Take control of your Apple Mac's sounds

Your Apple Mac can make a variety of sounds when you are using it, but what do they all mean? Why do you get one sound on some occasions and another at other times? How can you select the sounds it makes? All these questions and more are answered here.

FaceTime sounds

When people call you using FaceTime, the app will notify you with a sound. What you may not have realised is that a variety of ringtones are available and that you can select a different one to the default. Associating a particular sound with an event will help you to identify it. A FaceTime call should sound different to a Messages message or a new email for example.

Start FaceTime, go to the FaceTime menu and select Preferences. Select the Settings tab and down near the bottom is Ringtone.

FaceTime ringtones

Click the currently selected rigntone and up pops a long lis of alternatives. Select one and you can hear it playing. Choose a distinctive one that you will recognise as a FaceTime call.

FaceTime ringtones

Messages sounds

When you receive a new instant message via the Messages app, it will make a sound to alert you. This sound can be customised and there are lots of alternatives to choose from. Start Messages, Go to the Messages menu and select Preferences. Select the General tab and look for Message received sound.

Messages notification sounds

Click it and up pops a menu that has Alert sounds at the top and Ringtones at the bottom. The difference is the length and ringtones that are used for incoming FaceTime calls are longer. An alert is short and simple. There is a Classic sub-menu that has some fun sounds like Choo Choo (train). If you receove lots of incoming messages though, it might drive you mad.

Messages notification sounds

System sounds

OS X can play sound effects when certain events occur, such as moving files in Finder, scrolling down and hitting  the bottom of a window, and so on. Go to the Apple menu and select System Preferences. Select Sound and there is a list of sounds to choose from. There is also a tick box to enable or disable system sounds. Does anyone really like them? Clear the tick and use your Mac in peace and quiet.

OS X system sounds

Mail sounds

Do you want to be alerted to an email arriving in your inbox? You can choose the sound to use and make it different to an instant message or a FaceTime call. Open Mail, go to the Mail menu and select Preferences. On the General tab is a New messages sound setting.

OS X Mail sounds

Select one of the sounds from the pop-up menu. There is even an option to add or remove custom sounds too, so you could add your own.

OS X Mail sounds

After customising the sounds for various events on the Mac, it will be easier to tell what event has occured without having to look for and read notifications on the screen or in Notification Center. Sometimes it is the little things that make using the computer that much easier.

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How do you add new sounds to your sound library so you select those new sounds in the drop downs for your applications?

Go here: http://www.rawinfopages.com/mac/content/create-your-own-system-sounds-apple-mac

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