing problems for artists


Apple implemented a visual representation that alerts users to any application or device accessing their microphone or camera -- an orange or green dot in the Menu Bar. This security feature is meant to draw users' attention to inadvertent access but has been implemented in a way that is disruptive to visual artists.

When a microphone is in use during any circumstance, the orange dot appears by the Control Center in the Menu Bar on every connected display. This occurs even when the Menu Bar is disabled on external monitors, except the dot appears floating in space in the upper right corner.

Many artists in the music industry output visuals to an external monitor or projector while playing live shows. An orange dot on a 24-inch monitor may not seem like an issue, but once it is shown on a 50-foot display in front of a crowd, it quickly becomes a disruption.

Members of the music community aren't happy with this implementation and are reaching out to Apple for some kind of user-facing toggle. At the minimum, artists are asking Apple to remove the orange dot from external displays.

The developer of one popular audio-visual graphics client, Isadora, called the feature "totally unacceptable." He asks that everyone go to the macOS feedback page and submit a report, or send a tweet reply to the Apple Support account.

"This must get fixed and we need to make some noise to make sure it does," said the Isadora developer in a forum post.

A green light means your camera is in use. And in macOS Monterey, an orange dot in the menu bar means your microphone is in use.

Here's what it looks like. pic.twitter.com/ejszxvDa7W

-- Apple Support (@AppleSupport)


A temporary fix has been shared by "s4y" on Github. This application will remove the orange dot. It isn't officially endorsed by Apple and could be disabled at any time with a future macOS update.

Read on AppleInsider
SpitbathMacCatHatter
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 34
    My guess is that Apple would make it extremely difficult to disable as any malware would use the feature to prevent the victim from noticing the open microphone. It almost has to be tied to the hardware to be effective. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 34
    It's not just live performers. I record video tutorials and screencasts using ScreenFlow. Anytime I record my screen, that annoying orange dot is ever-present. I can't ship videos to my clients containing a bright orange dot in the corner of every screen, but without an option to remove it, Apple has put me in a difficult spot. I appreciate Apple's commitment to privacy, but in this case, it seems they failed to consider the creators who rely on their platform.
    williamlondonWeetuMacCatHatter
  • Reply 3 of 34
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,189member
    Next we will hear from photographers angry that their landscapes are being spoiled by these red eight sided signs and will demand their removal. 

    Sorry but A) this is for all of our protection, and B )it really isn’t that big a deal. I’ve seen a number of exported videos with a little orange dot in the corner. This is Much Ado About NOTHING.
    edited December 2021 9secondkox2williamlondonmagman1979watto_cobrajony0chia
  • Reply 4 of 34
    Real artists would use an appropriate app like ProPresenter, Pro Video Player, or others to do this.

    A homegrown "DJ" should be using something like this, to begin with.

    If they need one software, ProPresenter is amazing for this. 

    If they need to live mix, use DJ software and ProPresenter. Simple. and way better than simply extending your OS screen.

    None of these complaints makes any sense. 

    Isadora needs to make a better app. Sounds like they don't know what they are doing.

    I personally have had ZERO issues with this when setting up concerts and conferences. 

    If your menu bar is showing up on the LED wall or whatever, you are doing it wrong. 
    DAalsethentropyswilliamlondonmagman1979watto_cobrajony0chia
  • Reply 5 of 34
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,500member
    If your menu bar is showing up on the LED wall or whatever, you are doing it wrong. 
    Did you read the article?  The dot shows on the screen whether the menu bar is visible or not.  It's overlayed by MacOS itself no matter whether you're running fullscreen or not.  I just tried it out by starting an audio recording with QuickTime and then playing a video fullscreen (no menubar), and the dot is there in the topright corner.  I can't see how any app can overcome this unless they're hooking into MacOS at a lower level than the window server (which would be a security hole).
    anantksundaramravnorodomwilliamlondonwatto_cobraMacCatHatter
  • Reply 6 of 34
    What a non-issue issue.

