Lightsaber

Lightsaber is a free, open source application for Mac OS X systems that plays “lightsaber” sound effects as you move your mouse. Once Lightsaber is running, you can switch to any other application, and Lightsaber will play the sound effects when you move your mouse.

Note: Lightsaber has been tested on Mac OS X 10.9 (“Mavericks”) and 10.10 (“Yosemite”) systems. (It may also run on OS X 10.7 and 10.8, but I don’t have any computers running those older operating systems, so I can’t verify that at this time.)

Demo

The following short video shows how Lightsaber works. Make sure your volume is on so you can hear it:

Using Lightsaber

After a short initial setup process (described below), using Lightsaber is as easy as it gets. Just (a) start the application, (b) move your mouse, and (c) hear sound effects.

Note: While Lightsaber is packaged as a Mac application, and you can put the app icon in the Mac Dock as usual, the current version of Lightsaber does not have a user interface. That being said, you can quit it in the usual ways, i.e., pressing [Command][Q] when it’s the foreground application, using the menu to quit it, or by right-clicking it in the Mac Dock and selecting “Quit” from there.

Privacy

For Lightsaber to work, it has to listen to “global” mouse movements on your Mac while it runs in the background, In fact, that’s the only way it can work.

Because this is how Lightsaber must work, it’s important to know that these mouse movements are not recorded in any way, and they are not sent across the internet. Lightsaber just gets “mouse motion” events from your Mac, then plays the appropriate sound. (It plays different sounds depending on how fast you move your mouse, or if you hit the edges of your screen.)

Given that information, if you’re at all concerned about how this application works, don’t use it.

Initial Setup

If you want to use Lightsaber, you need to take a few moments to configure your Mac to let it run. I wrote about this configuration process before for my TypewriterFX application, so rather than repeat that all here, I’ll just give you its URL:

Just follow the “Initial Setup” instructions on that page, but replace “TypewriterFX” with “Lightsaber” as you go along.

Source Code

As mentioned, Lightsaber is an open source application. It’s written with Scala and uses Akka actors (well, one actor).

You can find the source code here on Github:

The *.sh scripts in the main project directory in the source will help you compile and bundle the application into a Mac OS X application.

Enjoy!

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