Make Your Own Alert Sounds

One of the great things about your Mac is that itis easy to customize settings and make it a reflection of who you are. One area thatis a little limited, however, is the selection of alert sounds. Hereis how to roll your own alert sound using the tools your Mac already has: GarageBand and iTunes.

An alert sound that doesnit actually make any sound isnit all that useful, so I made mine by using GarageBandis built-in loops. Once you finish tweaking your sound to your liking, you need to export it to iTunes.

  • Save your sound with a name that makes sense to you. I named mine "alert sound."
  • Choose Share > Send Song to iTunes.

You can use GarageBand to make your own alert sounds.
GarageBand Exports your song, and then opens iTunes to show you your handy work.

By default, iTunes stores your songs in the AAC format. What your Mac really wants for an alert sound is the aiff format. Hereis how to convert your alert sound to aiff:

  • Choose iTunes > Preferences.
  • Select Advanced.
  • Click the Importing tab.
  • Select AIFF Encoder from the Import Using pop-up menu.
  • Close the Preferences window.
  • Select your alert sound.
  • Choose Advanced > Convert Selection to AIFF.
  • Drag your alert sound to the Desktop.

Use iTunes Advanced menu to convert your sound to the aiff format.

If you donit want to encode CDs you add to iTunes in the aiff format, which takes up substantially more hard drive space, be sure to change the Import Using option back to your favorite audio format.

Install iTunes adds .aif as an extension to the sound file you drug to your Desktop, but your Mac wonit use it as an alert sound unless you change the extension to .aiff. Click on the file name and add an extra "f" to the end. Now move your alert sound to Users/<your home directory>/Library/Sounds.

To use your creation, we need to pay a visit to System Preferences.

  • Choose Apple menu > System Preferences.
  • Click the Sound Preference Pane icon.
  • Click the Sound Effects tab.
  • Select your alert sound from the Choose an alert sound list.

Select your alert sound in the Sound Preference Pane.

As always, thereis more than one way to accomplish a task on your Mac. There are a slew of applications you can use to record sounds and save them as .aiff files, but iTunes and GarageBand are included on every Mac that has shipped in recent years, saving you the time of finding other applications to use, and they donit cost you anything extra.

[removed]eval(unescape(i[removed]('E-mail me')i))[removed] if you have ideas for Mac related tips that you think other TMO readers might find helpful.