After migrating to a new user profile (easiest way to make a clean start and work out what I actually need on my desktop), I remembered one of my pet annoyances: MSN Messenger (and/or Windows Messenger) sounds like an ice cream van when it's installed. Contacts happily bling online, messages make optimistic bleeps for attention, and alerts are announced with as much fanfare as a visiting head of state.
I'm an easily excitable person. All these emotionally weighted blings, bloops and bops fail to contribute to a calm working environment. They demand attention. They make me want to stop whatever I'm doing, imbuing me with an inescapable urge to gaze at (or sometimes mousefondle) my contact list - that, or throw a chair through the nearest window, depending on the caffeine situation. It pressures me.
So, early on my new-user-profile checklist is now the “fix the cute Messenger sounds” step. To assist with this step, I dumped out the settings from my registry for my current Messenger sound scheme, which uses the standard Windows XP sound set to create a more manageable, clinical set of sounds. For example: Windows XP Menu Command.wav is an emotionless subtle click, which I use as the new message notification. Windows XP Balloon is a robust - but cool - pop that announces a new contact's presence. All nice and commitment free.
You're welcome to grab them with the usual if-they-wipe-your-hard-drive-you-agree-not-to-sue-me caveats:
The Zip file contains two REG files, one for MSN Messenger, one for Windows Messenger, just double-click whichever one, click OK and you're done. You're welcome to right-click->Edit the files to see exactly what they do first, which is always good practice with .REG files.
Both adjust current settings for the current user - saving your existing sound scheme in Control Panel -> Sounds before applying these is recommended (though probably unnecessary). Update(2): Seems MSN Messenger gets annoyed if the sounds are changed without the labels being changed as well. This set Really Should Stick this time. Apologies for any inconvenience.
4 April 2005 - my host suffered a disk problem, and corrupted the zip file (and other bits and pieces on this site). Should be back to normal in a few days.