Change your IM audio to something more geekish

By Mark O’Neill

dockingbay94starwars.jpgThe thing about instant messaging programs such as Pidgin and Skype is that their sounds suck. Their chat services may be the best thing since pop-tarts but it doesn’t take long for their sound effects to grate on your nerves. You know, the audio notifications that you’ve got a new message, that people have logged on, that sort of thing.

The good news is that you can change the sound to whatever you want and in true geek style, I changed it to Han Solo’s blaster. So now whenever I get an instant message coming in, my office sounds like Docking Bay 94.

“wav” audio files abound on the internet. Some sites try to charge for wav files but you don’t have to pay for them as there are countless sites giving these audio files away for free. Just decide what you want and google it, along with a “.wav” at the end. So to get the blaster file, I put “blaster.wav” into Google and I also considered “lightsaber.wav“, “phaser.wav” and so on. Just try different variations of the type of file you’re looking for and you should get quite a few download links.

Just remember though to choose a sound that isn’t going to irritate you. If you get quite a few messages each day, you’re going to hear that sound over and over. So choose very carefully.

Then head over to the sounds and notifications section of your instant messaging program and upload your wav file :


I know for a fact that Pidgin and Skype allows uploading of audio files. I can’t speak for the others. Maybe users of other IM programs can let us know in the comments if their preferred IM programs allow this too.