Apple tech issues

As many of you know, I have a Mac Mini connected to a 43 inch 4K LG TV, which I love.

But in the last few days, I’ve run into a problem I can’t figure out. Twice now, the sound output switched from the LG speakers to the Mini speaker (which is pretty poor). I do gave other options. One is to a Homepod Mini, but I don’t use that as I only have one and just doesn’t do a good enough job. And connection to my AirPod Pros, which I do use at least a couple times a day.

But I really have no idea at what point I can no longer hear the audio through the LG speakers. I’m not doing anything different.

I have only succeeded in getting it to work again by restarting the computer. Turning off the LG TV and turning it back on has no effect.

Any ideas?

Is this at all correlated with running apps that “take over” the sound in any way? For instance has this happened both times shortly after a video call such as Zoom or Google Meet. Previously I used to lose connection options to my LG speaker after zoom, although that hasn’t happened in the past six months ago so I always assumed it was a zoom bug that got fixed. But I also in the past had speaker confusion between Skype, google meet, zoom etc competing and seemingly confusing each other.

No. I do use Zoom, but only once a week and it’s only on my iPhone. Don’t use any of the other stuff like Google Meet. Don’t even use Facetime.

What really makes this odd is that it isn’t just switching, but it won’t let me switch back. I can switch to the Homepod Mini, but when I select the LG, it just gives me the spinning thing and never actually switches. As I said, so far I have to reboot to be able to do it.

When it goes bad, I’ve checked the sound on Safari browser, Vivaldi browser, and the TV app. I may have tried the Music app the first time, but I’m not sure.

Do you lose the sound while using the system, aka in the middle of doing something or is it after returning and waking the system up (from a screen saver type of situation)?

I wonder if it could be a combination of the drivers on the mini not fully compatible and/or a firmware issue on the LG tv that is not properly waking the audio section after a sleep mode or whatever type situation.

What happens if you just unplug the HDMI cable and then plug it back in? I had a situation where I would have to do this with my cable TV box every so often because it would not display anything on the TV screen.

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Not sure. I do know that the computer Has not been turned off but don’t recall if it may have happened after waking up. If it happens again I’ll try the hdmi plug.

I know this may not be the answer you’re looking for but you might want to give this a try:

Rogue makes some great software and this app gives you precise control of your audio.

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I had something once, not sure but might have been “sound flower” or maybe something else. Tended to just confuse me. My main interest in some of these things was when recording part of the Mac screen. It works well except it doesn’t include the sound. Everything I’ve read on it always says to get an app (don’t know if SoundSource was one of them) that would let you change some settings and it would record the sound too.

But I think they all involved a need to change it back for normal use.

The SoundSource option, if it let’s QuickTime include screen audio recording, may be interesting. Do you know if it does?

Though if it has to be switched back and forth (like using QT to just play a movie or something instead of recording), that would still be an issue.

This may be very well related. It’s possible that there is an issue with your HDMI. I know that, on occasion, one of the two monitors attached to my Mac mini blinks. Occasionally it turns off, and won’t turn on again, but sometimes it just goes black for a while, then comes back. I believe this has to do with either the port, or the cable.

I can imagine that the HDMI cable may have an issue that is similar for the sound. The Mac may be getting notified that the sound device is not valid in some way.

May be possible to find the notification in /var/log/, but I’m not sure what would be logged when that happens. Could use ripgrep to search for various strings to see if there’s anything. It could be as simple as searching for “HDMI”, “sound”, “device”, etc, but there are a lot of things logged in that folder, so may take a while to find it, unless you can simply look at a given minute.

rg “2021-06-06 12:23:15”

That ripgrep command grab the logs from all the files in that folder and subfolder for that minute, but assumes you know when the issue happened, down to the minute.

Anyway, not sure if you want to go down that investigation route, but if so, I hope it helps.

Hmmm, I guess could be a cable issue. I’ve reported before that sometimes when I wake my Mini, the LG will fail to show anything but the LG screen saver. Sometimes unplugging the HDMI has worked, but lately that hasn’t worked. But if I hold the Mini power button to force it to shutdown and then again to reboot, normally it will work again. Once it is working, it will continue to work fine. Whenever I do wake up the computer, I try to wait at least 5 seconds after powering up the LG, but sometimes I get careless and it might mess up again.

But the fact that, once it is working, it stays working would seem to mean it isn’t the cable itself. If it were, I would expect problems at any time.

I actually intend to use this thread to cover other things I’m curious about or long term issues I just never got around to finding out if there is a solution. This is one of the latter:

In Apple Numbers, I have spreadsheets with multiple sheets and multiple tables on the same sheet.

The problem is when doing a search - it seems to search EVERY table on EVERY sheet. I’ve done some googling about it, but no solution so far other than some suggestions to make a copy of what you want to search, I guess into another spreadsheet. Which is ridiculous! If that is necessary, then it is yet another thing about Apple decisions that really bugs me!

This sounds almost identical to my Cable TV box issue that I was having which got fixed with a software update to the Cable box.

I highly think that you are experiencing something similar. Although it could be a cable, I would tend to doubt that. I would tend to believe that you are experiencing an issue with the HDMI port/driver/firmware.

Unless there is physical damage to the HDMI port on your mini or the TV, I think it’s relatively safe to cross that off as the culprit, which leaves a driver or firmware issue causing the problem. Other than updating to the latest revisions, there’s not much else you can do other than maybe filing an incident report with Apple and LG as it would be difficult to say who has the problem (I’m sure both will say that it’s not their issue). Like I mentioned above, with my recent Cable box issue, it was resolved when my provider pushed a software update out to the Cable boxes.

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Sometimes my MacBook will play sound through the internal speakers and I manually switch back to HDMI.
Does the HDMI option disappear when it’s not working in your instance?

