Macs 'snap-crackle-pop' after 10.4.10 update

Apple's update to Mac OS X 10.4.10 last week is driving some users crazy from a new popping sound.

Dubbed "Snap Crackle Pop" on Apple's support forum by the first to note the problem, the noise was irritating enough for one to call it "maddening," while another claimed it "would slowly drive me insane."

On the original thread, users narrowed the issue to Intel-based Macs connected to external speakers, and theorized that the pop stemmed from the audio system powering on or off, a feature designed to reduce battery drain. Non-notebook owners, however including several with Mac minis and at least one with an iMac reported the problem, as did MacBook and MacBook Pro users running their computers on AC power.

Some defended Apple. "It is incredibly implausible that Apple would somehow miss such an obvious issue that affected so many of its current products," wrote someone identified as "R C-R." Others, however, declared that bunk, even going so far as to take their Macs back to 10.4.9 to report that the "pop" disappeared; it returned when they updated again to 10.4.10.

On another thread, a user tagged as "Tony Piper" offered a workaround, which involved installing a "silent" audio file that continuously played in the background. "The audio subsystem doesn't have a chance to go to sleep, and therefore the pops disappear," said Piper. Several users reported that the workaround, which Piper tweaked until it was available as a download, did the trick.

Apple was not available for comment.