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October 19, 2006

Another Question for the Geeks

Can anyone explain to me why the flash media I play on any of my Web browsers on the Mac is suddenly without sound? Everything else works perfectly, sound-wise, including non-flash streaming media. Can anyone suggest how I can get the sound back on? YouTube just isn't the same without sound.

Posted by john at October 19, 2006 04:36 PM

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MisterStinky | October 19, 2006 04:44 PM

There is blockage in the mac internet tube, so sound can't get through. Your local internet plumber will be around soon to un plug the tube.

kero aka kevin | October 19, 2006 04:46 PM

The latest Mac update did something to sound in Flash which requires the source to be using a certain version I think. I noticed it on The Radiant Vistas daily critique downloads where the lead in was a different video format than the actual critique. They had a suggestion on their site on a temp fix which didn't work for me then a couple of days later the problem went away. I usually try to be more helpful than this...

Robert L | October 19, 2006 04:52 PM

Here's a fix, hopefully the fix


Kevin Q | October 19, 2006 04:54 PM

I'm running 10.4.8 PPC, and I've got sound in flash in all browsers.

Kind of a dumb question, but have you tried rebooting?

Robert L | October 19, 2006 04:55 PM

Also, if that doesn't work, it's possible that the Flip4Mac WMV quicktime plugin could be the culprit, so you may try disabling that if nothing else works, as well as trashing Flash prefs.

Anonymous | October 19, 2006 05:16 PM

I'm incredibly embarrassed to admit this - but when I've had this problem, I invariably had the volume set on 'mute' :).

Jeff Hentosz | October 19, 2006 05:22 PM

Another thing worth trying is repairing permissions. It's controversial in that some people insist it does nothing, but I've had flakiness cured on several different Macs with it.

If you haven't done it before: quit all your apps, open Applications>Utilities, launch Disk Utility, select your hard drive in that window and click "Repair Permissions." Go get Kodi a snack. When Disk Utility has done its thing, restart.

Scott Mactavish | October 19, 2006 05:28 PM

Early-stage brain tumor.

Cassie | October 19, 2006 05:37 PM

Yes, I was an AV geek.

Are the speakers plugged in?

Are they turned on?

Is the volume turned up?

(Question 1 solves 90% of problems. Questions 2 & 3 handle 60% of the remaning problems.)

Is the sound muted?

Is YouTube's volume muted?

John Scalzi | October 19, 2006 05:39 PM

Heh. Yes, the variations of the "mute" button are the first things I checked.

As it happens, I upgraded the DivX plug-in, and that seemed to bring back the sound. Mysterious are the ways of software.

Chang, in space! | October 19, 2006 05:40 PM

Loosen your belt.

It may be cutting off circulation to your ears.

Chris Wright | October 19, 2006 06:27 PM

I find that every other week or so, I have to restart Firefox because the Flash component has more or less died. Not just no sound--although I think I may have had that situation once as well--but no picture. It's basically like Flash just stops loading. However, a quit and fresh restart of Firefox always fixes it.

Tim | October 19, 2006 07:01 PM

I know I saw a problem associated with quicktime and the playing of flash content. On my windows machine, I had to go into the quicktime advanced menu and ensure that Flash playback was enabled. I will need to check my Mac tonight to see if the setting is turned off there. Then again I may be on the wrong track, but being that flash is the only thing not working - you might want to look in that direction.

Shky | October 19, 2006 08:17 PM

Interestingly enough, I just installed Flash 9 on Linux, and no I have no sound. I haven't taken the time to get it fixed yet, but did you by chance just install Flash 9?

Matt | October 19, 2006 09:48 PM

The solution is non-obvious but simple:

If it works, you may be interested to know that I found on Apple's website under Support-->Discussions-->Cat: OSX Tiger-->sound stop

Dan | October 19, 2006 11:00 PM

Well, you know what they say: Hearing is the first thing to go.

John Scalzi | October 19, 2006 11:19 PM

I've never heard that one before.

Mark | October 20, 2006 10:58 AM

Shky, I've had problems flash sound and linux. Typically, the problem is fixed by logging out and back in, but if you're using a debian based distro like Ubuntu, there is a fix:


This might work on other distros, but I'm fairly new at this linux thing so I'm not sure:P The problem usually occurs for me when I'm using other applications that use sound...

Shky | October 21, 2006 11:49 PM


Yeah, my problem had usually been solved by just restarting Firefox, but this is a new Flash 9 issue and, sadly, your fix didn't work. I'm fearing that there's a larger (perhaps more sinister?) issue here...

Zach Fine | October 26, 2006 11:45 PM

I had the same problem with a bizarre cause, the cause of your problem may be different and this solution may not apply to you. But just in case, here's something to check.

In /Applications/Utilities there's an application called "Audio MIDI Setup". Run that thing. In the "Audio Devices" tab, check that your Audio Output for the device you're using for output (probably already selected) is set to "Format: 44100.0 Hz 2ch-16bit".

Here's an explanation. I often ran an application called "idefisk" to do internet telephony, and used a bluetooth headset paired with my computer. After running idefisk, if I aimed Safari or Firefox at a youtube site, the audio would be missing -- actually audio was being routed to my bluetooth headset. The reason was that the internet telephone app had set my computer's audio to 96000.0 Hz, which was accepted by my bluetooth headset but not by my Computer's built-in audio, so all sounds were routed there. Setting audio output back to 44100.0 Hz in Audio Midi Setup fixed the problem.

So it was all a matter of some app changing my audio settings to something incompatible with my audio output device. Strangely enough, iTunes still worked fine -- I think it must bypass the system audio settings.

leslie | January 29, 2007 12:52 AM

You can also try launching GarageBand.

Mister | February 16, 2007 11:15 AM


MsAnointedNubian | March 19, 2007 06:30 PM

I'm having the same problem w/ no audio being heard in Flash players; youtube videos or myspace videos. I don't use Firefox or have a Mac. I have IE and a regular IBM pc. Any solutions?

Ron | May 14, 2007 10:18 PM


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