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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Sep 25, 2013
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    SOund muffled/breaking up in some apps on Mountain Lion
    I have a brand new MacBook Air (September 2013). I set it up with two accounts: one for work (which is the main -- Administrator -- account), and the other as a personal account.

    When I want to listen to a song in iTunes, or in VLC, or when I want to use Skype, or listen to a radio station in Firefox, the sound is muffled and breaking up. (Impposible to even recognize the song, or make out what is said by the other party on Skype.) However the sound works perfectly when I play the song in QuickTime, or when I watch a video on any site in Safari.

    So I assume it's a software issue but I've tried changing preferences in System Preferences, in Utilities (Audio and MIDI), and in the Preferences of each affected app, and the issue remains.

    The very strange thing is I get perfect sound in all those apps when I am on my personal account. So I really don't understand what the issue is in my main account.

    Could someone shed some light on it? Thanks.

  2. #2


    Member Since
    Jan 22, 2010
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    Mid-2012 MBP (16GB, 1TB HD), Monoprice 24-inch second monitor, iPhone 5s 32GB, iPad Air 2 64GB
    Why do you have two accounts?

    I mean, in this case it happens to be handy for troubleshooting: we know its something in the Admin account and not a fault of the machine. But why would anybody have two accounts just for themselves?

  3. #3

    chscag's Avatar
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    Jan 23, 2008
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    Why do you have two accounts?
    Sounds like a Windows habit chas. Windows users are told to setup two accounts - one admin for installing programs, etc. and one personal to do everything else. Why? Protect from nasties.

  4. #4


    Member Since
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    Weird. Glad I'm not on Windows anymore and don't have to deal with all of that. Who has the time anymore?

  5. #5

    bobtomay's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 22, 2006
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    Don't think I even know where to start with an audio issue in only some apps, no issue in others and no issue in any of them in another user account. I'd start with repairing permissions and deleting the preference file for the affected apps, but really don't see how those would affect the audio kext only half the time.

    Some issues like this, where one user account has an issue and another user account doesn't...

    Instead of all the troubleshooting, think it'd be easier and faster to just set up a new account - verify it works - import all your data into it, then delete the corrupt account.

    Being a brand new machine, I might even carry it back to my nearest Apple store and let them have a look see.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

  6. #6


    Member Since
    Sep 25, 2013
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    3
    Thanks for all your replies, guys.

    Yes, I have two accounts: one for work, the other for everything outside work. It's just a "psychological" way of being less tempted to deal with personal stuff when I'm working (I'm self-employed), or with work issues when I'm using my computer for leisure. (Of course, it's easy to switch between accounts, but I don't do it.)

    Anyway, I decided to do what bobtomay suggested. I created a new Admin account (the sound works perfectly on it), and migrated all the data before deleting the corrupt account. I'll never know why the original account didn't work properly, but at least my problem is solved. Thanks.

  7. #7


    Member Since
    Jan 22, 2010
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    Mid-2012 MBP (16GB, 1TB HD), Monoprice 24-inch second monitor, iPhone 5s 32GB, iPad Air 2 64GB
    You've presented the first really sound reason I've ever come across for having two accounts. Good job.

    Glad you found a fix!

  8. #8

    dtravis7's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 04, 2005
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    Just a note about the accounts, many I know have a Work Laptop that they take home and need their work separate from their fun. One works for the Government and has to do that. When I saw him say Work and Personal, that was the first thing that went through my mind as I have seen that very thing done in situations like the OP's.

    To the OP, glad that sorted it. Great job Bobtomay as always!

  9. #9

    bobtomay's Avatar
    Member Since
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    Glad that worked for you. Don't often make that particular suggestion, but this problem was just weird.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

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