Obnoxious noises in Apple Mail - how to silence?

Discussion in 'Apple' started by Don Bruder, Apr 28, 2014.

  1. Don Bruder

    Don Bruder Guest

    This is gonna sound severely OCD, but... <shrug> So be it.

    I recently started running Apple's 2.1.3 version of "Mail" after several
    years of making due with web-based email. (This version ships with 10.4
    - yes, I know, it's old. Unless you're volunteering to buy me a shiny
    new Mac that can run the newer versions, don't talk to me about
    upgrading to something newer)

    It functions well enough, but it has a flaw that's right on the edge of
    driving me back to the hell of web-based email: It makes cutesy noises.
    I hear you already - "Wuddaya mean, it makes noises?" Exactly that! IT
    MAKES NOISES! I hit send, and a jet plane whooshes by. It has trouble
    talking to the server, and I hear something like an asthmatic foghorn.
    It checks for mail but finds nothing, so it "plinks". And I have no idea
    what other situations might make it decide to sound off. And less
    interest! All I want is for it to shut up and silently handle my email

    Now, I'm sure there are folks who think it's cool, but so far as I'm
    concerned, the *ONLY* acceptable noise for a mail program to make is
    some sort of "New mail has arrived" signal. Aside from that, there's
    never, ever, under any circumstances whatsoever, any good reason for a
    mail program to make any sound at all. So I've gone looking for a way to
    silence Mail. With no luck. I've looked *EVERYWHERE* that makes even the
    most flimsy kind of sense to look, and come up with no way to make it
    shut up! Nothing in system prefs, nothing in the Mail program itself,
    nothing shows up on Google - NOTHING! Yet there MUST be a way to make
    this program shut the hell up and do its job silently, rather than
    having it trying to act like some sort of sound-effects program.

    Yes, I know this sounds like an insane gripe. Sorry, it's just how I am.
    Programs that make noises for no good reason bug me. SEVERELY. Even back
    in the days of the Apple II, I hated it when my computer made noises
    without my explicitly asking it to. So much that I literally wired in a
    switch to totally disable the speaker on my //e. That dislike for
    "chatty" computers hasn't changed a bit in all my years at a keyboard.

    Never mind that, at 4 in the everlovin' morning, that jet plane whoosh
    is (or at least seems) loud enough to wake the dead!

    So I turn to the "group mind":
    Can anyone tell me a way (that doesn't involve inane suggestions like
    "don't run it" or "turn off your speakers") to make Apple's Mail program
    operate in complete silence? The *ONLY* time I ever want to hear
    anything from it is when new mail comes in. Other than that, it should
    never, under any circumstances, make a sound. So how about it? Any ideas?
    Don Bruder, Apr 28, 2014
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  2. Don Bruder

    Guest Guest

    replace the sound resources in the app bundle with silent ones. it
    might even work if you delete them.
    Guest, Apr 28, 2014
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  3. Well, I have a solution for you but I question your technical ability to
    follow or implement it.

    You'll find 4 files in /Applications/Mail.app/Contents/Resources

    Mail Fetch Error.aiff
    Mail Sent.aiff
    New Mail.aiff
    No Mail.aiff

    Use a Music editor to make them silent or duplicate them with the
    Finder's COMMAND-D key after selecting them.

    Then use the Terminal to zero out the files
    cd /Applications/Mail.app/Contents/Resources
    for i in Mail\ Fetch\ Error.aiff /
    Mail\ Sent.aiff \
    New\ Mail.aiff \
    No\ Mail.aiff; do
    cat /dev/null > $i

    This will permanently silence Mail from making these sounds.

    OR you could just use this pencil, paper, an envelop and some stamps.

    Jesus, if such things bother you, just dump your computer and don't let
    the door bang you on the ass when you leave.
    Michael Vilain, Apr 28, 2014
  4. Don Bruder

    bill van Guest

    Here's something cut and pasted from a Web forum dealing with something
    similar. Maybe it will work for you:

    "Sounds like your preferences icon toolbar is missing, which can happen
    in Mail 2.1.3 alone and was removed from Mail 3.0. In the upper right
    hand corner of the window you opened by going to the Mail menu and then
    Preferences, along the title bar, is a light white/gray oval. Click on
    it once to reveal the different items you can change. You may have
    Accounts selected at the moment, click to Rules and make your changes."
    bill van, Apr 28, 2014
  5. Don Bruder

    Don Bruder Guest

    <goes to prefs, looks for oval, finds it, clicks it>
    I wish I'd realized that was there... All I've ever seen was what I now
    know is the "Accounts" sub-window. And on "General" is exactly what I've
    been trying to find - a checkbox to kill the sounds.

