In Daryl's article this month, he laments over the fact that his email now arrives...silently. No more does he get the joy of hearing You've got new mail! from the CompuServe lady.
I'm no CompuServe Lady, but as I read his article, I realized I could have a little fun with Daryl, while still providing some of you with information you might want.
Granted, if you are using a web based email client, then you won't have the ability to use Outlook's rules to create your own CompuServe Lady. But if you do use Outlook to download your email and you'd like to have some type of vocal announcement to let you know when mail arrives...or better, to tell you when mail arrives from someone special...this article will show you how to accomplish that.
Recording Your Announcement
First, you'll need a microphone connected to your computer. If you have one, you're set. If you don't, you're outta luck unless you plan to go purchase one. Your sound card, which will be located at the back of your desktop computer or along one of the sides of your laptop computer, has two jacks (holes). One for putting sound into your computer with a microphone, one for sending sound out of your computer with headphones.
Note! If you have any problems getting your microphone to work, go into your Control Panel and check the equipment from within the Sound/Audio icon and you should probably also check the setting under the Speech icon. Although it should be as easy as plugging it in.
Microsoft Windows comes with a little Sound Recorder device that creates WAV files...low grade sound files. To access your sound recorder, click Start > Accessories > Entertainment > Sound Recording.
The little recording device will display.
When you're ready to record, just click the red Record button and gab away. After you click the record button, the Stop button will become enabled (square button). Click the Stop button when you've finished recording. Then click the Play button (right triangle/arrow -> button) to hear if you did a good job.
If you want to try again, don't bother saving that recording. Just click File > New and start over.
When you've created a recording you're satisfied with, click File > Save As and save it to some location where you can find it again. I have a folder called Sounds where I stuff all the fun sounds I've collected.
Adding Sound to Outlook
Outlook used to allow you to choose the sound you wanted to use when mail was announced, but that feature is no longer there in 2003. Actually, you can still choose the option to play a sound, but that's just a little ding that plays by default. The Outlook Option to choose your sound file isn't there anymore. (I'm almost sure it was there years ago??? But maybe I'm thinking of Windows Events???)
Anyway, you can add sound to mail arrival by creating a Rule.
If you've never created rules in Outlook, you might want to check out this article for complete instructions: Creating Outlook Rules.
To create your sound rule, within Outlook, click Tools > Rules and Alerts. When the dialog box appears, click New. You'll have the option of starting with a predesigned rule or a blank one. I, personally, always start with a blank one. But there is one already setup for playing a sound when mail arrives from a specific person or group. So you can start with that if it fits your needs.
If you want to start with the predesigned one, click that one from the list, as shown below.
In the lower window, click on the people or distribution list. That will open your contact list. Choose the person or distribution group you want to use with this rule. Then click the blue, underlined item for a sound, that appears just under the previous link you clicked to set the person's email into the rule. Go find your sound file and click to select it.
For example, if I were to create a rule that would play an Ahhhh sound whenever I got email from Greg, my rule would look like this:
However, what if you don't want it for just one specific person, but want to have a specific sound play whenever you get any mail, or what if you have additional criteria to set? That's why I generally start with a Blank rule, as that gives you more flexibility to do what you need.
To go that route, start a new rule and choose the blank rule to start. Then move through the wizard panels and make the choices you need. First select the option for when new mail arrives. Click Next and continue through each setting. Choose the conditions, such as sent only to me, or whatever choices you want.
Choose to play a sound. Then, in the lower window, you'll see the hyperlink to set the file to the sound command. Click it.
Then go navigate through your computer to find the file you recorded or maybe to find one you had on your computer or one you've saved off the web.
The rule, as you can see below, says that when mail arrives, if it was sent only to me, it should play a sound file called DarylMail.wav.
Give the rule a descriptive name so you can easily recognize it should you want to delete it later. It's easy to accumulate a lot of rules, so good names will help you remember what they are without having to go in and check what conditions were applied to each.
That's it. Now if this was Daryl setting up his Outlook email...whenever a piece of mail arrived for him, he would hear me sounding like Mom saying "Daryl, honey, there's a letter waiting for you."
HA...here's the sound file for you Daryl: Daryl Mail. I'm not the CompuServe Lady, but I hope this helps you get that warm and fuzzy feeling back!<hee, hee>
And if any of you would like a New Mail recording but don't have a mic, here's a quickie for you. New Mail
As I said, I've collected a lot of fun sounds over the years. So here are a few others you can swipe from me, if interested. You can just click the links to hear them. or right click and choose Save Target to save the WAV file to your hard drive for your own use.