I don’t show that at all (no HDMI though my LG TV is connected via HDMI so I don’t know why it says “DisplayPort”:

Of course, the Mac mini Speakers are really poor so I never want to use them unless nothing else works!

The “Main” is, I think, my Apple TV (which I almost never use!).

The “Living Room” is a single Mac Mini speaker. I really don’t think it sounds as good as the LG speaker. Also, since it is sitting below the bottom of the screen and is about an arm’s length away, the sound seems to come from the wrong direction then watching movies on the computer. I sometimes wonder how it would sound if I had two. And if I slid them a few inches to be behind the screen. But I would think it would still seem to come from the wrong direction.

Looks like I’m going to be ticked off at Apple again for making decisions that are too rigid for no good reason.

I have Safari Technology Preview, though I rarely use it. But the latest version has some things that will be available in the next macOS of Safari so I’ve been messing with it.

I like the Tab groups somewhat. It’s convenient to switchly click one thing to have a whole set of related tabs without anything extra. The switch to another, etc.

Unfortunately, I’m used to Vivaldi and its “tab stacks”. That is where you can put 2 or more (I have as many as 6) in one stack and, if you want, tile them. With a nice 43" screen, this is great. Not only related tabs together, but you can see them all at the same time and easily change the focus for which you want to deal with. So, overall, with a big screen, it is simply better than what Apple is doing. But I’d love to have both at once!

But Apple made two other changes which I think are foolish, especially since I don’t see any way to get around them.

One is how the box with the site address keeps moving. Haven’t studied it much, but if you click a tab, that tab expands a bit in the bar and shows the address. Of course, since each tab is in a different place, this means the address box keeps moving.

In this case, I can see some logic to it and MAYBE I’ll get used to it. I still would like it to be an option I can turn off!

But the other just bewilders me. The “reload” option is no longer visible. Instead you click the “…” item in the address bar and can choose “reload” from the list. Or right click on the page and select reload. In the case of the “…” item, since the address bar is always moving, that means you aren’t always going to the some screen location to reload. Why on earth would you take one of the most common things you do on a webpage and bury it at all? Now, instead of just clicking one spot, you click a spot, move your mouse down to where it says “reload”, and then click that. Three steps instead of one!

I tried customizing the toolbar. Guess what item is NOT available to add to the toolbar? That’s right. No reload icon. I can add other, less commonly used items, but not that. Unless I’m missing something, this is just stupid. But it is also something Apple has always been blind to. Not giving me an option makes it worse.

It reminds me a little of how they retrict (at least they used to) what you could do with extra mouse buttons. They had to be specific things like “Exposé”. Why the limit? Steermouse lets me assign pretty much anything to the mouse buttons.

I could, using Steermouse, reprogram one of the buttons on my mouse, but I really need all of them as is on a webside. Seven buttons plus the tilt wheel’s two tilting options are all already used.

Hmmm, just got another update to Safari Technology Preview (the one Apple already made similar to what we’ll find in the new Mac and iOS version of Safari.

Well, there are three changes. One is that it seems to “tab groups” is no longer an option. At least I can’t find it anymore.

The other two are related - having to do with their prior decision to make you take two steps to just do a reload! First, in the address bar, where the “…” was that you had to first click to get to the reload button, it now has a reload icon right next to it. It isn’t visible until the cursor is over the address bar. Yea!

The other is, if you choose to customize the bar, they added the ability to add a reload icon that way too. Whatever they do with tab groups or anything else, I sure hope the final version for the next macOS keeps at least one of these options!

I’m seeing reports of an Apple M2 chip, for a MB Air update. But what interested me was that the rumor says the M1x is being reserved for the more powerful computers.

Seems like a strange numbering system if the M2 is less powerful that the M1x. Maybe they are going to use a system where the X version is not only more powerful than the same chip number without the X, but also more powerful that the next number without the X.

Thus, from least powerful to most powerful:


Still seems odd, but that is the only way I can see any consistency to the system.

And it would be possible that an M1x could even be more powerful that the M2 or higher! Can’t tell until we get some comparisons. Right now it seems like the M2 will keep the 4 efficiency and 4 power cores and add a couple graphics cores. But the M1x will be 2 efficiency cores and 6 power cores - and maybe significantly more graphics cores.

Also, there will be issue of built in memory. Maybe the X versions will give 16-32 instead of 8-16.

While Apple has given us back the ability to have the tab bar and address bar separate, the have another issue which I’ve seen before. In this case, the active tab has a different shade than the other tabs. But the difference is really tiny! Not something that really catches my eye.

When I got by first mac in 2008, I remember they gave us two choices for, I think, toolbar colors - but the difference was very minor then as well. Anyway, this color difference in Safari is not helpful at all! I don’t know what possesses Apple to think it is a good idea to make it difficult to pick out the active tab!

Apple should hire me to stop them from doing these things! At least give some decent options. Sure, they may eventually do so, just like they gave us back the address bar in the new beta. But some of these things they do should be pretty obviously an issue so that, even if some like it, we have an option to change it.

For what it’s worth, we may see a new M1X Mac Mini this year, “with more ports”.

I’m looking forward to this. I’ve always wanted Apple to do something like the old Mac Pro that you could upgrade stuff on a much cheaper system and, while not as much as a Mac Pro, have flexibility to upgrade and make it pretty powerful.

Well, there still won’t be much for upgrading (at least not internally), but it’s got to be a darn powerful system for the money. The M1X is supposed to be more powerful than the M2 will be. The M1 already made the mini around the same power for most things compared to the 16 inch MB Pro. So this should be considerably better, even if you stick with 16 gb. I’m dying to see what price they put on it.