14 Replies Latest reply: Jun 6, 2008 2:47 PM by James Smutek
owen-b Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
I have recently thought I was going deaf because I was getting new mail and never hearing the sound for it. I thought maybe iTunes was on too loud or something. However, I've just done a test and no, Mail is definitely not playing the new mail sound. Speakers are the internal default ones, volume is up, but when I send mail to myself from a different Gmail account, when it arrives in Apple Mail there's no sound. This happens whether the app is active or in the background.

I'm sure I've heard it working a couple of times recently, but it's random and seems to be very much in the minority of occasions.

Also only seems to have been happening since I updated to Leopard.

I have Dockstar installed but it worked fine with Dockstar before. Might it be causing a conflict somehow? Dockstar doesn't play any sounds, only changes how the mail notifications appear in the dock icon.

I don't use iChat so I don't know if this problem has affected other Apple apps. I've read some people having problems with that too.


iMac 24" 2.4GHz, Mac OS X (10.4.10)
  • 1. Re: Notification sound for new mail doesn't play
    max Feinstein Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I'm having the exact same problem
  • 2. Re: Notification sound for new mail doesn't play
    lbrookins Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Ditto for me, as well. The new mail sounds will play at random intervals, but not all the time. To thicken the plot, all the different sounds I have in the 'rules' section for different ones, will sound when I SEND email to the said people. Or, if I check email, and have nothing, it'll still play a sound.
    Bizarre... I wonder what's causing it, and what can be done to fix it? It's not a life threatening problem or anything--am still getting the email--I'd just like to have my sounds back.
  • 3. Re: Notification sound for new mail doesn't play
    Brian Reed Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Just bought a new 24 inch iMac last night, ran the updates and set up my mail account and I'm not getting the new mail sounds either. But I am getting sent mail sounds.
  • 4. Re: Notification sound for new mail doesn't play
    MrLinguaFranca Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Hola chicos, (OK guys)

    Here’s a solution to the (simple) Mail Notification Sound problem that most people are furious over. Whether it’s plays a sound occasionally or not at all, clearly there is a bug in Mail which prevents it playing sounds alerting you to any incoming mail.

    There is even a rule you can apply in Mail>Preferences>Rules called Play Sound which SHOULD play a AIFF file of your choice on receipt of Every Message. But I’ve found this not to work too!

    So, here’s a workaround in 2 easy steps:
    (You need an AIFF sound file. Got it? Good)

    _*STEP 1 - Modify & Save this tiny Applescript:*_

    Imagine I have the following AIFF on my HD.

    A. Copy n Paste the following into the ‘Script Editor’ application on OS X.

    tell application "Finder"
    open document file "doorbell.aiff" of folder "Sounds" of folder "Library" of folder "mrlinguafranca" of folder "Users" of startup disk
    end tell

    B. Change the parameters with the location of YOUR AIFF file
    C. Click ‘Run’ to test that it plays the sound file. (Success? Good).
    D. Save it somewhere and exit.

    _*STEP 2 - Setup a Rule in OS X Mail*_

    1. Open Mail.
    2. Click Mail>Preferences>Rules.
    3. Click Add Rule.
    4. Set up the rule as follows:
    Give the rule a meaningful description e.g. PlayMailNotificationSound
    “If ANY of the rules are met” select (Every Message) from the drop down.
    Perform the following actions select (Run AppleScript) select (THE LOCATION OF YOUR APPLESCRIPT)
    Click OK.
    5. Restart OS X Mail.
    6. Send yourself a mail and listen carefully.

    Hopefully it’ll work for you as it works for me.

    (If even I can think of a workaround, what are the guys at Apple doing?)

    Buen dia.

    Mr Linguafranca.
  • 5. Re: Notification sound for new mail doesn't play
    jonstieg Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks for the tip
    The only thing I didn't like about it was that it opened iTunes every time a new message came. I found this program called Quick Viewer (http://www.apple.com/applescript/quickviewer/index.html). Drag the sound you want to play onto this app. Then edit your applescript to look like this:

    tell application "Quick Viewer"
    open document file "hero.aiff"
    end tell

    and select the app Quick Viewer when it asks you for the programs location. Now each time a message comes a QuickLook window will pop up instead of iTunes. Unfortunately the window can't be closed by space or command+y and must be exed out of manually.

    Message was edited by: jonstieg
  • 6. Re: Notification sound for new mail doesn't play
    stephenrussett Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Has anyone called apple care about this?

    I have the same problem and i think i am going to call about this cause its a real pain in the @ss to not have this feature
  • 7. Re: Notification sound for new mail doesn't play
    Baculo Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    I just updated to 10.5.2 and have lost my email sound alerts! Seems to be many people complaining about this, some times for a very long time but no bug fix yet?
  • 8. Re: Notification sound for new mail doesn't play
    SirCrow Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Mayby you can try it with this;

    do shell script "afplay /Users/SirCrow/Library/Sounds/E-mail.wav"

  • 9. Re: Notification sound for new mail doesn't play
    SirCrow Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    If you want that the sound play's simultaneous with appearing of the Dock Count, create a Applescript with;

    do shell script "afplay /System/Library/Sounds/Submarine.aiff > /dev/null 2>&1 &"

    Of course you can adjust the path of the sound file to your need.

  • 10. Re: Notification sound for new mail doesn't play
    BG2000 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Gah! I'm having the same problem too! So annoying. Please please please Apple would you please fix this.
  • 11. Re: Notification sound for new mail doesn't play
    K9Lover Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
    Same problem here as well. Have a brand new 13" white MacBook, sometimes sound plays for new mail...other times it doesn't. I thought that I had solved the problem when I deleted all RSS feeds. Worked consistently for a few days. However, this evening, the problem has started again. Just curious...Is your Mail client configured with a Gmail acct with POP enabled? Mine is and I was wondering if perhaps this was a common element with everyone who is having this issue.
    I too hope this gets fixed with the next update...whenever that occurs.
  • 12. Re: Notification sound for new mail doesn't play
    Huddled Mass Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    My problem is not that the sound doesn't play but that it plays from the wrong device. I have Alert Sounds set (in System Preferences) to play through the built-in speakers and Sound Output set to play (through an iMic USB sound device) to a sound system. The sound system is used to listen to music etc. and is switched off when not in use. That is why I want alerts to use the built-in speakers.

    This worked in in 10.4 but fails under 10.5. Mails alert sounds now come out of the sound system (if its switched on).

    Is this the same problem is everybody else. It could be if the Sound Output volume set to zero.

    I want to use the workaround using afplay. Afplay lets you specify and output device with the -d qualifier.

    I am trying to find the names of the different output devices. There is nothing obvious looking in /dev. Anybody know? Please?
  • 13. Re: Notification sound for new mail doesn't play
    K9Lover Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
    I have same issue. Have called Apple support about this and the technician said that he had heard of NO COMPLAINTS or issues about this. That's funny, since I mentioned to him that there are quite a few documented cases right here in this forum. That comment was brushed aside. Therefore, since Apple says there is "no issue", there is evidently nothing to fix. We are all just nuts.
  • 14. Re: Notification sound for new mail doesn't play
    James Smutek Level 1 Level 1 (130 points)
    Same problem. I get the "no mail" chime even when new mail comes in, sometimes. Other times I get the new mail chime, then other times I get nothing. But most of the time it's the no mail chime.

    Add to that the cracking and popping audio when I try to listen to any streaming content from the web (another well documented problem) and I think I can chalk this up to the worst upgrade I've ever experienced from apple. Feels like something microsoft would release.

    Seriously disappointed with leopard.