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Old May 21, 2009, 04:29 PM   #1
May-day
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Removal of irritating continuous music in the audio background

I really hope somebody can help me with this. I've had an iMac for several months now. Before that I had a PC. Very soon after I bought it I started to get pounding rock music in the background whenever I tried to listen to anything. It's loud enough to overwhelm whatever it is I'm trying to hear. It isn't going all the time, but something seems to start it, and then it goes for days. I must have downloaded it accidentally when I was blundering around in the first month or os. If it was a PC I'd be able to find it, but Mac is still a mystery to me. I seem to remember that I downloaded something to do with a waterfall, "Dakota Falls" perhaps. The video was a waterfall which sat on the desktop. It looked quite pretty, but when I got rid of it the music wouldn't go away. So right now i can't listen t anything on my new iMac, and obviously I can't watch movie's or anything. It's really frustrating. The OS is Leopard. Also can anyone suggest a decent book on Mac that isn't too superficial. I'm not totally certain of the connection between the waterfall video and the pounding music, but they seemed to occur. I'd be really grateful to anyone who could help me enjoy my Mac as it should be enjoyed.
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Old May 21, 2009, 04:30 PM   #2
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What do you have running on your dashboard?
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Old May 21, 2009, 05:02 PM   #3
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Removal of irritating continuous music in the audio background

Thanks r.j.s I'll list them. Finder, Spaces, Eudora(e-mail, Firefox,Solution Menu, System Preferences,Preview,MP Navigator EX 2.0(scanner), HP Laserjet printer,Realplayer Downloader,Textedit,Adobe Reader, QuickTime Player,anm open text file and Waste basket.

PS Never used a forum before. Did i hit the right thing to reply?
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Old May 21, 2009, 05:16 PM   #4
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Yes, you hit the right thing to reply.

I'm assuming that you've restarted the computer at some point and that didn't help. That would rule out something that's just open and repeating, since it'd quit on a restart. Three things to start by checking:

1) Dashboard. What r.j.s meant was specifically what Dashboard widgets are open; hit F12 to bring up Dashboard or click the icon (image attached) in your Dock to bring it up. List what widgets are actually open (not the ones installed but disabled in the + section at the bottom). It's possible some widget you forgot about is playing music.

2) Open up System Preferences, click on Accounts, select your account in the list on the left, and select the Login Items tab, the list off what's there. All these things are automatically launching when you first log in, so if it's not a widget something here is the most likely culprit. Some (iTunesHelper in particular) are of course normal and even necessary for certain things to function.

3) You're running Spaces--are you sure there isn't something like an iTunes or Quicktime player window open in a different space?
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Old May 21, 2009, 05:34 PM   #5
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Hi Makosuke.1) The icon you give doesn't exist when I hit F12. There's a shadowy desktop that shows the temperature at Cupertino, CA (I can't change that), the date, time, a calculator, and a gizmo to switch on my screensaver wallpaper, which is very recent.
2)Login items only shows Itunes Helper, Preview, CheckupAlert and realPaler Downloader. Only Itunes helper is checked.
3) When I click on Spaces only the Browser and e-mail are open in the four squares.

Just to be sure I closed the Quick Time and RealPlayer icons in the Dashboard. Turned sound up. Music still pounding away.

Last edited by Mitthrawnuruodo; May 22, 2009 at 01:49 PM. Reason: Merging, please use EDIT to add to a post...
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Old May 21, 2009, 06:25 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by May-day View Post
Hi Makosuke.1) The icon you give doesn't exist when I hit F12. There's a shadowy desktop that shows the temperature at Cupertino, CA (I can't change that), the date, time, a calculator, and a gizmo to switch on my screensaver wallpaper, which is very recent.
2)Login items only shows Itunes Helper, Preview, CheckupAlert and realPaler Downloader. Only Itunes helper is checked.
3) When I click on Spaces only the Browser and e-mail are open in the four squares.
1. The icon he showed you is the Dashboard icon. And you CAN change the weather, hover over it and a little "i" will show up in the corner, and then click it...you should know what to do from there.

2. Checked means to hide, if you don't want anything on that list to start when you log in, select it and click the minus sign. It's next to the plus

3. Just because only your browser and email are visible, that doesn't mean something is still active, look on your dock and see if there are any apps that have a light under them that you do not want open.
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Old May 21, 2009, 06:31 PM   #7
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Ok, so you've tried restarting and the only suspicious thing in Dashboard is your desktop screen saver widget. (By the way, you can change the location in the weather widget by mousing over it; a little "i" should appear in the bottom right corner, and if you click it you can select the city.)

First off, I'd try disabling your desktop screen saver app, just to make sure it's not related.

Barring that, I'll go with your guess that you installed a desktop video thing that included some music, and when you thought you turned it off/uninstalled it you actually didn't. Might be that whatever desktop app you're currently using is just covering it up, maybe?

One more thing to check: In System Preferences, what things are in the bottom "Other" section? If it's not in Login Items, that'd be the most likely other spot to have something visible.