    - What’s a 50 ft screen look like from the average viewing distance … ? My off-the-cuff guess is that at 50-100 ft, what you see isn’t much larger visually than your average living room TV. So no, the dot isn’t enormous from a relative perspective.

    - As for Screenflow/screen-recording, if a tiny orange dot is that disruptive… you’ve got bigger issues than UI elements. I tried it, with Screenflow 9. Barely noticed it. Looked up presentations on the web, and noted how much visual clutter people normally leave in … a lot.

    Update: projected to an 80-in TV through Airplay, using various colored backgrounds, including black. Also, with and without Menu Bar hidden. Not one person … ten of them … noticed the dot without me pointing it out.

    This issue is some serious navel-gazing.
    edited December 2021 foregoneconclusionwilliamlondonmagman1979watto_cobrajony0racerhomie3chia
  • Reply 7 of 34
    Of course, the article fails to show a screenshot of this action. I am curious to see how bad it is. Could anyone provide a screenshot?
    StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 34
    Hey, I just made a free app to hide the orange dot. You can find it on the lowtechguys.com website: https://lowtechguys.com/yellowdot

    For people that think this is not such a big deal, I'd like to say that it depends a lot on what you use the device for.

    For example, when projecting live visuals from your Mac, you might want to make the screen background black (or the same colour as the wall) to give the impression of floating effects. The orange dot in the corner breaks that illusion.

    Another example is using an app that has to constantly use the mic, (e.g. Backtrack, Boom3D, Logic Pro etc.). In that case, the orange dot becomes useless as it's always visible, and some people might be particularly sensitive to these annoyances.
    edited December 2021 auxiomuthuk_vanalingamMacCatHatter
  • Reply 9 of 34
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,500member
    JinTech said:
    Of course, the article fails to show a screenshot of this action. I am curious to see how bad it is. Could anyone provide a screenshot?
    I tried, but it appears that they leave it out of screenshots (at least the ones you can take via macOS shortcuts).  But really, it's not a matter of "how bad" but simply that it looks ridiculous when you're using your Mac for a live performance.  There should really be a way to dismiss it if you know it's there because of an app that you launched (or whitelist certain apps).
    edited December 2021 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 10 of 34
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,500member
    What a non-issue issue.

    - What’s a 50 ft screen look like from the average viewing distance … ? My off-the-cuff guess is that at 50-100 ft, what you see isn’t much larger visually than your average living room TV. So no, the dot isn’t enormous from a relative perspective.

    - As for Screenflow/screen-recording, if a tiny orange dot is that disruptive… you’ve got bigger issues than UI elements. I tried it, with Screenflow 9. Barely noticed it. Looked up presentations on the web, and noted how much visual clutter people normally leave in … a lot.

    Update: projected to an 80-in TV through Airplay, using various colored backgrounds, including black. Also, with and without Menu Bar hidden. Not one person … ten of them … noticed the dot without me pointing it out.

    This issue is some serious navel-gazing.
    When watching a video fullscreen with black borders (as often happens when the aspect ratio of the movie doesn't match your screen), it's definitely noticeable.  Especially in scenes with low light.  Now obviously most people aren't going to be making an audio recording while watching a movie, but performers often do combined audio/visual performances where they sing and show visuals.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 11 of 34
    DAalseth said:
    Next we will hear from photographers angry that their landscapes are being spoiled by these red eight sided signs and will demand their removal. 

    Sorry but A) this is for all of our protection, and B )it really isn’t that big a deal. I’ve seen a number of exported videos with a little orange dot in the corner. This is Much Ado About NOTHING.
    What a ridiculous, dismissive, overwrought assertion.

    When you see angry photographers doing that, get back to us.
    williamlondon9secondkox2muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 12 of 34
    Apple knows what is best for you. If Apple says that your entire screen should be orange when the microphone is turned on that Apple must be right because Apple is always right. I am proud of the Apple fan-people for reminding us all of this fact.
    baconstangmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 13 of 34
    alin23 said:
    Hey, I just made a free app to hide the orange dot. You can find it on the lowtechguys.com website: https://lowtechguys.com/yellowdot

    For people that think this is not such a big deal, I'd like to say that it depends a lot on what you use the device for.

