Watch the OS X setup movie

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When you first install OS X (10.3 or 10.4 ), you’re greeted with a movie and soundtrack that’s either interesting or annoying, depending on your point of view. If you find the intro movie annoying, read no further; today’s tip won’t interest you in the least. But if you find it interesting, and would like to watch it again, it’s relatively simple to do.

To play the movie back, you need to find two things—the movie itself, and the associated soundtrack. They’re stored separately, as the sound continues to play during initial setup, long after the movie has ended. For both 10.3 and 10.4, the basic process is the same—find and copy the movie and the sound to a local directory, just to make them easier to deal with. What differs between the two systems is the location of the files.

10.4 users

You’ve got things a bit easier than the 10.3 users, as the two files are stored in the same directory. In the Finder, hit Shift-Command-G (or select Go -> Go to Folder), and copy and paste this text into the Go to Folder dialog:


The above may appear to be two lines in your browser, but it’s one long line, and should copy and paste into that dialog box just fine. When you press Return, the specified folder will open. There are lots of folders in that directory, but only two files. Those are the two items you want to grab: is the movie itself, and intro-sound.mp3 is the audio. Just click-and-drag to copy them to a new location such as your Desktop—they’ll copy, not move, as that folder is protected.

For playback instructions, jump ahead in your reading now, skipping over the 10.3 section that follows.

10.3 users

In 10.3, Apple kept the intro movie and its soundtrack in two very different locations. In the Finder, hit Shift-Command-G (or choose Go -> Go to Folder) and copy and paste this text:


When you press Return, you’ll see in the folder that opens. Drag it to your Desktop, then hit Shift-Command-G again. This time, enter this path:


When you press Return, you’ll see a new window with many files in it. Drag intro-sound.aiff to your Desktop.

Playing the movies and sounds

Once you have the movie and sound file, the easiest way to play them both at once is to highlight both of them, and then drag and drop them onto the QuickTime Player icon. (If you double-click the sound files in the Finder, those items will be added to your iTunes library). Once both files are open in QuickTime Player, press the Play button in the sound file’s window, then press the Play button in the movie file’s window. (The sound doesn’t need to be perfectly in sync to get the full effect.)

If you own QuickTime Pro, you could trim down the audio length to match that of the movie, then merge the two together into a new combined movie. And if you’re interested in what you’re listening to, here’s a complete list of setup music, going all the way back to 10.1:

  • 10.1 and 10.2: Sofa Rockers (Richard Dorfmeister Remix) by Sofa Surfers [ iTMS link ]
  • 10.3: Eple by Röyskopp [ iTMS link ]
  • 10.4: Bytecry by Weevil [ iTMS link ]

The iTMS links for each song will take you, obviously, to the associated iTunes Music Store entry—fork over 99 cents, and you can listen to the full versions any time you’d like!

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