Alternate built-in speaker sounds

Discussion in 'iPod touch Hacks' started by Brendan.Porter, Dec 20, 2007.

  1. Brendan.Porter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Location:
    Between tourists, corn, and windmills.
    #1
    I discovered a plist file in the /Library/Alarms/ directory that seems to be the key to the sounds generated by the internal speaker on the touch.

    The plist file shows a very simple breakdown of each of the 5 alarms in a time sequence broken down to milliseconds each with its' own tone measured in hz. This could allow one to modify a given Alarm sound, or create a new one.

    However, even though I had opened the plist on my Mac with Property List Editor (hadn't copied it locally, just opened over the network using AFP), I still attempted to perform modifications to it on the Touch itself... dumb idea.
    Immediately after cracking the plist open with MobileFinder and seeing garbage, I attempted to play back the alarms using the tone selector in the Clocks app, but nothing would play. It seems I have corrupted the plist by opening it with a non-plist editor.

    To add insult to injury, I copied the now-corrupt plist to the Mac to try to un-do the damage, but Property List Editor wouldn't even recognize it, proving that I had toasted the plist. So now I have to restore the touch to get my beloved alarms back....

    Unless one of you could spare me your Alarms.plist file? I am hoping that replacing it will do the trick.

    Once I get my alarms working I'm going to start with modifications to try to replicate old Atari games like Pong or Space Invaders... maybe Pac-Man?

    Thanks for any help,
    Brendan
    brendan.porter@gmail.com
     
  2. markymarkdotcom macrumors newbie

    markymarkdotcom

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2007
    #2
    couldnt you just uninstall and reinstall alarms.app?
     
  3. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    #3
    I'm sure he could, but getting a fresh alarms.plist would be faster as he wouldn't have to re-jailbreak, install apps, etc etc. Sorry, don't have a touch, so I can't help out.

    Interested to see what you come up with for the alarms though. It would be pretty clever if someone could figure out how to use the little speaker to do "fun stuff", though. It's obviously not good enough to play music on, etc, but I remember the old pre-soundcard PC days when all most computers had was a little beeper speaker and there were all kinds of cool little apps that would make your computer talk in a creepy robot voice and whatnot.

    If you could get something like that to work, you could do rudimentary text to speech alarms (like have it say the name of the meeting that your are being notified of, etc). It would sound really bad, but would be pretty funny.
     
  4. Brendan.Porter thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Location:
    Between tourists, corn, and windmills.
    #4
    Reinstalling Alarms.app to fix plist

    I don't think there is an actual Alarms application. I believe it is a system service, because it also is not attached to either Clock or Calendar, both of which can use Alarms. I also tried deleting the plist I corrupted in hopes that using it or rebooting the Touch would rebuild it, but it did not. I may just restore the iPod tonight and get to work jailbreaking it again after work.

    I am also going to peruse the filesystem for the clicks the slide to unlock and the keyboard strokes make. Anybody know a good source of low-tech game sounds from the Atari/Arcade generation? May just have to Google it.

    I am planning on dissecting the sounds I find with Garageband. Hopefully I can find a similar millisecond/hertz graph of the audio in there.

    Any help would be awesome.
     
  5. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    #5
    I don't have any specific help for you, but you should check around on some of the MAME and other old system emulator developers board. One of them might have a good idea. I'm only posting because I wanted to let you know that I look forward to seeing what you come up with! :)
     
  6. Brendan.Porter thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Location:
    Between tourists, corn, and windmills.
    #7
    already restored

    I decided to bite the bullet and restore the iPod. Now I am on Christmas vacation so any progress will take place when I get home on the 27th. Thanks for the interest!
     
  7. Brendan.Porter thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Location:
    Between tourists, corn, and windmills.
    #8
    Update - Confirmed

    Alright, I have returned from Christmas vacation.

    I have played around with the Alarms.plist file and I can officially confirm that adjusting the numbers in the hz fields will alter the noises produced by the iPod. I changed the entire sequence of tones for Alarm 1 (Time Passing, by the way) to a steady 300 hz in Property List Editor working directly off of the plist file on the iPod (using AFP over the network, make sure you set the auto-lock time to 'never' or bad things could happen) then saving the changes directly to the plist on the iPod.

    I got a steady ... brrrrrrrrr sound after selecting the "Time Passing" sound in Clock>Timer.

    So now I am moving on to try to replicate real sounds. I do not know the acoustic limits of the tiny speaker, so I'm staying very conservative with the frequency spread.

    I'm currently using Wikipedia's piano entry for the chord>hz relationships in hopes of stumbling across something cool. Anyone know a better way? I haven't found sheet music with all notes broken down into hertz... wonder why? :)

    I'll keep ya'll informed. I plan to tinker with this much more tomorrow.
     

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