How to use Instant Elevator Music

When you run Instant Elevator Music, it will sit in your system tray (next to the clock). It will play elevator music automatically when you do something that requires you to wait. Or, you can double-click the icon to start playing music.

Frequently Asked Questions

What programs does Instant Elevator Music work with?
Instant Elevator Music works with a surprisingly large number of programs, including:

  • Windows Explorer: while copying/moving/deleting files
  • Internet Explorer (version 8 and lower) and Mozilla Firefox (version 3 and lower): while waiting for downloads to finish. It also works with the DownThemAll! Firefox extension.
  • Adobe Photoshop CS5: while loading
  • Microsoft Office and Visual Studio: while waiting for programs to load
  • Free Download Manager: while waiting for downloads to finish.
  • 7-Zip: while waiting for archives to extract
  • TeraCopy: while waiting for files to copy/move
  • Audacity: while waiting for music files to open/save
  • Eclipse: while waiting for it to load, complete a build or refresh the workspace
  • VMWare: while waiting for a virtual machine to resume
  • Virtual PC: also while waiting for a virtual machine to resume
  • TortoiseSVN: while waiting for a Subversion update/commit/checkout
  • Most installers

In fact, Instant Elevator Music will work with anything that shows a progress bar (that is, a rectangle which shows progress while you wait for things to happen).

How do I stop the music?
You can stop the music by double-clicking the system tray.

I want silence!
Sure, right-click the Instant Elevator Music icon in the system tray, and click Silence. The icon will turn red, and Instant Elevator Music won't play anything automatically. To make it play music again, right-click the icon and click Silence again.

Can I change the music?
Yes you can. Right-click the Instant Elevator Music icon in the system tray, and click Settings. Then click the Music tab and use the Add button to add music to the playlist. Instant Elevator Music supports MP3, Windows Media Audio, Ogg Vorbis, M4A and FLAC music files.

Can I change the volume?
Yes you can. On the Music tab in the Settings window there is a slider for the elevator music volume. If there isn't a volume control in there, update Instant Elevator Music to the latest version.

Can I make it start when Windows starts?
Yes you can, just tick the Run when Windows starts checkbox in the Settings window.

I'm already listening to music in iTunes, Winamp or Foobar2000. Can I stop elevator music from playing while I'm listening to music?
Yes, you can. Just tick the "Don't play elevator music if I'm already listening to music" box on the Music tab in the Settings window. Instant Elevator Music will no longer play while you're listening to music in iTunes, Winamp or Foobar2000.

NOTE: For this to work with Foobar2000, you need to install the foo_winamp_spam component.

What else can Instant Elevator Music do?
Not a whole lot I'm afraid, it pretty much only plays elevator music. However, if you right-click the Instant Elevator Music icon in the system tray and click About, it will tell you how long you've been in the elevator for, so that's kinda cool, right?

What's new in Instant Elevator Music 2?

  • Elevator music playlist - now you can have a set of music files, so you don't get bored of hearing the same song over and over.
  • Ignore list - if a program triggers elevator music when it shouldn't, now you can tell it not to play for that program ever again.
  • Music player muting - now elevator music won't play if you're listening to music in iTunes, Winamp or Foobar2000 (with a plugin).
  • Better file format support - now you can use M4A files (like from iTunes), Windows Media Audio files and FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) files as elevator music.
  • Portable mode - take your elevator music with you! Run Instant Elevator Music from your USB drive.
  • New program support - including Free Download Manager, Microsoft Office 2010 and Photoshop CS5.
  • API - trigger elevator music from your own applications or from the command line. Great for build scripts.

A changelog for Instant Elevator Music is located on the Download page.

How do I update Instant Elevator Music?
From time to time, new versions of Instant Elevator Music will be released, to fix bugs and add features. If you have Check for Updates ticked in the Settings window, a new item called "A new update is available..." will appear in the menu when you right-click the Instant Elevator Music icon in the system tray. Click this to install the new version of Instant Elevator Music. If you don't have updates enabled, you can check for updates manually by clicking the Check for Updates link in the About Instant Elevator Music window.


I don't hear elevator music while I'm waiting for a program!
Unfortunately, Instant Elevator Music doesn't work with every program. However, if you send me an email or a bug report with the name and version of the program you're using, I might be able to make the next version of Instant Elevator Music work with it.

Help! Instant Elevator Music has gone crazy! It's playing music for no reason!
Don't panic! Right-click the Instant Elevator Music icon in the system tray and choose Ignore (application name). Elevator music will not play ever again for this program.

You can manage what programs you have ignored in the Settings window, on the Ignore List tab.

Instant Elevator Music doesn't start up anymore! It just shows "Instant Elevator Music has stopped working".
Oh, something must have screwed up. The first thing to try would be to reset your settings to the defaults by going Start->Run, typing "%userprofile%\Local Settings\Application Data" if you're on Windows 2000/XP, or "%userprofile%\AppData\Local" if you're on Windows Vista/7, and then deleting the Ben_Stone folder. If it still doesn't work, please send me an email.

I can't play Windows Media Audio files.
Please install the latest version of Windows Media Player.

How do I file a bug report?
Right-click the Instant Elevator Music icon in the system tray and click About. Then click the Send bug report link in the bottom-left corner.

I get an error number -1 when I start Instant Elevator Music.
This is fixed in version 1.1, which you can download from here. Or, if Instant Elevator Music does decide to run, you can update by right-clicking the Instant Elevator Music icon in the system tray, clicking About, and the clicking Check for Updates.

Geekier questions

What does Instant Elevator Music require to run?
Instant Elevator Music requires Windows 2000/XP or later to run, and for the Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 to be installed. If you don't have the .NET Framework, it will be downloaded when you install Instant Elevator Music. Personally I've used Instant Elevator Music on Windows XP and Windows 7.

Is Instant Elevator Music portable?
Yes, Instant Elevator Music 2 can be made portable. Just copy all of the files from the Instant Elevator Music folder onto your USB drive, and rename the InstantElevatorMusic.exe file to InstantElevatorMusicPortable.exe.

There are two caveats: first, as mentioned before, you must have Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 installed. Secondly, since file paths are generally different between computers, you may lose some items in your playlist. If you want to keep your music between machines, put your music files in the same folder as Instant Elevator Music.

Is Instant Elevator Music open-source?
Not at this stage. I like open-source software, and I did think about releasing it as open-source, but to do that I would have had to go through and tidy up the code and document everything. The next version might be open-source...

Can I port Instant Elevator Music to the Mac/Linux/iPhone/Android/Amiga/Arduino/etc?
If you want to build your own version for another platform, that's fine. Porting would probably be difficult as it relies heavily on Windows-specific APIs to determine if you're waiting for something. If you do make your own version for another platform, let me know, cause I'd be interested in checking it out.

I've made a program, and I'd like to make it work with Instant Elevator Music...
You're in luck. Instant Elevator Music 2 has an API that lets you trigger elevator music from any other Windows application using named pipes or command-line parameters. The gory details are here.

Other stuff

Where's the music from?
The music included with Instant Elevator Music is Mario's Elevator by Kmax.

I have a suggestion for the next version of Instant Elevator Music...
Please, email me or tweet @instantelevator.

I think this program is awesome. Can I support the development of it?
Absolutely! Just click here to donate to the Instant Elevator Music Future Development Fund. :)

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