Second, since it's probably using at least a little CPU to play the music, maybe we can find it that way. First, quit absolutely every app you have open, to reduce clutter. Second, go into the Utilities folder in the Applications folder and open "Activity Monitor". If you don't get a window when you open it, select "Activity Monitor" from its Window menu (or hit command-1).

In the resulting window, select "All Processes" from the drop-down in the window's toolbar. Then click the "CPU" column in the list to sort the list by decreasing CPU usage.

Now, if you have quit everything else, the top items should have at most a couple percent of CPU showing. Finder, Activity Monitor, kernel_task, and WindowServer will probably be at the top. What else has at least 1% CPU on there? Presumably that will point to what's the problem.
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Old May 21, 2009, 06:32 PM   #8
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Safe boot will identify whether its a startup/login item, especially if the audio is present before you even launch an application.
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Old May 21, 2009, 08:44 PM   #9
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Thanks DeusInvictus7 and Makosuke. Changed weather datum at last. Must have missed that little i. I'm still a philistine from Windows, so even the jargon is strange. In Other under System Preferences I have Divx, Flip4Mac WMV, MacFuse and Perian.

The things that have at least 1% CPU are Dashboard Client(at least 18%); Firefox (so I can talk to you) 16%; Smart Panel 6%; Activity Monitor 1.2%; Window server up and down 1-4%; kernel task 1.3%; the number fluctuate quite wildly.

How do I safe boot.

I really appreciate the time you're giving me with this. The music is still pounding away.http://cdn.macrumors.com/vb/image...s/rolleyes.gif
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Old May 21, 2009, 09:50 PM   #10
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How to get into Safe Mode. What Safe Mode Does.

If you have no music in Safe Boot, look in the Login Items tab in System Preferences->Accounts, or in the Macintosh HD/Library/StartupItems directory for the culprit.
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Old May 21, 2009, 10:49 PM   #11
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Thanks JediMaster. I booted into Safe Mode and the music wasn't there. I then rebooted and in normal mode the music wasn't there. There was nothing in "Startupitems", and the usual ones I reported before in Login Items under Accounts(Itunes Helper, Preview, CheckupAlert and RealPlayer Downloader.. This checks out, since I spoke to a tech at a local mac retailer and he managed to get rid of it for a while, but then it suddenly came back a few days later. Of those four I suspect Itunes Helper and RealPlayer Downloader. Can I delete or uninstall all of them, and how can I do it?

I think we're closing in on it.

Thanks Again

Bummer....went to You-tube to play some of r.j.s.' videos and i found I had no sound at all. Icon missing from upper right hand corner. Never happened before. I'll keep trying.

Last edited by Mitthrawnuruodo; May 22, 2009 at 01:50 PM. Reason: Merging, please use EDIT to add to a post...
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Old May 21, 2009, 10:59 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by May-day View Post
Hi Makosuke.1) The icon you give doesn't exist when I hit F12. There's a shadowy desktop that shows the temperature at Cupertino, CA (I can't change that), the date, time, a calculator, and a gizmo to switch on my screensaver wallpaper, which is very recent.
2)Login items only shows Itunes Helper, Preview, CheckupAlert and realPaler Downloader. Only Itunes helper is checked.
3) When I click on Spaces only the Browser and e-mail are open in the four squares.
Not totally relevant, but just to clear up - the screen that appears when you press F12 (the 'shadowy' screen with the clock, calculator, etc), is the Dashboard. The thing you're talking about with program icons is the Dock. Hope that clears up some confusion
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Old May 21, 2009, 11:03 PM   #13
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Rebooted and icon returned, so sound works but no music so far. This thing could be on a timer. You can see how paranoid I am after decades with Windows. Are there creators of Mac bugs? Could I have downloaded one and it sits there waiting to trigger? I'm falling apart here. I really believed all the hype about Mac being more stable and less susceptible to viruses. Did I waste my money?
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Old May 21, 2009, 11:18 PM   #14
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are you sure that you arent on a website that plays background music?
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Old May 21, 2009, 11:29 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by May-day View Post
Rebooted and icon returned, so sound works but no music so far. This thing could be on a timer. You can see how paranoid I am after decades with Windows. Are there creators of Mac bugs? Could I have downloaded one and it sits there waiting to trigger? I'm falling apart here. I really believed all the hype about Mac being more stable and less susceptible to viruses. Did I waste my money?
Dont worry about that, you downloaded and installed something that is setup to just run and play music ... I'm thinking real player ... but it's not a virus or malware.
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Old May 22, 2009, 03:19 AM   #16
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Hmm... nothing in your PrefPanes is it, and while RealDownloader is annoying, I'm not imagining how it could start playing music in a loop, much less do so without it being obvious that RealPlayer had something open and playing.

I can't, however, imagine anything that's playing music (one assumes an mp3 or similar) would use less than 5-10% of a CPU.

So that pretty conclusively narrows it down to two possibilities: Either there is a Dashboard widget open and playing music that you're not seeing, or it's something in Firefox. Those are the only two things pulling enough CPU to be doing it.


