Tech News on G4

Control almost any App's volume with SoundBunny

Mar 19, 2012

By Greg Gazin - Apple Gazin’ - G4 Canada

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SoundBunnyYou're in the middle of recording a podcast and that wretched e-mail alert interrupts you. Or maybe today's the day you have your tunes cranked up and you’re waiting for a message to come in and you don't want to be disturbed.

You can adjust the volume on some applications but not all and except for the master control, taking a page from Goldilocks and the 3 Bears, there is no provision in the Mac OS X operating system to adjust the volume of an individual app so that it's not too high, not to low and ensure it's just right!

And if you're like most people you are multitasking, so you really do need to not only control the sound output of your apps but also the ability to set different levels at the same time, depending on what you're doing.

Independently Control App Volume

So Prosoft Engineering Inc., the same folks that brought you Drive Genius and Data Rescue have created their own little animal called SoundBunny for Mac. This little $10 app hops onto the scene and fills that void, giving your Mac the ability to independently control the sound level output of any open application.

SoundBunny It installs in a snap and the interface is extremely intuitive. You can adjust the volume of the selected app with the slider or click on the speaker icon to totally mute it. In some cases, this can be quite handy!

Sound Bunny will try to index every running application, which brings up 2 significant key points. First to note is that running, is the operative word. The application has to be in that state for SoundBunny to control it. This would explain why a particular application wouldn't show up on my list the 1st time. Initially I was banging my head against the wall to figure out why.

On the other side of the coin, you want to be selective. You don't need every single running application or task running in the background to show up on your list.

So in the Preferences section you can choose to ignore various tasks and applications. There are some that are already preset as being "ignored," things like Activity Monitor and Bluetooth UIServer but there's also a user-defined section that you can add to or remove from at will.

Alternately you can add an app to your ignore list by right-clicking it in the main SoundBunny control window.

In all cases you'll have to remember that each time an app is removed from the ignore list it must be restarted for changes to take affect which can sometimes be a bit of a pain. But don’t blame the bunny. It’s likely because it accesses the operating system’s main core functions.

Also in the Preferences is the option to display the bunny icon in your menu bar. You can choose a with grayscale or colour bunny, which for the life of me, I can’t understand why.

The only other thing that gnaws on me just a little bit, pardon the pun, is the "boinging" and bouncing sound that the rascally rabbit actually makes. Strangely enough, it doesn't show up in the control list and as far as I can see, there is no way to mute it.

Pays for Itself Quickly

I guess a minor annoyance is pale in comparison to the value of SoundBunny, which pays for itself the first time you use it. When you think about it, its functionality is something that have been in the Mac OS to begin with.

SoundBunny for Mac costs $9.99 U.S. and is available for download directly through Prosoft Engineering. You can also get a FREE fully functional demo valid for 30 days.  Both require a Mac with an Intel processor running a minimum of Mac OS X 10.6.8.

Greg Gazin can be reached at  gadgetguy "at" telus "dot" net , , or on Twitter @GadgetGreg

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