Mac Hacks: Change your default Notification Center sound

It's bad enough that a billion iOS devices all start chiming at me whenever I receive a notification. The OS X notification center plays that awful sound -- Basso, whenever my reminders trigger.

Not sure what that sounds like? Open System Preferences > Sound > Sound Effects and click on it to hear. I hate it.

So I decided to override it. These steps aren't for everyone. You'll need to feel comfortable at the command line for one thing. So caveat hackteur.

  1. Go to ~/Library/Sounds. This is not the same as the system /Library/Sounds folder. It is in your home folder.

  2. Add your (short) sound and name it Basso.aiff. Use an AIFF format file, don't just rename something else. I use QuickTime Pro, but there are lots of other AIFF-friendly apps out there.

  3. Open Terminal.

  4. Find the Notification Center process: ps -ax | grep -i notification

  5. Kill it, e.g., killall NotificationCenter

  6. Make sure the notification center restarts and is a new process: ps -ax | grep -i notification

  7. Test. Create a new reminder for a minute or two in the future.

These steps enable you to replace that horrid Basso with more appealing audio, as you hear at about 14 seconds in: