Open Bug 185905 Opened 17 years ago Updated 4 years ago

Need better sound for typeaheadfind


(Toolkit :: Find Toolbar, defect, P4)

Windows 2000





(Reporter: aaronlev, Unassigned)



(Keywords: helpwanted)


(11 files)

The file notfound.wav which is currently used for the typeaheadfind sound, when
the user types something which isn't found, is terrible. I've heard that it
sounds like a bodily function. It also has static sounds when played on a mac.

We need a better sound.

This seems like a great thing for an outside volunteer to contribute.
*** Bug 185907 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
this might be a silly thing to ask, but why follow what mail notification does
and use the system beep by default? (perhaps provide options to change it, if it
doesn't clutter whatever ui we end up designing.)

on mac, the user can configure the system beep from a variety of choices. is
this also possible on win32, or even linux? if yes --esp for win32-- then i
would prefer to use the system beep. if the user doesn't like the system beep,
then s/he could change it via the appropriate OS control panel (where applicable).
Sarah, I thought about that, but I want this to work well out of the box.
Attached audio (2 of 3) bzz-tock
Here are three possibilities; take your pick.
sairuh: On Mac OS 8.1 (yes, it's been a long time since I last used a Mac),
the user can configure one system alert sound in the systemwide Sound
control panel.  Is this still true in Mac OS X?

On Windows and Linux, the desktop environment typically presents a "Sounds"
control panel to choose different alert sounds for different notification
events described in the system's configuration files.  However, the user
may not be running with a well-known desktop environment (i.e. not gnome,
gnustep, or kde), so we may have to fall back to our own sound on Linux.

Also remember that the user may be hard of hearing or have turned the
speakers' volume down.  For accessibility's sake, please provide a
visible preference to allow for using a flash instead of a sound.
> Is this still true in Mac OS X?

yep, via the Sound system preference.

having a screenflash would be good. on mac (current and old OS's), you can
enable this via the Universal Access sys pref (Hearing panel). however, wrt to
typeahead find, i don't know if it could be implemented across platforms (as an
additional option). again, maybe win32 and linux OS's provide a screenflash
option to the system beep; not sure.

also, the statusbar will display descriptive text for TAF feedback.
OK, so the Mac OS X "Sound" control panel still lets the user choose a sound
to be played for SysBeep().  But does it let the user choose different sounds
for different events, such as "ding" for default beep (on Windows, mainly
clicking outside of a modal dialog or alert), "chord" for the appearance of an
alert box, "you've got mail" for new mail, "door open" for buddy log on, etc?

Windows 2000 has an option for system-wide flash on notification
(Control Panel > Accessibility Options); it can flash the titlebar, the
toolbar, or the whole screen whenever a program plays a notification sound.
My two cents: many OS's handle accessiblity through the system sounds panel,
such as the Win2K "flash" feature mentioned above.  To go out of your way to
create a sound, and then to build accessibility features on top of that seems
like it hurts production more than helps it.  The Moz community (at least a few
of them) would seem to agree--let the OS handle the beep:
For the Type Ahead find...
Attached audio Subtle bass
Attached audio a cute little di-dong!
a cute little di-dong. goes down in scale to show "ending". If the file is too
big i might be able to trim it some more. i encoded it at 22hz, 16bit.
(in case the attachment doesnt work.. it's also here: )
Attachment #109831 - Attachment description: wav file for notfound.wav replacement → a cute little di-dong!
Here is my suggestion for the type ahead find sound.

16 bit sample
16 KHz sampling rate

I made this in noteworthy composer, processed it a bit in Audacity and Nero
Wave Editor.  It is a sort of a click with an african drum and a xylophone
mixed in.  A few subtle grace notes give it a bit of a kick.  Happy listening
Attached audio electric guitar sound
IMO, Moz should sound like more rock.
Component: Keyboard: Navigation → Keyboard: Find as you Type
side note: i've filed bug 193923 to just use the win32 system beep. ("simple is
Blocks: 241342
I do not know which bug implemented but current Moziila(at least 1.7 RC1) has
ability to cutomize typeaheadfind sound.

(1) user_pref("accessibility.typeaheadfind.soundURL", "");
    Typeaheadfind sound is disabled. 
(2) user_pref("accessibility.typeaheadfind.soundURL", "beep");
    System sound for "Beep" is used.
(3) user_pref("accessibility.typeaheadfind.soundURL", "default");
    "chrome://global/content/notfound.wav" is used.
(4) user_pref("accessibility.typeaheadfind.soundURL",
    "file://d|/my-lib/my-sound.wav" (D:\my-lib\my-sound.wav) is used.

See next sources for detail.
Attached audio Resampling of the bass
596 bytes as opposed to the current notfound.wav which is over 1K

This will decrease the browser download size (not significantly).

Aaron: Do you have the ability to check this in, or does it need to be given to
someone to superreview?

The file's location is extensions/typeaheadfind/resources/content/notfound.wav
Check with Blake Ross -- he's in charge of FastFind on Firefox, which is where
this will matter most. If they take the new .wav file I don't see a problem with
using it on the classic seamonkey suite as well. However, I want the Firefox
guys to deal with it since it's more of a theming/feel issue and they're the
ones have have the nice vision there.

(In reply to comment #20)
> Created an attachment (id=166940)
> Resampling of the bass
> 596 bytes as opposed to the current notfound.wav which is over 1K
> 11025HZ
> This will decrease the browser download size (not significantly).
> Aaron: Do you have the ability to check this in, or does it need to be given to
> someone to superreview?
> The file's location is extensions/typeaheadfind/resources/content/notfound.wav
Assignee: aaronleventhal → firefox
Component: Keyboard: Find as you Type → Find Toolbar / FastFind
Product: Core → Firefox
QA Contact: bugzilla
I talked to Asa about this and he thinks the proposed sound is a bit too
electronic. He's got an ear for this sort of thing, so I'm going to trust his

He actually thinks we should probably just go with the system beep as Sarah
suggested, though I'm less convinced that that won't be annoying.

In any case, the current sound isn't that bad...
Target Milestone: --- → Future
*** Bug 285266 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
If we do use a system sound on windows you should use "Critical Stop"

We should also consider using "Start Navigation" for when a you click on a link
and "Blocked Pop-up Window" for guess when (only there in XPsp2).
IMO Firefox sounds should default to the ones defined in the system's settings
(Windows, MacOS, etc) but should be themeable as well. If you can change colors
and shapes, why not sounds?
*** Bug 304658 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
See also bug 315354, "Audible find phrase not found beep can not be disabled, not tied to windows audio scheme".
*** Bug 315354 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
In my opinion, none of the sounds supplied here are suitable for a find ahead warning.  Have you tried testing them in real usage?  The problem is that you will normally go several characters into an incorrect word before you react to the stop, causing the sound to be triggered many times in quick succession.  The submitted sounds are all too long (will interrupt themselves and maybe create clicking) and/or too loud and intrusive.

The ideal sound would be something very short and fairly quiet/gentle.  People don't need to be startled out of their seats when they type a 'wrong' character!

That said, my favoured solution is one suggested at by astrosmash:
> I've always preferred the way Borland C++ Builder/Delphi/Kylix 
> does incremental searching, because it simply ignores unfound 
> characters -- I can mash out "mozoibllla", and it will match 
> "mozilla" (unless it finds another word that starts with "mozoib").
> I find that really useful, siince I'm kind of a slloppy ttyperist.
> Mozilla, MSVC, and XEmacs would beep, stop at "mozo", and force 
> the user to hit backspace one or more times before allowing the 
> search to continue - not very ideal.

This solution removes the need for a sound altogether. If this method is used, the ignored characters should not be removed from the string, but they will need to be coloured differently (e.g. greyed out) to show that they were not included in the search.  

The second best alternative (imho) is to use one of the OS-defined sounds.  

If neither of these happen and Mozilla continues using it's own sound for this, it should still add itself to the Sounds Control Panel in Windows.  There is nothing more annoying than a program adding a sound, and then having to wade through various option menus (or about:config!!) to figure out how to turn it off, when the OS provides a standard mechanism for doing this. For details, see
QA Contact: fast.find
High priority.
Windows XP.
This highly annoying sound is STILL there... It's amazing that a horrible bug like this can be left untouched for FOUR YEARS (2002-12-17). It MUST be given much higher, or by now, extreme priority.

That BRRRUURRRRPPP sound at max volume is so extremely annoying that it makes it totally impossible to search webpages with firefox. Either copy/paste all text into notepad and search there, or use IE instead. Firefox jast CAN'T be used because of that sound. It cripples firefox so totally.

It MUST be possible to switch this sound OFF, permanently and forever. How hard can it be? Just remove the sound function and this bug is solved. There shouldn't be any sound at all, just total and complete silence. Why not instead flash the search-box color 1-2 times or something like that and (at most) display a discrete "not found" label next to it. No sounds!
At least Firefox 2.0 RC series on Windows uses the system "ding" sound.
Assignee: bross2 → nobody
Product: Firefox → Toolkit
Priority: -- → P4
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