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I'm looking for a solution to this problem: When I'm working at my computer, sometimes I'll be using noise-isolation headphones connected to a source other than my computer (e.g., an iPod). I would like to see (this is what I mean by "visualize") some kind of notification on my screen, since I will not be able to hear the sound.

Is there any software out there that would accomplish this? I'm interested in seeing any sounds that would normally come out of th sound card.

This is for Windows (XP), but I'd be interested in hearing solutions for other flavors, and OS X, as well.

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Not sure if this will do everything you need, but Windows XP has "accessibility options for people who are deaf or have difficulty hearing sounds from the computer" built-in:

If you are deaf or have difficulty hearing sounds from the computer, you can quickly set sound options using the Accessibility Wizard. Sound options include turning on SoundSentry so that you can get visual warnings for system sounds, and ShowSounds so that captions are displayed for speech and sounds in programs that provide them.

(emphasis mine)

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That's a good suggestion. I turned it on. So far, it seems to work for system sounds, but not for things like Flash on a webpage. – bentsai May 13 '10 at 20:53

On linux take a look at-

Synaesthesia (also available for windows)


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