Wednesday, January 21, 2015

hacking apple sounds

i take my blood pressure meds at 8 am every day. three versions of mac OS X ago i recorded nurse robin giving me a gentle reminder to take my meds and i put the recording in a system folder called “sounds.” i created an “event” in mac calendar and assigned it the sound of my reminder. i was greeted each day, if my computer was open and sound was on, with a timely reminder.

drunk with success i went on to record my own announcement that i have received mail.

both these additions moved successfully to the next 2 versions of apple osx. not so when i updated to yosemite. i looked in “sounds” and my personalized messages weren’t there. i added them. they did not show up on the list of sounds when i tried to use them for calendar. mail offered the option of a custom sound so it was easy to add my own message.

i was frustrated. i consulted dr. google. i found a sort of related discussion among people unhappy with the sound for notifications on iPhones, which use iOS. it seems that notifications were restricted to the use of apple’s sound called “basso” and that could not be changed. someone in this discussion suggested recording a custom message with the name “basso,” deleting the original “basso” and replacing it with the custom version.

hmmm. that’s one of the sounds in the sounds folder on my macbook. so i did almost the same . i didn’t use “basso.” looking in the list of official sounds i chose “purr” to corrupt with my own message. so i selected “purr” in the calendar list of sounds.

the very next morning my computer played nurse robin’s cheerful reminder.

to be clear.... those videos do not appear as reminders, just the audio plays. i had to make movies so you could hear the messages. i checked into adding just audio to this post and found instructions, but the audio file had to be available somewhere online. blogger offers to upload video directly from ones own computer or to embed a youtube player. i made these movies and tried to upload them directly to this post. a video player showed up in compose mode but when i actually published the post the space for the player was blank. that's why tthe videos are on youtube. so you can hear the audio.

techie stuff.
macbook pro 13 inch, late 2011
lion osx 10.7
mountain lion OS X 10.8
maverick osx 10.9
yosemite 10.10.1


  1. Don't have a mac though my wife & I have ipod touches. Must admit I am sorely tempted by a Macbook Pro intead of my laptop.

    1. we have a first generation touch. still works... mostly. gets a bit cranky at times and won't obey instructions.

  2. Yes, I got a notice from Apple offering me a FREE "up"grade to Yosemite. It links to their site where the reviews struggle toward a 3 rating. I bet that there's a large group of developers at Apple who warned management that Yosemite wasn't ready for prime time. What a sad misstep by Apple.

  3. i read reviews and it seemed the complaints were for stuff i don't use. i haven't noticed problems with yosemite. i suppose i can't complain about apple tightening control on something not intended for customization.

  4. Sigh, I do not have a mac but I am really impressed with your determination to solve the problem. Well done.

    1. thanks. determination so easily slides over into obsession.

  5. I take it that it's been a dull, rainy day with nothing much to do!

    1. i can be determined even on a fine sunny day. i mostly don't even notice the day when i'm really determined about something. still striving for balance.