Tip: How to change/silence individual app notifications

4114 views
Skip to first unread message

UncleMike

unread,
Sep 28, 2010, 12:27:09 PM9/28/10
to Tasker
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
file).

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
its thing.

Now, when you want to change the ringtone used by Gmail, just use the
following Tasker action:

Copy File [From: <path>/<newfile>] [To: <Notifications/
GmailNotify.ogg]

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
and/or Android.

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.

Matthew

unread,
Sep 28, 2010, 12:36:50 PM9/28/10
to Tasker
Awesome. This is exactly what I have been looking for. I will have to
try this out tonight. THANKS

Pent

unread,
Sep 28, 2010, 12:36:39 PM9/28/10
to Tasker
Great post UM! I remember someone suggested this before. This time I'm
going to
make a page out of it and link from the FAQ if you don't mind ?

Pent

Dave

unread,
Sep 28, 2010, 1:51:58 PM9/28/10
to Tasker
My phone, a MyTouch Slide, came with a Silent.mid

/sdcard/media/audio/ringtones

Clearly things are different on my phone, since all the system tones
are .MP3 files.

But, waitaminute, it is " Silent.mid", with a space at the start. And
nothing seems to play it? I wonder if it is a bogus sound file, and
thus Android "silently crashes", which is something that could be
useful if you want a silent ringtone?

Dave

On Sep 28, 11:27 am, UncleMike <njcable...@gmail.com> wrote:
*snip*

> Notably absent here is a "silent" ringtone.  Hopefully someone has a
> link they can post for one.

*snip*

UncleMike

unread,
Sep 28, 2010, 1:52:03 PM9/28/10
to Tasker
Fine with me.

UncleMike

unread,
Sep 28, 2010, 2:21:28 PM9/28/10
to Tasker
I just took a few minutes to create a Silent.ogg and Silent.mp3 (I
needed access to another computer to do it, and couldn't get there for
my original post). I have no idea what to do with them now, since I
normally just attach small stuff like this to forum posts. If anyone
has a place to host these, let me know and I can email them.

On Sep 28, 1:52 pm, UncleMike <njcable...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Fine with me.

TW

unread,
Sep 28, 2010, 3:16:03 PM9/28/10
to Tasker
great post UncleMike!
this is thinking outside the box :)

this will come in handy for me later, thanks!

short/y

unread,
Sep 28, 2010, 3:51:27 PM9/28/10
to Tasker
.mid is usually a MIDI file.
--
Tony

short/y

unread,
Sep 28, 2010, 3:50:31 PM9/28/10
to Tasker
You could upload them to the Files section: http://groups.google.com/group/tasker/files
--
Tony

UncleMike

unread,
Sep 28, 2010, 7:51:01 PM9/28/10
to Tasker
I didn't know I was allowed to do that, but was also concerned with
cluttering up the place.

Clicking on the file link reveals this notice:

Google Groups will no longer be supporting the Pages and Files
features. Starting November 1, you won't be able to upload new
content, but you will still be able to view and download existing
content.

I suppose this while thing could be turned into a Wiki entry, but that
seems too much like work. I guess I'll take a look at doing that to
see how much effort it really is. I felt the same way about sending
log files at first, and now it's a no-brainer.

short/y

unread,
Sep 29, 2010, 3:53:38 PM9/29/10
to Tasker
Hmmm ... that'll be a problem for a number other groups I'm in. But,
never mind. Maybe a Dropbox account?
--
Ton7y

Pent

unread,
Oct 2, 2010, 9:13:26 AM10/2/10
to Tasker
> Google Groups will no longer be supporting the Pages and Files
> features. Starting November 1, you won't be able to upload new
> content, but you will still be able to view and download existing
> content.

Grarg.

> I suppose this while thing could be turned into a Wiki entry, but that
> seems too much like work.  I guess I'll take a look at doing that to
> see how much effort it really is.  I felt the same way about sending
> log files at first, and now it's a no-brainer.

A wiki entry would be great, you can pretty much just paste the text
in.
I'll link from the FAQ. To attach a file to a page, just click Files
at the bottom.
To link to a file in the page, just do:

[[file silence.ogg | Silent Ringtone]]

If it's any trouble at all, let me know and I'll do it.

Pent

UncleMike

unread,
Oct 2, 2010, 12:53:33 PM10/2/10
to Tasker
I'm sure it's easy. It's just a matter of getting over that hurdle of
doing it for the first time.

Pent

unread,
Oct 2, 2010, 1:42:40 PM10/2/10
to Tasker
> I'm sure it's easy.  It's just a matter of getting over that hurdle of
> doing it for the first time.

Doing new stuff takes more energy as you get older, I've sure noticed
that.

Pent

Andy

unread,
Oct 3, 2010, 8:15:09 AM10/3/10
to Tasker
Actually, you can also use an app that I created called Ringleader Pro
to manage application ringtones. Basically, you just define profiles
in Ringleader Pro for all of your applications and ringtones (each
profile can have different ringtones assigned to your apps as well as
volume / vibration presets). I have also developed a Tasker plug-in
which will allow you to automate the ringtone profile switching using
Tasker.

-Andy
Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages