Do you use AIM? I do, but one huge problem I’ve found with AIM is the way it handles its notification sounds – there’s no easy way to simply mute just the AIM sounds. As far as I can tell, your options are to mute all system sounds (so you’ll miss the “new mail” and other legitimate system sounds) or you can go to Control Panel > Sounds and remove the WAV associated with each AIM event; this will cause the PC speaker to beep, which makes this option useless.

A couple of years ago, I was watching a movie on my PC and for some reason the movie’s sound level was really low. Naturally, I turned up the sound on Windows Media Player and my PC speakers… so when my missus logged on to AIM and sent me a message THE AIM SOUND WAS THIS LOUD! It shattered the windows in my room, set off car alarms for blocks, made my ears bleed, etc., etc. So this is why I created SilentAIM – a tiny little “program” that instantly mutes the AIM sounds on your PC. It requires no executable file or Registry jiggery-pokery – in fact, all SilentAIM does is unpack some “blank” WAV files (with the extension .SIL) to your AIM\Sounds directory, along with a batch file that swaps the extensions of your existing WAV files and the silent WAVs when you click on the SilentAIM desktop icon! The AIM sounds can be “muted” or “un-muted” at any time while using AIM; your SilentAIM settings will remain in effect until you change them back. (You might need to reinstall SilentAIM after upgrading AIM itself though).

REQUIREMENTS: AIM 5.x or earlier. This software has not been tested with any version of AIM 6.x. SilentAIM uses CMD files instead of BAT files, so it only works on Windows NT, Windows 2000 and Windows XP. Because most of the functionality that SilentAIM requires is built-in to Windows, no particular Service Pack is needed, although AIM might have specific requirements above those of SilentAIM.

NOTE: After installing SilentAIM, you will see a command-prompt window pop-up for a brief second every time you click on the “SilentAIM” icon. This is completely normal. If you would like to stop this window from appearing on your screen, right-click on the SilentAIM desktop shortcut and select “Properties”. On the “Shortcut” tab, select “Run: Minimized” and SilentAIM will stop appearing on your screen when it runs.

NOTE: As mentioned, SilentAIM simply unpacks a bunch of blank WAV files with the .SIL extension to your AIM\Sounds directory. When you click on the SilentAIM desktop icon, you are running a batch file that renames your existing WAV files to TMP, renames the SIL files to WAV and renames the TMP files back to SIL. If you use SilentAIM as instructed, you should have no problems; however, if you tinker with the files in your AIM\Sounds directory, it’s not impossible to screw up and overwrite your original AIM sounds. To fix this, download the original AIM WAVs here (143Kb, zipped).

UPDATE! I am happy to announce the release of SilentAIM 2.0. This version is functionally the same as 1.0, but the installer can now auto-detect between upgrade installations (%PROGRAM FILES%\AIM95) and new installations (%PROGRAM FILES%\AIM). As long as your AIM installation is in one of those two locations, you’re aces. If you have AIM installed in some other location, you can install SilentAIM manually by extracting the files from the setup file and copying all of the SIL files and the AIM_SILENT.CMD file to your AIM\SOUNDS directory, then dragging a shortcut to the batch file to your desktop (or Start Menu or QuickLaunch toolbar). (Note: manual extraction requires WinRAR or equivalent).

Click here to download’s exclusive SilentAIM 2.0!
(76.6kb, less than 1 minute on a 56k modem,
released 08/15/2005)

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