TUCOWS ARTICLE

Understanding Ringtones

Ringtones are melodic sounds a cellular or cell phone makes when an incoming call or message arrives. Since cellular phones are significantly more sophisticated than landline phones, ringtones can be personalized to suit the owner's personal taste. A variety of ringtones have appealed to consumers, increasing handsets saleability.
Published: May 3, 2005
Author: Michael E, Callahan

Ringtones are melodic sounds a cellular or cell phone makes when an incoming call or message arrives. Since cellular phones are significantly more sophisticated than landline phones, ringtones can be personalized to suit the owner's personal taste. A variety of ringtones have appealed to consumers, increasing handsets saleability.

Why use Ringtones

There are a number of reasons consumers use distinct ringtones:

  1. Distinguish Callers - Advanced feature sets allow for different sounds to signify different callers.
  2. Identification - When you are in a meeting and a phone rings you will know if its yours without having to look
  3. Fun - Lets face, having a cell phone with personality and character is appealing to general consumers

Types of Ringtones

There are typically two different types of ringtones: monophonic ringtones and polyphonic ringtones.

Monophonic Ringtones

Monophonic tones are simple tunes, most commonly compatible with today's cell phones. The majority of cell phones can only make a single tone at a time. The monophonic ringtone tune is comprised of a series of sequential tones at different frequencies.

Polyphonic Ringtones

Polyphonic tones are played on cellular phones that have the capability of playing up to 16 separate tones at once. The combination of tones creates a harmonic melody. Polyphonic ringtones are more musical than a monophonic ringtone. Newer phones support polyphonic ringtones. It is likely that future cell phones will be capable of producing musical ringtones of CD quality.

Finding Ringtones and Ringtone Compatibility

There are a number of websites that offer ringtones, graphics or even games to download onto your cell phone. The websites vary in that some allow you to purchase specific ringtones while others offer subscriptions that allow you to download an unlimited number of ringtones. When you locate a ringtone be sure to first ensure that it will work with your cellular model phone and that the site is respectful of the artists copyright. Like any original works, artists receive royalties for ringtones, be sure that the website has the permission to distribute the ringtone. Sites that we've found helpful in finding ringtones and determining compatibility are:

Ringtone Composition

Frequently consumers will wish to compose personalized ringtones. Occasionally, cell phones can be programmed with ringtones by entering a series of buttons. Software is also available that allow consumers to create their own melodic ringtones. The software runs on a computer, and once the tune is perfected it can be transferred to the phone via a data cable. Suggested ringtone composition software can be found at:
Ringtone Software --http://www.ring-tone-software.com


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About Michael E, Callahan

Michael E. Callahan, known around the world by the trademarked name Dr. File Finder, is regarded as the world's leading expert on shareware. Dr. File Finder works with software programs and developers full-time, and in the average year he evaluates 10,000 programs. Since 1982 he has evaluated over 250,000 software and hardware products. Mr. Callahan began evaluating software online in 1982 and no one has been at it longer. He currently works doing online PR and marketing for software companies, and is the Senior Content Producer for Butterscotch.Com.

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