Sep 28, 2010, 12:27:09 PM9/28/10
I know this subject has come up before but I don't think I ever saw or
came up with solution. Sometimes people want to silence just the
Gmail notifications, but keep the Messaging app notifications audible,
or vice-versa, or some other combination with other apps, or just
change the ringtone used by a specific app under certain conditions.
The solution is to create a named ringtone for each app and then
change it as needed using Tasker's Copy File action. Let's say you
want to be able to alter or silence your Gmail notifications at night,
but leave my Messaging notifications audible.
If you don't already have a folder for custom notifications on your SD
card, create one. The folder should be named "notifications" or
"media/notifications" (I've seen both, and both work, but for the rest
of this I'll refer to "notifications"). You can do this from your
computer with your device connected to it, and the SD card mounted, or
you can use your favorite Android file manager. If you're reading
this, clearly your favorite file manager is File Magic.
Now you'll need to locate and copy your current Gmail notification
sound to your notifications folder. If you were already using a
custom sound, the file is already there, but we still need to copy it
to another name (follow along for a minute). If you were using a
built-in sound, you can find it in the /system/media/audio/
notifications folder (you may need to change your file managers
settings to be able to navigate beyond the SD card). Copy the
original sound to GmailNotify.ogg in the custom "notifications" folder
(the file extension may vary - keep it the same as your original
Now, open the Gmail app and tap Menu > More > Settings > Select
ringtone, and choose GmailNotify.
So far we haven't changed a thing about what sound will play when you
receive a Gmail - all we've done lay the ground work so Tasker can do
Now, when you want to change the ringtone used by Gmail, just use the
following Tasker action:
Copy File [From: <path>/<newfile>] [To: <Notifications/
You may notice that Tasker only allows you to select a folder for the
To field, but it you type out the name as shown, Tasker will overwrite
the existing file when the task executes.
Keep in mind that this is not a setting, and won't be restored by
Tasker. So if you want the ringtone to change back, you'll have to
take care of that in an Exit Task, or some other task.
I have tried this, and it works on my Droid. All the files I used it
with were .ogg files. I expect it will also work with .mp3 files, but
I've observed that the name that appears in the ringtone selection
list in Android is not the name of the mp3 file, it is the title in
the ID3 tag in the mp3 file, so this may cause some confusion for you
If you want to use this with built-in sounds you have two options:
1. Copy the built-in sounds to the custom "notifications" folder,
where you can easily select them when adding your Copy File action in
Tasker. The down side here is that any sounds you copy will appear
twice in the ringtone selection list in Android. In Android 2.2,
custom ringtones are listed after all the built-in ones, so you'll
know what you're selecting, but is earlier versions they were
interspersed in the list, making it difficult to know if you were
selecting a built-in sound or a custom sound.
2. You can copy the built-in sound files as needed from their
original location using Taskers Copy File action, but you won't be
able to select the files using the long-press option - you'll have to
type out the entire path and filename. To copy the built-in sounds
use the path "../../system/media/audio/notifications/" and add the
name of the sound file (including extension). Since all the built-in
notification sounds are .ogg files, the names of the files should
match what you see in the ringtone selection list in Android, but if
you're having trouble, use your file manager to navigate over there
and see what the file names are.
Notably absent here is a "silent" ringtone. Hopefully someone has a
link they can post for one.
After typing and retyping this, having come up with (what I thought
were) better ways of explaining/doing things, I'm sure I missed
something. If I did, let me know and I'll try to fill in the blanks.