Ultimate Extras sound schemes: a comparison

Windows Vista Ultimate Extras Sound SchemesNot anyone can say they received some Ultimate Extras for a birthday present. Yesterday of course was my birthday and the day a new wave of extras was released, included is the third pack of DreamScenes as well as two new Windows sound schemes.

You probably all know where I stand on the Ultimate Extras program as a whole, if you don’t, basically I think it’s a great idea off the rails. Having said that I think it’s pretty unique and frankly quite cool. Maybe not “I forgive you for Ultimate Extras” cool, but certainly something worth some value. Of course I’m talking about the two new sound schemes called “Glass” and “Pearl”.

I composed this short comparison between the new sound schemes and the original. Note this is only a fraction of all the sounds which replace not all but most of the existing Windows sounds.

[flv:ultimatesounds.flv 500 313]

As you probably noticed these sounds are significantly different to the default and are actually very viable alternatives. There’s actually a pretty interesting and thorough story about the sounds on the UltimatePC.com website.

Some people have called this a 30-second fad and I agree up to an extent only because the first thing you do is go through the list of sounds and play each one, but after using them for a day the feeling is similar to when you first installed the Royale theme for Windows XP. It’s different at first, then it becomes a part of your experience you forget just how much better it is until you switch back to the original. If you’re wondering, I’m currently sticking with “Glass”.

If you have Ultimate Extras, go get it and try it on. If you don’t, wait patiently, I mean it’s just a bunch of WAV files. *wink*

Not too long ago they’ve also mentioned new Windows Movie Maker and DVD Maker effects and templates as extras which I assume will be next. After that, all bets are off.

32 insightful thoughts

  1. These sounds aren’t bad. Funny thing is Vista complains about Explorer taking too long to shut down because of the LONG shutdown sounds.

    Oh and happy double decade birthday. :)

  2. Happy birthday and thanks for this nice comparison! I’m also using the “Glass” scheme now.

    BTW I think the UE team (if there is one) should rethink which people are using Vista Ultimate. Aren’t these the enthusiasts and power users? Well, I think so and they are not the typical customers who use Windows Movie Maker and DVD Maker templates and effects. Microsoft should release such templates to all Vista users and give us some more special extras like some MS Research previews or at least an invitation to Live Mesh :P

  3. they’re a nice change if only because we’ve gotten too accustomed to the defaults.

    i would however really love those Movie/DVD Maker templates and effects. those would help remove the sting of spending the $200 on Ultimate (yes, i buy OEM and $200 could have gone to buying a 120GB hdd for my Zune instead).

  4. Happy birthday. :) And it’s always nice to see things coming out of that team. I’m still hoping for that GroupPhoto thingy, maybe as a Windows Live Photo Gallery add-in or something. Some more PowerToys-esque stuff would be nice. Wallpaper Changer and what not (though I don’t see why Wallpaper Changer isn’t built-in standard.) Maybe some nice gadgets.

    Here’s my issue: anything that would make a great Ultimate Extra would be even better if it were available for everybody. DreamScenes, for instance, should absolutely come standard in Windows 7. But I still love the concept of Ultimate Extras. Sort of like paying for a Plus! pack in advance.

    Speaking of which, how about bringing back some of the old Plus pack stuff? And screensavers are always nice. I miss that maze one from Windows 95 (or whatever); how about a nice shiny new version of that? :)

  5. Happy 20th B-day Long! I’m also using “Glass”..

    Just goto the schemes folder C:\Windows\Media\Schemes\ and get the wavs from there to put on your premium pc..

  6. I was able to extract them from the video…lol. I spent quite some time yesterday cutting them into appropriate lengths and saving them right, thanks to Movie Maker. I personally prefer Glass…love the shutdown.

  7. On my birthday all Microsoft did was announce that they were interested in Yahoo!…

    In a somewhat related bit, I got to this site from a video of sounds comparisions you did from before… thats how I found your weblog.

  8. @Albert: The quality is really really crap in the video these audio clips are only a few in the whole set of them. You’re better off getting the originals.

  9. @Long: When you don’t have Ultimate, you don’t really notice the few kbits/sec’s of difference. But yeah, you’re right about not having the complete sound scheme…ah. ;(

  10. Video isn’t loading for me ;(
    But I do agree with you on the Royal comparison .. Glass is my favorite now too..

  11. OMG Long, Happy Birthday.

    You share the same birthday with my little brother, one of my close friends, and my dead uncle.

    Happy Birthday!

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