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10.5: Long alert sounds will not work in 10.5 System 10.5
After some testing with a friend, I've found out that there is now a cap of five seconds on the length of alert sounds in Leopard. I had a six second sound clip I was using as a notification to get my attention when a particular member of my buddy list logged on -- so I would notice if I was away from the computer. After upgrading to 10.5, it stopped playing.

If you have any longer alerts you use (such as for an alarm in iCal), you'll need to use an audio editor of some sort to cut it down to five seconds or less. This may not be that widespread an issue, but I do know at least three other Mac users that use slightly longer alerts for varying reasons.

[robg adds: This was confirmed by one of our queue reviewers.]
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10.5: Long alert sounds will not work in 10.5
Authored by: jakepog on Nov 09, '07 03:03:31PM

Also, it seems alerts from apps in another space will not even sound. I've had email pile up in another space, using safari somewhere else, only to notice the dock badge. Is it a bug? Because iTunes still works while in other spaces.

The past is a fiction designed to account for the discrepancy between my immediate physical sensations and my state of mind.

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10.5: Long alert sounds will not work in 10.5
Authored by: Imaria on Nov 10, '07 09:14:11AM

I've had it work intermittently, which makes me think it's a bug.

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10.5: Long alert sounds will not work in 10.5
Authored by: boxcarl on Nov 09, '07 03:24:18PM

I don't know for sure, but I think that 10.5 keeps alert sounds from paging out of memory and being cached to disk. With 10.4, even if you have a top of the line Mac, if you press volume up after a long enough without using the volume controls, there's a second or two of delay while the disk is accessed and the sound is loaded and played. In 10.5, it seems to me like this problem has been fixed. But if Apple really did fix it, then probably as a consequence of keeping these sounds in memory at all times, Apple has added this cap to keep people from permanently filling up their memory with an overly long alert sound.

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A story about long alert sounds
Authored by: teamhasnoi on Nov 09, '07 05:50:14PM

Years ago, my Mom had a LCII which I changed the alert sound to me laughing like an idiot for about 2 minutes. I then left for the weekend.

Every time she made a mistake (she was still timid with computers at the time), the alert would sound for the full 2 minutes, effectively locking her out. OS 8.x would not allow any action until the sound was played, so she had to sit there and listen to her son's mocking laughter, unable to close the dialog box. She also didn't know how to change the sound back, so she was stuck with it for the weekend. The sound lasted so long, she would forget and click off the dialog, causing it to launch into laughter once again for another two minutes.

I got an earful when I got back, and I wasn't laughing afterwards :) My first DoS!

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