Mar 25


On a Mac OS X Snow Leopard operating system, you can give your computer a custom audio alert instead of using the generic tones installed by default on your computer. As long as the audio clips are AIFF format, Mac OS X allows you to use all kinds of clips, including musical tracks, a voiceover, or musical theme. Get creative and add your favorite alert sound to your operating system.

  • Step1: Open folder with custom sounds
    Navigate to the “~/Library/Sounds” folder in “Finder” Command+Shift+G. The “~/Library/Sounds” folder contains all the custom sound files used on your operating system.
  • Step 2: Copy the sound clip in AIFF format
    Copy the sound clip you want to add to the alerts from the location you have it on your computer and drag it into the “~/Library/Sounds”. (Note: The sound clip must be in AIFF format. Convert it to AIFF using iTunes – see next step how to convert to AIFF).
  • Step3: Convert a the sound clip to AIFF format via iTunes
    3.1. Launch iTunes and click the “Preferences” menu.
    3.2. Click “General” and click “Import Settings”.
    3.3. Choose “AIFF Encoder” in the “Import using” menu and click “Custom” in the “Settings” menu.
    itunes aiff encoder
    3.4. Select “48.000 kHz” sample rate and a 16-Bit sample size. Select “Stereo” under “Channels” and click “OK.” Click “OK” again.
    3.5. After importing it, click the sound clip and click “Advanced.” Click “Convert Selection to AIFF” to convert the sound clip to AIFF audio format.
    itunes convert to aiff
    3.6. When the conversion completes, drag the newly created AIFF audio clip to the “~/Library/Sounds” folder (see the Step 1).
  • Step 4: Done.
    Open “System Preferences” by clicking the “Apple” log on the top left corner on your screen and click “System Preferences”. Click “Sounds” and click “Sound Effects.” You should see the AIFF file you uploaded together with other sound clips in the “~/Library/Sounds” folder.

Also, make sure the “Play user interface sound effects” is checked in System Preferences > Sound > Sound Effects.

P.S. Now we have to get this file to show up in the Alerts list in System Preferences, Mail and iCal, etc.

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3 Responses to “Custom Alert Sounds in Mac OS X Leopard”

  1. 1. Vlad Says:

    Thx, for this article, it almost works. But when i added long sound clip (more than 3 sec.) it doesn’t play in System Preferences > Sound > Sound Effects. Any ideas?

  2. 2. Kirill Says:

    You can create an alert that is longer in Snow Leopard (maybe Leopard has some restrictions) , but remember, anytime you make a mistake, you’re going to have to listen to it. So any file you create should adhere to these standards. The best way to use 1 sec alert.

  3. 3. nigel Says:

    Itunes will not import amr file.
    Do not have a sound file in my Library?

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