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Rapidly change audio port function on MacBooks Laptop Macs
The 13" MacBook Pros have only 1 audio jack, for both audio input and output, and you can chose between these 2 from the audio preferences.

If you have the Sound menu extra enabled, Option+clicking on it will let you chose what to use the audio port for (audio input or audio output).

[crarko adds: Handy shortcut.]
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Rapidly change audio port function on MacBooks
Authored by: peelman on Nov 09, '11 07:41:02AM

This somewhat works on my early-2008 Mac Pro as well. Don't think the hidden menu is limited to just portables, but what it contains would understandably vary.

Edited on Nov 09, '11 07:42:25AM by peelman

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Rapidly change audio port function on MacBooks
Authored by: Bobberson on Nov 09, '11 08:51:21AM

Nice handy hint, but personally I find the SoundSource menu from Rogue Amoeba to be better. You just click on it, and you have output and input volumes, device choices, and some handy preference pane launcher links too.

Much more flexible, immediate, and no need for keyboard modifier keys. If you don't want another little bit of software running, though, this tip will do the trick.

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Rapidly change audio port function on MacBooks
Authored by: BMarsh on Nov 09, '11 10:09:40AM

yes, this shortcut works on all Mac models... I use this on my Mac Pro to switch between my computer speakers, and the Digital output to my stereo. (when I want even better sound, or am watching things like web content on the TV also connected to said Mac Pro)

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Rapidly change audio port function on MacBooks
Authored by: 4nd! on Nov 09, '11 12:03:43PM

Great hint! I didn't know this for years. Thanks!

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Rapidly change audio port function on MacBooks
Authored by: Mike Perry on Nov 11, '11 07:40:40AM

A better fix would be to pressure Apple to abandon this two-in-one idea. I have headphones with plugs on them. I have mikes with plugs on them. Why should I just have one plug to use when I need to plug both of them in, as when making a Skype call. My computer should fit the way I work and not vice-versa.

Apple has always had a tendency to come up with dumb ideas in some areas, their ill-designed mice being a good example. There's way too much tendency to think they know best, even when their way proves a disaster.

There is also a silly pattern of favoring form over function. The ill-fated iPhone 4 antenna is an example. According to the recent Jobs bio, engineers warned that the exposed antenna need to be insulated, but that didn't fit with the purity of the artistic concept, so disaster followed.

Too many Mac fans are just that--fans who can't see when something Apple does is just plain wrong. Auto-save in Lion is the most serious security flaw introduced into a modern OS in a decade or more. With a user's knowledge or permission, it saves a copy of that file in a hidden folder. Any virus that did that would get a five-star hazard warning. Why is it any different if the OS-creator does it?

Good systems have a healthy feedback mechanism. From what I can see, the feedback system around OS X is becoming severely broken. Too many Mac users look for workarounds (holding an iPhone oddly, port switching shortcuts), rather than insist Apple change. And too many Mac developers are gushing about including the new features of Lion in their apps without asking if they are a benefit or if they should give users a way to turn them off.

One of Apple's problems is a classic one. Problem X develops, in the case of autosave, new or stupid users who shut down their computer without saving. For thirty years, we've concluded that that user simply needs to learn to save much like the driver of a car needs to learn to turn off his engine before going in for supper.

But not Apple. Apple decided to push a hidden autosave on users. That is where they blundered. InDesign's autosave file was obvious, an oddly named file in the same folder as the document itself. Their's would be one massive, hidden-away file in a now-hidden folder. Apple apparently never thought--or those that run the company never listened to those who pointed out--that several professions, law, medicine, finance, and the military, have security requirements that would be violated by having every document covertly autosaved and buried where they were only accessible to the wrong sort.

No, all seems to have been about was keeping Clueless Larry from losing his letter to Auntie Maddie. Autosave had to be really auto, impossible to turn off and impossible to defeat. Any other implications of that fix were ignored.

Of course, that sort of blunder is far worse than just having one audio port. I mostly use a USB audio adapter that bypasses that port anyway and it has separate mike and headphone ports. But the pattern of "you do what we say" from Apple, followed by user compliance is the same.

If you want Apple products to be good, complain loudly when they aren't. That got Apple's attention with the iPhone 4 antenna. It will work in other areas.

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