Archive for November 19, 2007

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Alerts and Sound Effects Channel

Pierre Igot:

For many years now, Mac OS X has had the ability to channel alerts and other sound effects through a sound output other than the default output used for sound playback in Mac OS X. The default output is selected in the “Output” tab in the “Sound” preference pane in System Preferences, whereas the output for alerts and sound effects is selected in the “Sound Effects” tab in that same preference pane.


Sadly, it now appears that Apple’s engineers have broken this in Mail 3.0 in Mac OS X Leopard (10.5). The various sound effects played by Mail when receiving or sending mail are now again played through the default output, instead of the output for sound effects and alerts.

If you’re using SpamSieve with Mail, this isn’t as much of a problem, since its notification sound (for new non-spam messages) plays over the alert channel.

Anti-Aliasing in Leopard’s Menu Bar

Sven-S. Porst:

As the variable background of the X.5 menu bar means that characters have to be drawn on a transparent background and then put on the modified desktop menu bar picture, this also means that no sub-pixel anti-aliasing is used. As a consequence you may find that certain glyphs look irregularly rendered or poorly spaced in the menu bar. All this, while the menus themselves and the selected menu items are still rendered properly.


I had to conclude that it’s likely that subpixel anti-aliasing will probably be a clever little technology that is not here to stay.