If you’re a big user of Apple’s iCal, you’ve probably enjoyed the updates brought to the application in Leopard. A fresh new interface, new group scheduling tools and an updated sidebar. One of the most used features of iCal is alarms, essentially to keep up with events. Although you can easily add a new alarm to each new event, you’d think that changing the default alarm sound would also be straightforward. Yet Apple haven’t made it that easy. You’ll need to make sure you have Apple’s Xcode Developer Tools installed, so you can use Property List Editor. Close iCal, go to Library>Preferences and open com.apple.iCal.plist. macosxhints.com explain what to do next in Property List Editor:
Click the arrow next to Root and select the Root entry. Click the New Child button in the toolbar. In the entry that was just created, enter the Item as Default alarm sound, leave Class set to String, and then type the name of the sound file you’d like to use in the Value field. Save preferences file and relaunch iCal.
Test out your new default iCal alarm sound by creating a new event. The tip also does well to point out that sounds must be in AIFF format and that the name of the sound file must be entered without the extension. Don’t just limit yourself to the library of sounds provided by Apple though. If you save your own sounds in the corresponding Sounds file in your Mac, you’ll be able to use these too as alarms in iCal.