Sound issues with speakers or headphones

Dan Lucas

Whenever I plug speakers or headphones into my MacBook Pro running OS X 10.8.2, a bizarre set of issues comes up.

1. Spotify will either continue "playing" (progress bar moves), but without actually producing sound, or it will refuse to play at all.
2. iTunes sometimes will still play music.
3. Volume controls will not work. When I push the volume buttons, I get this:
View attachment 8379
4. Volume may be very quiet, or no sound may come out at all.
5. These symptoms persist for a while, then there will be a cacophony of sounds, almost as if things have been held up and they are all now coming unstuck (for example, I'll get several mail notification bings, several user signing on notifications from my workplace IM, music might kick on that I hit play and stop on a while ago).

This is my first major issue with a mac in four years of using them. The sad part is, I've used three different macs in that time (a MacBook I bought in college, an old MacBook Pro I was given by work, and now this MacBook Pro I bought just over a year ago), and this is the newest and most expensive of the three. It also runs very hot (not sure if this could be related).

Any ideas would be helpful. Since my Macs never really break, I never learned all the troubleshooting tricks, I knew with PC. Thanks.