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10.5: Avoid Mail's 'no sound for new messages' bug Apps
Apple Mail.app does not play the new mail alert sound in a consistent manner, and this bug has been there since the first release of 10.5. This occurs when Mail.app uses IMAP's IDLE command to discover a new message -- if that's the case, then the new mail alert is not played. The alert is only played when Mail.app uses the periodic polling to discover a new message.

Therefore, the solution is to turn off the IDLE command, and make the polling interval shorter. In Mail, open Preferences and go to Accounts » Advanced in all your mail accounts and turn off the Use IDLE command feature. Next, go to the General section of Preferences, and set Check for New Mail to Every minute -- you can set a longer interval if you want, so long as you don't set it to Manual.

Now your mail alerts should play for every incoming message, but you will see your messages up to one minute later than you would with the IDLE mechanism.
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10.5: Avoid Mail's 'no sound for new messages' bug | 17 comments | Create New Account
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10.5: Avoid Mail's 'no sound for new messages' bug
Authored by: ars on Dec 29, '08 07:50:30AM

I am not sure that polling your mailserver so frequently is a good thing to do. The Idle command has very little overhead, but direct checking a lot more (if I remember it correctly). I use instead Growl to announce the arrival of new mail.



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10.5: Avoid Mail's 'no sound for new messages' bug
Authored by: CarlRJ on Dec 29, '08 11:20:13AM

Yes, polling every minute places quite a load on the mail server -- oh, obviously not if it's just one user doing it, and if it's your own personal server, go for it. But if, say, half of the 10,000 users of some mail server do this, the effect is not too different from a Denial Of Service attack on the server. You may find that your provider's instructions for setting up your connection to the server insist on a minimum polling time of 5, 10, or 15 minutes, to avoid just such an unmanageable load (and I've seen servers that are configured to quickly return a cached "nope, nothing new" response to someone who keeps polling too often).

IMAP IDLE, on the other hand, imposes almost no load on the server, and gets you your mail nearly instantly. So you're likely much better off getting the Mail.app problem sorted out, or using Growl.



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10.5: Avoid Mail's 'no sound for new messages' bug
Authored by: slswift on Dec 29, '08 08:26:05AM

Interesting, but I don't think this is the whole story on Mail not sounding the new mail chime. Mail often goes silent on me, but I only have POP accounts. No IMAP and no IDLE command.



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10.5: Avoid Mail's 'no sound for new messages' bug
Authored by: dmmorse on Dec 29, '08 08:26:55AM

You can always set up a rule to make a chime whenever new mail arrives. While I can't test it, I would think this would circumvent the bug more effectively.



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10.5: Avoid Mail's 'no sound for new messages' bug
Authored by: wolfy on Dec 29, '08 08:55:24AM

I ended up having to write rules that execute an Applescript to to make Mail behave consistently with regard to new mail alerts.

---
Wolfy



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10.5: Avoid Mail's 'no sound for new messages' bug
Authored by: matsw on Dec 30, '08 05:26:06AM

I just tried making a rule that plays a sound for every new message, and it does not work (with IDLE enabled).



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10.5: Avoid Mail's 'no sound for new messages' bug
Authored by: simonpie on Jan 09, '09 08:22:35AM

It works for me, but then, mail will play the alert twice.



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10.5: Avoid Mail's 'no sound for new messages' bug
Authored by: chrischram on Dec 29, '08 09:04:21AM

My Mail sounds finally came back after I applied the Combo Update to OS X 10.5.6. Up to now I've been using Growl to announce new mail. Now I'm getting double announcements. ;-)



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10.5: Avoid Mail's 'no sound for new messages' bug
Authored by: RandySK on Jan 03, '09 08:00:08AM

I had the same problem - no mail sounds from the start of 10.5. No removal of preferences or other operations would fix it. I only have POP accounts. Installing 10.5.6 suddenly fixed it and it's back to normal. Apple must have found something.



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10.5: Avoid Mail's 'no sound for new messages' bug
Authored by: Stormchild on Dec 29, '08 11:06:36AM

I've found Mail's support of the IDLE command to be problematic at best. Instead of not hearing the new mail sound, I simply wasn't getting any new messages at all -- until I went into Mail, switched to a different mailbox (e.g. Sent), and back to the Inbox, at which point all of the new messages in the queue would appear. I knew it wasn't working, because my iPod touch continued to receive new mail, while the new message count on the Mail icon on my Mac never changed.

The only push mail that works properly with Mail so far is MobileMe. Activating IDLE for my Gmail-hosted accounts always required me to manually synchronize mailboxes or refresh them by switching to another mailbox and back to the Inbox.

Useless. Went back to checking for mail every 5 minutes and decided that works better for now.



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10.5: Avoid Mail's 'no sound for new messages' bug
Authored by: Shawn Parr on Dec 29, '08 09:50:26PM
Activating IDLE for my Gmail-hosted accounts always required me to manually synchronize mailboxes or refresh them by switching to another mailbox and back to the Inbox.

