HOWTO - Changing Twitter Clients Was a Tweet

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Last Friday, I changed Twitter clients. I was not completely happy with Twitterrific 3.2, so I did some research and settled on Syrinx. However, Syrinx doesn't have the cool bird tweet alert, but must instead draw from the Mac OS X library sounds. This HOWTO shows how one can fix that.

The key to this technique is remembering that a Mac OS X application is really a directory. Mac OS X knows how to:

  • Dig inside the directory, called a package, and find the application icon and display it.
  • Launch the embedded executable when the application icon is double clicked.
  • Move (or copy) the entire directory when icon is dragged (or Option + dragged).
  • Display the contents of the directory when the icon is right clicked (Show Package Contents). That is what we'll use in this HOWTO.

I found that Syrinx simply draws from the system sounds in its preferences, and I didn't have a system sound that I wanted to use. For reference, these system sounds can be displayed and played in System Preferences -> Sound. Twitterrific, on the other hand, has a cool bird chirp buried in its resources in the app's package. Here's a look after Showing the Package Contents.

Twitterrific Package

Part of Twitterrific Package Contents


So I simply went into the Twitterrific resources directory (right click the app, Show Package Contents) and copied the four bird chirps into /Users/john/Library/Sounds. Here's a look:

Library Sounds

The User's Sound Library


Now when I access the preferences of Syrinx, I see the sounds I copied from Twitteriffic. Note that in Mac OS X, the standard system sound format is the Audio Interchange File Format, AIFF -- with file extension .aif or .aiff. Because Twitterrific naturally used that format, I was all set.


Synrix Prefs

Syrinx Preferences

For those interested, the topic of converting sounds from one format to another is well covered on the Internet and there are several apps, including Apple's QuickTime and iTunes, that can read some formats and export to a different format, including AIFF There are some commercial apps with more capability and focus.

In the future, if I change Twitter clients again, and the one I choose draws from the System Sounds, I'll be able to keep using my favorite sound.

By the way, you can follow me on Twitter at: jmartellaro

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While ripping sounds out of applications is as old as the Mac itself, I am not sure how legal it is using parts of a copyrighted program. Not that most users would get in trouble doing it but posting a how to steal from a program might.

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