Mac Change Volume For Different Apps

May 23, 2018  Or you could use different recording devices for different applications. You may have to close and reopen the application for your change to take effect. However, Windows will remember the volume level and sound devices you assign to individual apps and automatically apply your preferences whenever you launch the app.

  1. Mac Change Volume For Different Apps Download
  2. Mac Change Volume For Different Apps For Windows 10
  3. Mac Change Volume For Different Apps 2017

One area where Windows has been leaps and bounds ahead of the Mac for years, if not decades, is volume control. Quite simply, sometimes you need to control volume on a finer level than OS X allows. Windows lets you adjust output volume for each individual application, but this isn’t possible natively on a Mac.

So we have to turn to third-party apps to grant us this ability. Both apps on this list offer the feature of adjusting volume by app. However, the apps each bring something different to the table, so explore the options and decide for yourself which is best.

Volume Mixer

Volume Mixer is the first Mac app on the list and it allows you to control system volume by application. The app sits in your menu bar so you can call it up as needed. Each app, much like on Windows, is accompanied by its own volume slider. Adjust it as you’d like, mute individual apps entirely or click Refresh to bring an app on par with the master volume.

Over in the Preferences, you can choose your default output source or just quickly change sources on the fly. You can also set highly convenient keyboard shortcuts for specific actions revolving around volume control. These include increasing the volume of an active app, decreasing the volume of an active app, toggling mute for an active app, increasing/decreasing/muting background sound and increasing/decreasing/muting notifications. If you want full control over your output audio, it doesn’t get much better than this.

Volume Mixer comes with a free seven day trial after which it’s $9.99 for two copies or $14.99 for lifetime updates. It’s fairly steep pricing, but if you need the features, it works great.

Mac Change Volume For Different Apps Download

Background Music

Background Music is a simpler app that does much of the same thing as Volume Mixer. From your menu bar, you can adjust volume for individual applications. But in Background Music, the volume sliders aren’t relative to your master volume. Each slider by default is set to the middle and doesn’t change when you raise or lower your volume. That means that technically, if you have your volume all the way up, you could still give some apps a slight boost.

It also has a phenomenal feature that auto-pauses your music when another source of audio starts playing, then automatically continues playback when the other audio stops. It’s much like how music stops and resumes when you get a phone call on your iPhone. The auto-pause feature supports iTunes, Spotify, VOX and VLC.

Background Music is free, unlike Volume Mixer, but since the developer hasn’t officially published it anywhere, it must be installed from GitHub.

Note: The guide to installing Background Music is right on the GitHub page. If you have Xcode installed, just copy and paste the provided prompt into Terminal.

Mac Change Volume For Different Apps

To manually install, download the ZIP file and unzip it. In Terminal, type cd followed by the path to where you unzipped the folder. Then install by typing /bin/bash

ALSO SEE:How to Live Monitor Your Microphone Input on Mac

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When working with storage devices on macOS, you’ll encounter a lot of terms referring to your storage device. There are disks, partitions, volumes, and images, as well as containers and the ever-popular drives. While the internal usage of these terms isn’t completely consistent, getting a handle on what they mean will make it easier to navigate tools like Disk Utility and Terminal. What’s the difference between a disk and volume, as well as drives, partitions, images, and containers?


A drive is a physical device that’s used to store data. It’s not really a formal term, but a commonly-used one. While the strictest definition would be the physical device that stores data, the term is often used informally to refer to any storage device, from a disk to a volume. Technically, it’s meaning is restricted to describing a hardware device. A drive is a physical object upon which a disk resides.


“Disk” is the word used by Mac and Unix systems to refer to physical storage devices. Disks contain volumes and can contain multiple volumes of different sizes. A disk is like the parent container for all the logical divisions of storage that might come below it. Examine the disks attached to a Unix system, and you’ll see specifications like “disk1s2.” That specifies the parent disk (“disk1”) and the partition/volume number (“s2”) within the disk.


A partition is very much like a volume. In fact, the two terms are used almost interchangeably. Even system programs like macOS’ Disk Utility don’t distinguish between the unformatted partition and the formatted volume. Looking at the screenshot above, we can note that the words are used as synonyms, which is essentially how the words are used everywhere.

But if we want to get precise, a “partition” is a piece of a disk. However, a partition does not technically have to be ready for use or storage. It doesn’t necessarily contain a file system, and it might not be formatted to store data. Instead, a partition is just a part of a disk with a specific size, which is set at the time of creation. A partition can be resized, but it requires re-writing the disk’s partition table and possibly erasing data.

Apple File System (APFS) is a little more flexible about this, as seen below.

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Mac Change Volume For Different Apps For Windows 10


A volume is the part of the disk that you interact with as a user. While partitions and volumes are essentially the same, a volume has a name and file system in addition to a size. When you mount a storage device and its icon appears in your file browser, you’re seeing the volume. Multiple volumes can be stored on a single disk, and operating systems keep track of what volumes are on what drives. Open up Disk Utility on macOS or Disks in Ubuntu and you’ll see your familiar volume names underneath cryptic-looking disk names.

Mac Change Volume For Different Apps 2017


Images function like volumes, but they have no physical hardware related to them. They’re like a picture of a physical volume, containing every bit stored on the captured volume. You can create an image of any volume, whether it’s stored on a hard drive or a CD, and store it on any other device with sufficient free space. Windows makes use of images for system backups (called System Images) that can be smaller than the disk they’re capturing. This is because images don’t typically store empty space. An image must be mounted or attached before it can be accessed, just like a drive. It also has its own file system and can be “cloned” to another volume to copy the contents of the imaged volume.


Some filesystems also make use of containers. Specifically, macOS recently introduced containers into its new file system, Apple File System (APFS). Containers are distinct from the other items on this list and function a little differently. Within APFS, disks hold containers and containers hold volumes. The volumes within a given container are allowed to share the space allocated to the container, which has a set maximum size. This means the volumes can be flexible, expanding to fit files or shrinking to allow other volumes to grow. This is distinctly unlike the fixed partitions of other filesystems like ext4, HFS+ or ExFAT. The size of partitions under those file systems is specified at the time of creation, and changing the size of a partition requires rewriting the partition table. APFS, however, resizes volumes within a container on the fly to accommodate data.


In short, disks contain volumes which contain data. Disks are the physical manifestation of a drive. Containers are used in place of partition tables in the APFS filesystem. Images are “pictures” of the data on a volume, capturing the exact arrangement of bits on a drive.

By avaragado from Cambridge [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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