When you set up IDLE did you turn off periodic checking at the same time? IDLE actually has a timeout, after which a full check is necessary to get it set up again. While it would be nice for this to happen automatically, it doesn't seem to.

I seem to recall seeing somewhere that the timeout is something like 29 minutes. I know when I set the 'check for new mail' frequency to 30 minutes IDLE seems to stop working. Setting it to 15 minutes and IDLE seems to work exactly like it is supposed to. i.e. anytime email arrives I'm instantly notified, even if it is outside that 15 minutes check time.

I've noticed a lot of sites recommending changing the automatic check interval to something very high, or even off, when setting up an IDLE account. In my experience that never works, but using anything less than 30 minutes seems to work just fine.



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10.5: Avoid Mail's 'no sound for new messages' bug
Authored by: nickv2002 on Jan 12, '09 06:14:48PM

I've had similar problems as described above (basically not getting alerts for new messages at all until I initiated some connection to the server).

In particular I noticed this after my computer went to sleep (obviously it would time out during this period). In this case, I'm not sure that setting your interval to just under 30 minutes will help because you'd potentially have to wait almost that amount of time for mail to do a full check and resume the IDLE.



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10.5: Avoid Mail's 'no sound for new messages' bug
Authored by: AveryTimm on Dec 30, '08 03:07:22PM

I also have not heard the new mail sound since upgrading to 10.5 on my old eMac or my new iMac. I have 2 POP accounts and 3 Gmail POP accounts, but only one of the Gmail accounts checks every minute, the others check only when clicking on "Get Mail". I have never used an IMAP account. When setting up a rule along the lines of "When any message type=mail, play sound" it will beep for OUTGOING mail messages, but still will not beep for incoming mail messages. When I add the condition to have icon bounce in the dock it will do it (so the rule it working, but the beep isn't). I could probably write an AppleScript to get around this, but if someone already has a good one could you post it?



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10.5: Avoid Mail's 'no sound for new messages' bug
Authored by: Mr. H on Mar 06, '09 02:31:21AM

Here's another gotcha to look out for: if you've disabled "user interface sound effects" (for example, the sound that's played when you move a file to the trash in Finder is a user interface sound effect) in System Preferences, this also disables Mail's new message alert.

Now, what if you want Mail's message alert and don't want the stupid and annoying (IMHO) user interface sound effects? The solution is to enable user interface sound effects in System Preferences, and to disable the Finder's sound effects using Tinker Tool.



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New mail sound not working -- that's it!
Authored by: noworryz on Mar 30, '09 11:01:37AM

That's it!! I noticed a few months ago that I wasn't hearing any "new mail" sound from Mail and also I wasn't seeing the mail icon bounce out of the hidden dock onto the desktop, in spite of the fact that a mail rule was being executed that had both "Play Sound" and "Bounce Icon in Dock" as actions. I couldn't tell that new mail had arrived unless I moused over the hidden dock.

As mentioned above, disabling the System Preference, Sound panel, option "Play user interface sound effects" turns off all mail sounds, even when explicitly played by a rule. It also stops a bouncing dock icon from bouncing out of a hidden dock onto the desktop. This is clearly a bug.

So turning on the "Play user interface sound effects" is really the only option if you want mail alerts. As mentioned above, if the sounds from the Finder drive you crazy, the (free) Tinker Tool is the easiest way to disable them. Alternatively, you can open a Terminal window and type (with exact upper/lower case shown):

defaults write com.apple.finder FinderSounds -bool no

immediately followed by pressing Command-Option-Escape and relaunching the Finder. To undo this, change the "no" to a "yes."







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Re: New mail sound not working -- that's it!
Authored by: noworryz on Mar 30, '09 02:24:18PM

My comment immediately above about the bouncing dock icon when the dock is hidden is incorrect; it is not controlled by the "Play user interface sound effects" preference. The reason the hidden dock sometimes shows the bouncing icon and sometimes not is more complicated -- I'll submit it as a hint.



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10.5: Avoid Mail's 'no sound for new messages' bug
Authored by: scotty321 on May 11, '10 03:50:39PM

Another solution would be to install the <a href="http://growlinfo.com">GrowlMail plug-in</a>, which lets you set visual and audio notifications when new mail comes in, regardless of whether the new mail came in as a result of being "pulled in" by Mail or being "pushed in" by the IMAP Server through the IDLE command.

Then, you could turn off the new mail sound in Mail's preferences and just let Growl handle the audio notifications.

If you want Growl to use the exact same "New Mail Sound" that Mail uses, you'll need to make a copy of the "New Mail.aiff" file from Apple Mail (right-click on Apple Mail, choose "Show Package Contents", then go into the Resources folder), and place a copy of that "New Mail.aiff" file into your ~/Library/Sounds folder.



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