SoundManager is a free software allowing to easily create and share Windows sound schemes. All Windows versions from Windows XP SP3 to Windows 10 are supported. Requires .NET 4.0 or greater.
- Download: Have a look at the releases section to get a build.
- Sound schemes: Check out the sound schemes repository :)
The main UI allows managing the current sound scheme, as well as defining metadata:
Main features are the following:
- Load and test sound files for each event
- Define metadata such as thumbnail, author, description
- Export and import sound schemes using archive files
- Import sound schemes created with the Sound applet
- Auto-convert sounds to WAV format (Windows 7+)
- Patch Windows Vista/7 startup sound (Admin required)
- Play startup/shutdown sounds on Windows 8 and 10
See User Manual for more details on how to use the program.
How it works
SoundManager sound scheme
SoundManager integrates into the system using the built-in sound scheme feature in Registry:
SoundManager scheme is automatically created on first launch, pointing to:
Sound files such as
Shutdown.wav and so on are placed here. Since they are automatically played by the system, the SoundManager app is not required to run once the sound scheme has been set, except if you want to restore the startup/shutdown sounds on Windows 8+ (see below).
SoundManager handles registry differences between Windows versions, such as the balloon sound which does not play by default on Windows 7/8, and changes again on Windows 10.
Sound archive files are simply Zip files having the
.ths file extension:
SoundScheme.ths |- Scheme.ini |- Scheme.png |- Startup.wav |- Shutdown.wav \- <OtherSounds>.wav
SoundManager can associate itself with this file type to conveniently load sound schemes, and you can manually edit them using any file archive utility such as 7-Zip or by renaming them to
.zip while displaying file extensions, then using the built-in Windows utility.
Windows Vista/7 startup sound
On Windows Vista and Windows 7, the startup sound is no longer customizable by the user, the corresponding WAV file being embedded in
C:\Windows\System32\imageres.dll for performance reasons.
SoundManager can optionally patch imageres.dll to update the startup sound:
- Ownership of
imageres.dllis transferred from
- If not already done,
imageres.dllis backed up to
imageres.dllis moved to
imageres.dll.oldsince it is in use by the system
imageres.dll.bakis copied to
WAVresourse is updated
This feature requires administrator privileges. If enabled, SoundManager will show an UAC prompt on startup. Due to
imageres.dll files being used by the system, SoundManager might not be able to patch the startup sound more than once between each system reboot.
Windows 8/10 startup and shutdown sounds
On Windows 8, the startup and shutdown sounds where removed for further performance reasons. SoundManager can emulate the playback of these sounds by launching a background process on logon:
- Process spawns an invisible window, mandatory for delaying system shutdown
- Process plays Startup or Logon sound and goes inactive
- On logoff, the process is waken up and sets up a ShutdownBlockReason
- Process determines if the Logoff or Shutdown sound should be played
- Sound is played, then ShutdownBlockReason is removed and the process exits
This is typically how
explorer.exe was handling the thing on Windows 7, with some drawbacks:
- Startup sound is played with a delay because Windows 8/10 delays startup processes
- You'll get yet another process sleeping in background, separate from
As such, this feature can be disabled entierely in the SoundManager settings.
Basically, you can use it or its source for any project, free or commercial, but if you improve it or fix issues, the license requires you to contribute back by submitting a pull request with your improved version of the code. Also, credit must be given to the original project, and license notices may not be removed from the code.