OSD Mute: displays Mute status on the desktop

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OSD-Mute is a tiny free app that displays a semi-transparent “Mute On” message on your desktop whenever the system volume is muted.

I found this little gem over at the Donationcoder forum. It’s a little Autohotkey-based app that displays a semi-transparent “Mute On” message on the desktop whenever the PC volume is muted.

Yes my friends (to borrow from John McCain) the days of panicking because of not knowing why there’s no sound coming out of your computer are over. More notes:

  • EXE provided: you do not need to have Autohotkey installed; an executable is provided on the Donationcoder forum page (or you can download the Autohotkey script).
  • Full vs. Lite: two versions provided. The full version is a larger download and allows you to change the placement of the message on your screen and to tweak the font style. The lite version doesn’t.
  • UncheckHow to use: create a new folder where you would like the app to exist and copy the exe into it, then run (the “full” version of the app will generate 2 contingent files). You now have an additional, new volume icon in the system tray. Next to remove the original windows icon go to control panel > sound and audio devices properties and uncheck “place volume icon in the taskbar” (this works on XP; not sure about Vista). You can add OSD-Mute to the startup folder to make it start with Windows (I use freeware Starter to manage my startup items).
  • Behavior: muting the volume will result in a “Mute On” message on the desktop that will display on top of other normal windows (although not games that display full screen). Left clicking on the volume icon will display the volume control dialog just as it would with the default windows icon, while right clicking will produce a context menu with options to change placement, tweak font, or exit (at least in the full version).
  • Memory consumption: approx 6.5 megs (for the full version), which is not a lot but seems like more than it where it should be. Remember this is an Autohotkey app (and whats a meg here or there amongst friends?).

The verdict: I really like this one. The “Mute On” message on the desktop is both practical and unobtrusive; you will find it extremely useful whenever you are suddenly wondering why you cannot hear anything coming out of your speakers.

Version Tested: v3

Compatibility: WinAll.

Go to the Donationcoder forums to download the latest version (approx 416K for the ’Full’ version).