I’ve tried out at least a dozen different “Alarm Clock” programs for OS X. I finally found the perfect one in a program aptly titled Alarm Clock. This brief tutorial will guide you through setting up and using Alarm Clock.

To get started, head over to the Alarm Clock page, and download it. Once the download has completed, open the .dmg file and drag Alarm Clock to your Applications folder.

Navigate to your Applications folder and launch Alarm Clock. You’ll be prompted with a ‘welcome’ message. Click OK.

Now there will be an Alarm Clock icon in your menu bar.

Before you jump in and start setting alarms, take a look at and configure the settings. To do this, click on the Alarm Clock icon in your menu bar, and select Preferences… from the drop-down list.

From the General tab you can set the Alarm volume, the Snooze duration and the Kill alarm after time. You can also opt to have the menu bar icon colors enabled, which means the icon will be in color when there’s an alarm, timer or countdown active. One neat feature is that even if you set the system volume to zero via the OS X system preferences, the Alarm Clock will still play your alarm at the volume you specify on this (the General) tab.

The Easy Wake tab allows you to set – you guessed it – the Easy Wake preferences. Easy Wake is a feature that starts your alarm at a lower volume, and then slowly increases the volume as time passes. It’s not a feature I use, but for those of you who like to wake up gently, give it a try.

Now select the Advanced tab. These settings are all very self-explanatory, but one that deserves a close look is the Wake computer from sleep option. Once enabled, your Alarm Clock will actually wake your Mac from Sleep Mode and start the alarm. To turn this feature on, place a check in the Wake computer from sleep box.

You’ll need to enter your password – do so and then click OK.

Now you can set an alarm and allow your Mac to enter Sleep Mode, and the alarm will still go off at the specified time. Another feature you might want to enable is for Alarm Clock to start up each time your Mac starts. To do so, place a check in the Launch application at login box.

Now lets set an alarm. Click the Alarm Clock icon in your menu bar, and select New Alarm… from the drop-down list.

From the Time tab, set a time for the alarm to go off in the Alarm Time section. If you want the alarm to repeat, select Repeating alarm and then click on each day of the week you want the alarm to go off on. When you click on a day of the week, you’ll notice the background color for that day darkens. Make sure that Enable Alarm is checked (bottom left corner of the window).

Now select the Alarm tab at the top of the New Alarm window. Alarm Clock uses your iTunes library for its “alarm sounds”. If you select Library from the Source list, all of your iTunes media will be listed. If you select a song from that list, that’s the song that will play for this alarm. Note: if you visit the Alarm Clock page, you can also download some ‘classic’ alarm clock audio files (beeping, nature sounds etc). When you’re done, click OK.

Now click the Alarm Clock icon in your menu bar again. This time you’ll see the alarm you just created listed.

When the alarm goes off, a semi-transparent window will appear displaying the song/audio track being played, a Snooze button and a Stop button. Hit any key to snooze (unless you changed this setting in the preferences), or click the Stop button to turn off the alarm.

That’s it for alarms. Remember, you can set as many alarms as you’d like – one for waking up in the morning, one for your afternoon naps etc. Alarm Clock also includes Timer and Stopwatch features, both of which are even easier to setup and use than the core alarm feature.