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Why doesn't volume control work on my MacMini?

3857 Views 8 Replies Latest reply: Apr 16, 2008 4:22 AM by DaddyPaycheck RSS
oregano Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Apr 13, 2008 10:10 PM
Why doesn't volume control work on my MacMini?

In the Sound preferences panel, the Output Volume slider and the Mute checkbox are grayed out and can't be changed. The Apple Remote and Wireless Keyboard volume controls also don't work. The ghostly volume icon appears on screen, but with the universal "you can't do that" symbol (circle with line through it) next to the volume indicator.

I can change the volume from the slider in the menu bar, and from the slider in iTunes, or within other applications.

I'm using the mini TOSLink optical out. I'm not sure if this problem also occurs if I plug in an analog connection instead. I currently don't have any USB audio devices plugged in. I believe it has worked in the past, but can't say for sure.

The Model Identifier is Macmini2,1,
The BootRom version is MM21.009A.B00.
The System Version is Mac OS X 10.5.2 (9C7010)
The Audio (Built-in) section of System Profiler reads:
Intel High Definition Audio:

Device ID: 0x83847680
Audio ID: 8
Available Devices:
Headphone:
Connection: Combo
Speaker:
Connection: Internal
Line In:
Connection: Combo
S/P-DIF Out:
Connection: Combo
S/P-DIF In:
Connection: Combo

Message was edited by: oregano
mac mini Core 2 Duo 2.0 Ghz, 2GB Ram, Mac OS X (10.5.2), Using TOSLink audio out
  • DaddyPaycheck Level 6 Level 6 (16,035 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 14, 2008 2:50 AM (in response to oregano)
    Hi oregano-

    That is how it works. You cannot change the volume of a digital signal while it is digital-it must first be decoded back into an analog signal before volume control can be applied.

    The volume control is done via the amplifier that the digital input feeds.

    Luck-

    -DaddyPaycheck
    A collection of clinking, clanking caliginous junk., Mac OS 8.6 or Earlier, Intellimini, Basement XServe, PMG5 DP2.7, 20" G5 iMac, G4's, G3's Gee Whiz
  • DaddyPaycheck Level 6 Level 6 (16,035 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 15, 2008 3:54 AM (in response to oregano)
    Hi oregano-

    When you use the sliders, you adjust the volume relative to the output within the software and prior to the digital output. The digital output volume itself is fixed.

    I am not familiar with a volume control within the TosLink or S/PDIF optical protocols-could you please provide me with a link?

    Luck-

    -DaddyPaycheck
    A collection of clinking, clanking caliginous junk., Mac OS 8.6 or Earlier, Intellimini, Basement XServe, PMG5 DP2.7, 20" G5 iMac, G4's, G3's Gee Whiz
  • Boece Level 5 Level 5 (6,245 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 15, 2008 4:02 AM (in response to DaddyPaycheck)
    DP,

    Could you have a look at this program from Prosoft/Joesoft and see if it adds anything to the "mix"? (Though I suspect your initial analysis is spot on.) Thanks!

    http://discussions.apple.com/message.jspa?messageID=7011801#7011801
    MacIntel Mini 1.83, 2 Gig, OSX 10.4.11; iBook G4 800, 640 Meg, OSX 10.3.9, Dell 1704-FPV monitor, NeoOffice, Camino, Thunderbird, Parallels, Compositor
  • DaddyPaycheck Level 6 Level 6 (16,035 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 15, 2008 4:31 AM (in response to Boece)
    Hi Boece-

    For you anything.

    That program looks pretty cool, although all of those adjustments will AKAIK be made in software prior to final output. Doing so will tax the resources of whatever system it is being run on. Some of what it does looks like it could be ear candy, however it would seem to solve the problem as posted.

    I cannot get to a Mini that is configured and set up to use optical output any time soon. Perhaps the OP would like to give it a go and report back :-)


    Later-

    -DaddyPaycheck
    A collection of clinking, clanking caliginous junk., Mac OS 8.6 or Earlier, Intellimini, Basement XServe, PMG5 DP2.7, 20" G5 iMac, G4's, G3's Gee Whiz
  • DaddyPaycheck Level 6 Level 6 (16,035 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 16, 2008 4:22 AM (in response to oregano)
    Hi oregano-

    No worries. I do believe that a User should seek out as much information on their own as possible and you have done that nicely.

    As I am pondering this it does seem like TOSLink and S/PDIF are technologies that were born in other industries and used a particular way for 20 odd years and are now adapted to a similar and totally different use.

    An example, sort of, is cable TV. All of the channels pretty much come in at once and at one signal level. It is up to your TV, VCR or other device with built-in tuner to decode and control what happens to those signals.

    Thus it is the same with TOSLink. I am pretty certain that the technology was adapted by the music industry to allow as many bits and bytes as possible to flow from one device to another. It is a digital stream and as such a user, let's say a musician, would not want anything to alter that signal until it was fully transmitted in digital form from one device to another. Up until just recently the target device was usually an ADAT storage tape.

    So we are talking about taking what is and has been a transfer technology and protocol for all of these years and now using it as control circuitry.

    It ain't gonna happen. Besides, there are other protocols and technologies better suited to controlling an audio signal, and they have been around WAY longer than anything digital :-)


    I now hop off the box...

    -DaddyPaycheck
    A collection of clinking, clanking caliginous junk., Mac OS 8.6 or Earlier, Intellimini, Basement XServe, PMG5 DP2.7, 20" G5 iMac, G4's, G3's Gee Whiz

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