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Both of my Macs play this sonar sound that sounds like "ping ping ping ping" with a small amount of delay / echo. It occurs to me that it is played once a day but I'm not sure why.

I checked iCal but didn't found anything (I don't use iCal anyways but maybe it's connected to Google calendar or my iPhone).

I've heard this sound played by both my MacBook and my iMac but not yet simultaneously.


This sound is not submarine.aiff. It sounds much more like what skub linked to but there are 4 "pings" instead of 1.

It is played at different times (today around 5pm and again at 8.45, but as far as remember not everyday). That's why I'm not sure I could record it, but I could try.

The sound might come from my iPhone, though I'm not sure which apps are alowed to play sound when they are not running. Also I don't see any indication in the message center or something similar.

I think I have to start taking notes on which apps running.

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It would be very helpful if you can record the sound and post it online so we know exactly what it sounds like. – superuser Jan 15 '12 at 17:46
Does it always play at the same time every day? If so, when? – jwodder Jan 15 '12 at 19:05
Start by moving your phone far enough from your computer so you know which device it actually is. – Daniel Beck Jan 15 '12 at 20:28
Are you subscribed to any podcasts? – Daniel R Hicks Jan 15 '12 at 20:50
Yes, DanH I'm subscribed to several podcasts. I use iTunes to download them. – Richard Metzler Jan 16 '12 at 10:40

It could be almost anything. Perhaps an instant message client or skype is playing it when some rare event happens? Or a bit torrent client?

I'm not aware of anything that will play this sound that's built into Mac OS X, it's just one of the sounds you can choose to assign to almost anything you want.

Can you edit your question with a list of currently running apps when the sound occurs?

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The submarine goes "ping ping ping ping"? Mine just dings once. – skub Jan 15 '12 at 19:26
According to the OP, it's not Submarine. – slhck Jan 15 '12 at 22:09
Thanks, I've edited my answer removing the reference to submarine, since it's now confirmed that isn't it. – Abhi Beckert Jan 16 '12 at 12:07

I have these ping ping ping ping sounds as well. Well not anymore, for me it turned out to be the application FolderWatch. In the preferences there are 2 options for notifications. Growl messages and "Play sounds". The "Play sounds" in FolderWatch were the source for my frustrations.

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I think it is a Skype notification when a contact become available. Check "Contact Available.m4a" file inside the Skype app bundle.

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If you're referring to this tone - it's an iPhone ring tone. Are you sure it's not coming from your phone?

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I have had this problem. I identified my sound coming from my Instashare app. If the little icon has a sweep hand moving, I get the sound until I click on the icon, then it goes away.

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