Since the music is gone right now, when you're not in safe mode, try bringing up Dashboard with the sound turned on. If the music immediately starts, then it's a Dashboard widget you can't see. This could explain the "randomness" of it, since Dashboard widgets do NOT initialize until the first time you bring it up, but they CAN (I think) continue working once it has been hidden.

If this is the case, either it intentionally has a VERY small icon (there's at least one I know of that is only 1 pixel square), or it's behind one of your other widgets. Try moving the widgets around and see if there's one you're missing.

Alternately, click the + at the bottom and bring up the "Widgets" widget; it will show everything you have installed, and let you disable them. Check for anything odd-looking and try disabling it to see if the music dies. If so, culprit found, and it's already gone--disabling a widget removes the open instance permanently even if you re-enable it later.


If it shows up again and it's NOT a Dashboard widget, then that only leaves Firefox. Could be a web site you have open that has annoying music in the background, as suggested (easy test is to close windows one at a time and see if/when it shuts up). If not, it's got to be a Firefox add-in you installed; bring up the list and try disabling things.


And if it's neither of those, then color me baffled, but I sure want to know what it is.
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Old May 22, 2009, 04:03 AM   #17
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IThe OS is Leopard. Also can anyone suggest a decent book on Mac that isn't too superficial.
Hi May-day,
You have a couple of very knowledgeable people helping you out with your problem. I hope a solution is found soon.
As for books, David Pogue has a couple of good ones. Here:

http://www.amazon.com/Mac-OS-Leopard...2982791&sr=8-1


http://www.amazon.com/Switching-Mac-...2982817&sr=8-2
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Old May 22, 2009, 01:45 PM   #18
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Thanks Ivan P. I obviously have a long learning curve ahead of me.
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Old May 22, 2009, 01:50 PM   #19
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Got up this morning, turned the volume up and, guess what! it's back again. Give me a moment while I sob uncontrollably and then jump over the balcony.
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Old May 22, 2009, 02:21 PM   #20
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When the evil music is playing, if you disconnect your Net connection does the music stop?
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Old May 22, 2009, 02:28 PM   #21
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Got up this morning, turned the volume up and, guess what! it's back again. Give me a moment while I sob uncontrollably and then jump over the balcony.
Have you run through the tests in Dashboard and Firefox I suggested? I'm guessing you activated Dashboard at some point along the way, which kicked the music in.

Edit: Now that I'm looking at it, I'm almost certain it's something in Dashboard; my Dashboard with all but one of the widgets you describe plus several more is using exactly 0% CPU when it's not active and only 3% when it is. Unless the screen saver/desktop switcher you describe uses a lot of CPU, there's an extra widget hiding in there somewhere playing music and accounting for that 18% CPU.

Test: Close all the widgets you have open (click the + at the bottom, then click the little X that appears in the top left corner of each). See if the music is still going. If it is, go to Activity Monitor and check the CPU use again--if Dashboard Client is still using more than 1% CPU, then that's got to be the source.

By the way, do you know what the song is?

Last edited by Makosuke; May 22, 2009 at 02:43 PM.
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Old May 22, 2009, 02:36 PM   #22
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Rejoice!!!!!!!! Found it. I was looking at the Dashboard and saw a thin yellow line at the bottom, barely visible and camouflaged by whatever was behind it. I dragged it up and , behold, it was a big panel called Motor Racing Materials with a picture of a racing motorcyclist and two On/Off controls for sound and music at the bottom. Music was on so I clicked it off and the music went away. Great relief and great thank you to everyone out there that helped me. I don't know where it came from, since I'm not interested in Motor cycle racing and don't play games of any kind. Now I have to figure out how to get rid of the panel, but I can live with it.

Thanks again to all you incredibly smart guys.
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Old May 22, 2009, 02:48 PM   #23
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Now I have to figure out how to get rid of the panel, but I can live with it.

Thanks again to all you incredibly smart guys.
In Dashboard, press the + sign in the lower left, then on the racing widget, click the x.
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Old May 22, 2009, 02:48 PM   #24
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Rejoice!!!!!!!! Found it. I was looking at the Dashboard and saw a thin yellow line at the bottom, barely visible and camouflaged by whatever was behind it. I dragged it up and , behold, it was a big panel called Motor Racing Materials with a picture of a racing motorcyclist and two On/Off controls for sound and music at the bottom. Music was on so I clicked it off and the music went away. Great relief and great thank you to everyone out there that helped me. I don't know where it came from, since I'm not interested in Motor cycle racing and don't play games of any kind. Now I have to figure out how to get rid of the panel, but I can live with it.

Thanks again to all you incredibly smart guys.
Open dashboard.

Click the Plus in the lower left of the screen.

Then all your widgets should have an (X) in the upper left corner. Click on the (X) in the Motor cycle racing widget to close it.

The widget itself should be in your Home folder (it's an icon that looks like a home) under /Library/Widgets. That's where you can delete the Motor cycle racing widget.
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Old May 22, 2009, 03:25 PM   #25
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The developers of that widget should be publicly flogged. I'm glad you got it sorted out.

The best way to remove a widget is from Dashboard. Click the plus sign in the bottom-left corner, then click Manage Widgets. Find the widget you want to get rid of and click the red minus icon beside it.
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