    For example, when projecting live visuals from your Mac, you might want to make the screen background black (or the same colour as the wall) to give the impression of floating effects. The orange dot in the corner breaks that illusion.

    Another example is using an app that has to constantly use the mic, (e.g. Backtrack, Boom3D, Logic Pro etc.). In that case, the orange dot becomes useless as it's always visible, and some people might be particularly sensitive to these annoyances.
    I’d say it’s not the use case, but what each person hyper-focuses on … or doesn’t. Clearly my opinion, but my impression is that the average person doesn’t notice and doesn’t care even if they do.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 34
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,500member
    alin23 said:
    Hey, I just made a free app to hide the orange dot. You can find it on the lowtechguys.com website: https://lowtechguys.com/yellowdot

    For people that think this is not such a big deal, I'd like to say that it depends a lot on what you use the device for.

    For example, when projecting live visuals from your Mac, you might want to make the screen background black (or the same colour as the wall) to give the impression of floating effects. The orange dot in the corner breaks that illusion.

    Another example is using an app that has to constantly use the mic, (e.g. Backtrack, Boom3D, Logic Pro etc.). In that case, the orange dot becomes useless as it's always visible, and some people might be particularly sensitive to these annoyances.
    I’d say it’s not the use case, but what each person hyper-focuses on … or doesn’t. Clearly my opinion, but my impression is that the average person doesn’t notice and doesn’t care even if they do.
    The problem is that, while a large number of the people using Macs are doing things for which this doesn't matter, Apple also markets the Mac heavily to creative professionals.  People for whom having an orange dot in the corner of their performance art would be akin to having an orange dot in the corner of a great painting.


    exceptionhandler
  • Reply 15 of 34
    DAalseth said:
    Next we will hear from photographers angry that their landscapes are being spoiled by these red eight sided signs and will demand their removal. 

    Sorry but A) this is for all of our protection, and B )it really isn’t that big a deal. I’ve seen a number of exported videos with a little orange dot in the corner. This is Much Ado About NOTHING.
    You’re wrong. So, have a beautiful day
    williamlondonbaconstang
  • Reply 16 of 34
    auxio said:
    If your menu bar is showing up on the LED wall or whatever, you are doing it wrong. 
    Did you read the article?  The dot shows on the screen whether the menu bar is visible or not.  It's overlayed by MacOS itself no matter whether you're running fullscreen or not.  I just tried it out by starting an audio recording with QuickTime and then playing a video fullscreen (no menubar), and the dot is there in the topright corner.  I can't see how any app can overcome this unless they're hooking into MacOS at a lower level than the window server (which would be a security hole).
    Cool story bruh.



    edited December 2021 williamlondon
  • Reply 17 of 34
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,500member
    Where's ResEdit when you need it?

    sandorhammeroftruthwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 18 of 34
    Seriously? Is this meant as some sort of last-minute Christmas joke??? Do these idiots have nothing better to do? They obviously just don't know how to properly use their Mac and/or use the proper software, then go whining like a bunch of self-absorbed Millennials to the media, FFS...
    williamlondonwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 19 of 34
    j2fusion said:
    My guess is that Apple would make it extremely difficult to disable as any malware would use the feature to prevent the victim from noticing the open microphone. It almost has to be tied to the hardware to be effective. 
    Apparently not.

    temporary fix has been shared by "s4y" on Github. This application will remove the orange dot. 
    Which sort of makes the whole thing pointless as any malware could remove it. I wouldn't be surprised to find the "fix" is just a defaults setting toggle.
    edited December 2021 auxio
  • Reply 20 of 34
    If your menu bar is showing up on the LED wall or whatever, you are doing it wrong. 
    Try reading the article again. Try really hard this time. 
    williamlondonanantksundarambaconstangmuthuk_vanalingam9secondkox2michelb76MacCatHatter
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