Custom ringtones in OS X Messages

Discussion in 'OS X Yosemite (10.10)' started by swood09, Aug 2, 2014.

  1. swood09 macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2014
    I believe that Yosemite is the first version to use "ringtones" when receiving messages. I am able to select from all of the built in tones, but I'd like to match what my iPhone uses, but its a custom sound. I've already poked around in the package contents to see if I could find a folder of sounds, but to no avail. Any thoughts?
  2. ccmath macrumors newbie


    Sep 1, 2010
    HD ▸ System ▸ Library ▸ PrivateFrameworks ▸ ToneLibrary.framework ▸ Versions ▸ A ▸ Resources ▸ AlertTones ▸ Modern
  3. swood09 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2014
    Thanks. I renamed the file extension of the tone I want to use, and dropped it into that folder. Nothing happened.

    Then, I started poking around, and I found the ToneKit.framework resources. There are a few plist files that reference files in the ToneLibrary. Is it as simple as adding my file to the plist as a new string?

    Or am I way over my head as a non-developer? When I worked for Apple, I always told customers not to **** with Terminal or any of their system files, and here I am trying to do the opposite...
  4. kappaknight macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2009
    Why not submit it as a bug / feature request so that they can add it to the final build? I'm sure a lot of people out there would like the text tones on their Mac to match their phone's custom tones.
  5. ccmath macrumors newbie


    Sep 1, 2010
    You may have to convert your sound file to a .caf rather than just change the extension.
  6. Dj64Mk7 macrumors 65816

    Sep 15, 2013
    On a similar topic, how would I find the ringtones from I'm talking about the ones like "Opening" and "Marimba" for instance...

    EDIT: I found the "TKRingtones.plist" file (list all available ringtones), but still no actual sound files.
  7. ccmath macrumors newbie


    Sep 1, 2010
    I use Spotlight, including System Files in my search.
  8. Dj64Mk7, Aug 8, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2014

    Dj64Mk7 macrumors 65816

    Sep 15, 2013
    How do you include system files in a Spotlight search?

    EDIT: Apple has a Knowledge Base article on the very subject. I actually did the exact steps prior to finding that, but didn't think system files would be a search criteria.

    EDIT 2: Of course, they would be in the exact same "Resources" folder as the AlertTones.
  9. petehepple macrumors newbie

    Sep 20, 2012
    Just wanted to let you know I found a way to set custom alert tones in Messages.

    1. Convert your sound file to .caf format -

    2. Go to System > Library > PrivateFrameworks >Tonelibrary.framework > Versions > A > Resources > AlertTones > Modern

    3. Pick an existing tone that you'll never use (I went for Synth) and rename it slightly (I went with sms_alert_synth_bak.caf)

    4. Move your newly created .caf file to this folder and rename it to the original name of the file in step 3 (in my case, sms_alert_synth.caf)

    5. Open Messages, go to Preferences > Message received sound and select the name of the alert tone you've replaced (Synth for me). You should hear your custom tone playing.

    Thanks to ccmath for pointing me in the right direction!
  10. adm58 macrumors regular

    Aug 20, 2007
    What's frustrating is that the sound I want to use is right there in the bundle: /Contents/Resources/Invitation.aiff
  11. sweetestbaboon macrumors member


    Dec 6, 2011
    Thanks so much- still works in El Capitan & very helpful.
    Enjoy the day!
  12. sdjensen macrumors newbie

    Oct 12, 2011
    I am trying to follow this guide, but the library seems to be locked? I can't rename the files or add another file to the library?

    Any suggestions?

    Edit: I am on OS X 10.11.4 (El Capitan)
  13. C-La macrumors newbie

    Feb 22, 2017
    --- Post Merged, Mar 5, 2017 ---
  14. ignatius345, Aug 20, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2018

    ignatius345 macrumors 68000

    Aug 20, 2015
    I found the workaround for this. It's a bit more work in that you have to disable System Integrity Protection while booted into Recovery Mode.

    The one thing that's easier is that tones are in standard .m4r format -- and I believe you can just change the extension of an .m4a to .m4r and it will work (been doing on that on my iPhone for a long time and it's been fine).

    Just did this under High Sierra and can confirm it works. Remains to be seen whether or not the next OS update will revert my sound back to the stock one...

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