    How in the world did I manage to miss that oval gadget? <sigh>

    Thanks Bill!
    Don Bruder, Apr 28, 2014
  6. Don Bruder

    billy Guest

    Here's something you'll find useful, if you're using IMAP -


    Billy Y..
    billy, Apr 28, 2014
  7. Don Bruder

    Don Bruder Guest

    I'm running POP3/SMTP with the outfit I'm going through now. I *THINK*
    they offer IMAP, but haven't bothered to look past the (for me)
    plenty-functional POP3/SMTP combination.

    While I've heard folks talking about IMAP for years, I haven't seen any
    particular reason it's better/worth my effort to try to use it - Wanna
    try to "sell me"? I know very little about it beyond its existence and
    the fact that some people seem to think its the greatest thing since
    sliced bread, while others think it sucks, and still others fall
    somewhere between.
    Don Bruder, Apr 28, 2014
  8. Don Bruder

    android Guest

    IMAP gives you access to your mail on several devices simultaneously. If
    idle is supported by your server you can get push like functionality.
    android, Apr 28, 2014
  9. Don Bruder

    Your Name Guest

    Yep, I've never bothered with IMAP either, plartly because it's
    pointless when you only have one device to do email on anyway.
    Your Name, Apr 28, 2014
  10. Don Bruder

    billy Guest

    The main advantage of adding support for IMAP Idle is you get new
    mail delivered immediately, without polling for it. Other than that,
    if you're happy with what you have, and are leaving a copy of mail on
    the server until you back up (IMAP keeps copies), there's no need to

    Apple Mail didn't support IMAP Idle until OS 10.5.

    Billy Y..
    billy, Apr 28, 2014
  11. Don Bruder

    Alan Browne Guest

    Which e-mail clients handle very well, automatically and at any period
    you like. Personally I set POP to 30 minutes. If it's important that I
    get it quick, they'll call or text and I'll pull it.
    Alan Browne, Apr 29, 2014
  12. Don Bruder

    Don Bruder Guest

    (One reply to all the responses)

    Thus far, it sounds as thought the main "features" of IMAP over
    POP3/SMTP are "multiple device support" and "no need to poll", with a
    side of "Server keeps backups for you" (Which POP3 can do easily enough,
    though I've never liked working things that way - Logical or not, I've
    got this "thing" about leaving my mail laying where somebody else can
    get to it).

    I read mail on precisely one device - the one on which I'm typing

    Anything so urgent as to need to be "pushed" at me, or polled for more
    often than my normal schedule can/will get to me via text message or
    phone call.

    Backups are taken care of routinely through other methods.

    Which, I guess, adds up to "I probably won't be bothering to switch to
    IMAP anytime soon - For me, POP3/SMTP ain't broke, so I'm not going to
    bother trying to fix it."
    Don Bruder, Apr 29, 2014
  13. Don Bruder

    Lewis Guest

    Lewis, Apr 29, 2014
  14. Don Bruder

    Lewis Guest

    No, IMAP is better than POP even if you only have one device. You have
    your mail, and your server has your mail. Even the most clueless moron
    will have a backup of sorts of their mail with IMAP.

    IMAP also (almost) always allows you to access mail via a web browser,
    so if you happen to be somewhere else and need to look up an email, not
    only can you, but the email is there on the server.
    Lewis, Apr 29, 2014
  15. Which means, that there are many more potential pitfalls (different
    default folder names, sync-problems, etc.)

    POP3 is lean and easy, IMAP is big and (if you´re unlucky) troublesome.
    Sure, it works, mostly, ... until it doesn´t.

    Plus (for the paranoid amongst us): I don´t like to have all my mail
    lying on a server where the snoops can get to it.
    Yes, I know, if they really want it, they´ll get it, but at least the´ll
    have to try harder.
    Bernd Fröhlich, Apr 29, 2014
  16. Don Bruder

    Your Name Guest

    Although they have been getting larger, email providers usually have a
    limited mailbox storage space (and in some cases that limited space
    also has to include your website data, cloud backup, etc.), whereas the
    amount of space on your own computer is virtually unimited. A big email
    or many emails left sitting on the server can cause new emails to be
    bounced back with a "mailbox full" error.
    Your Name, Apr 29, 2014
  17. Don Bruder

    JF Mezei Guest

    I switched to IMAP a long time ago, when I first got a phone with email
    capability. When you access your email from different devices, having a
    central mail store accessed/shared by all your devices makes things much

    I happen to run my own server, so it is not much different from NSA/CSEC
    coming into my server to get my imap mail store, then they would any
    other mail store on my server.
    JF Mezei, Apr 29, 2014
  18. Don Bruder

    Your Name Guest

    They don't have to come into your email server. By secret government
    law copies of *ALL* emails are sent direct to their servers for keyword
    analysis ... just ask the tin-foil wearers. ;-)
    Your Name, Apr 29, 2014
  19. Good point.
    My mail-archive dates back into the last century and has a size of about
    100000 mails / 3GB.
    Bernd Fröhlich, Apr 29, 2014
  20. Don Bruder

    Tim Streater Guest

    Which government is that?
    Tim Streater, Apr 29, 2014
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