Call me on my telephone... but not in song.
November 30, 2010 9:58 AM   Subscribe

Where can I find where can I find ringtones/text message sounds made out of... tones (like the old school ones)?

My dad just got an iPhone and the stock ringtones are all terrible for him. On his last phone I set him up with a Coldplay song as his ringtone, but that started driving my mother crazy.

If I google 'ringtone' I get a million sites that have songs as ringtones, and that doesn't help. Where can I get ringtones that are really just a series of tones that sound modern, sophisticated and in general... enjoyable to hear (but don't sound like a rave in his pocket).

Additionally, where can I get short and quick sounds that I can use as a text message sound. As an example, one that I enjoyed using recently was from the Playstation game Metal Gear Solid, as heard here.

My dad is 65 and needs something loud-ish that doesn't get more and more annoying over time.
posted by darkgroove to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I get my old analog telephone noises from Freesound.
posted by reegmo at 10:04 AM on November 30, 2010

Can you use Audacity (or another audio program) to cut the mp3 you posted into a few second clip and email it to your phone? That's what I do (non iPhone) to make my own ringtones.
posted by Twicketface at 10:07 AM on November 30, 2010

Response by poster: I should also mention that yes, I can convert any song into a ringtone/sms sound. But the real question is just finding preexisting tracks that sound good. I'll edit them if I need to down the line.
posted by darkgroove at 10:12 AM on November 30, 2010

You don't need to convert the audio to an SMS file, as the iPhone ringtones are AAC files.

Option A
Step 1: find a ringing sound you like in a song
Step 2: follow these steps and import the song (segment) into the iPhone

Option B
Step 1: find a sound you like and download it (requires log-in, but the sounds are free - same site linked by reegmo)
Step 2:Convert your .WAV to an AAC (.M4A) in iTunes
Step 3: rename the .M4A to .M4R, double click on it, and it will automatically be placed as a ringtune in iTunes (source, with more help)
posted by filthy light thief at 10:16 AM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Thank you filthy light thief, but I don't need to know how to get the files on the phone. My only concern is finding audio files that can be used as a tasteful ringtone and/or SMS tones.

Just assume I know everything possible about the phone, I just have no idea where to find good ringtones that are not songs of any kind (as in, pop songs, oldies, etc).
posted by darkgroove at 10:29 AM on November 30, 2010 has a lot of free ringtones, old and new.
posted by Biscuit-Head at 10:35 AM on November 30, 2010

I find the tones the iPhone comes packaged with are fairly neutral and not as "rave in my pocket" as other phones I've had in the past. There are a lot of sort of po-mo ones (barking dogs, chirping crickets, an old analog phone), but surely there's got to be one in there that's not totally offensive to them? I use the bluesy piano riff which I find matches your specifications perfectly - loud enough, tasteful, distinctive but not annoying.
posted by Sara C. at 11:20 AM on November 30, 2010 If you can wade through the crap there are a lot of useful bleeps and bloops.
posted by geekchic at 11:26 AM on November 30, 2010

You might like WolframTones - they are algorithmically generated, with a bunch of parameters you can tweak. It does produce midi files (old school!) - I'm pretty sure iTunes can convert those for you.
posted by O9scar at 11:31 AM on November 30, 2010

Wow, iTunes will convert MIDI files to audio files. Thanks, O9scar, I didn't realize this.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:40 PM on November 30, 2010

I get annoyed by my own ringtones easily, too. For non-annoying sound suggestions, this is what finally did not drive me crazy after a couple of days:
text message/voice mail: sonar ping
For the ring, I like anything that starts off low and mellow, so I can get it quickly without too much drama if it goes off in an inconvenient place. Lately I'm alternating between Chopin's Berceuse and Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man (cut to begin when the horns start)
posted by ctmf at 5:33 PM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

Sorry, totally missed the just-tones part, even though it was perfectly clear. That is because I am an idiot. Still, Berceuse makes a decent MIDI
posted by ctmf at 5:37 PM on November 30, 2010

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