1. In what way are cellphone ringer speakers limited, 2. Subtle ringtones?
January 12, 2006 2:17 PM   Subscribe

Ringtonefilter: 2 questions. 1. Why does my fancy mp3 playing cellphone's speaker choke when playing mp3s I like (inaudible or distorted, depending). 2. Anyone have any relatively calm/subtle ringtone suggestions, that are not so subtle that one doesn't hear them?

Part 1: So I have a fancy mp3/wav playing Sony Ericsson P900, but when I try to use little snippets of mp3s that I like (mostly classical stuff), it has trouble playing them 1, audibly, or 2, without distortion, depending on the mp3. I'm assuming this is due to the size of the speaker. What type of audio should I be looking for that's more speaker friendly? (Higher pitched? Less dependent on decent bass delivery? Apparently this speaker hates marimbas over all other things..why?)

Part 2: I've heard some ringtones that didn't seem startling at all, unlike the usual sorts of obnoxious rings. I kind of liked the idea of a ringer that wouldn't make my heart speed up whenever I hear it. Any suggestions?
posted by sdis to Technology (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I bought a WolframTone(tm) for $2, which is a unique MIDI ringtone of my creation (my parameters, Wolfram's algorithms). Pleasant, noticeable, enjoyable.
posted by Rothko at 2:49 PM on January 12, 2006

I remember hearing an mp3 ringtone that sounded like a soft cough. It was very well done, low distortion, medium volume. Perhaps you could record one and use audacity to make it better?
posted by pantsrobot at 2:49 PM on January 12, 2006

pantsrobot: Was it this?
posted by null terminated at 3:11 PM on January 12, 2006

haha no, the one I heard didn't strain as much, more of an *ahem* type cough
posted by pantsrobot at 3:52 PM on January 12, 2006

I'm a fan of using video game soundtracks as ringers... there are a LOT of places you can download them, there are some that are REALLY good, and because you may know it, it's more likely to catch your ear, yet not be obnoxiously loud...

Then again, I use the Super Mario Brothers, so what do I know about not being obnoxious...
posted by hatsix at 3:54 PM on January 12, 2006

Classical music is really tough because of the large dynamic range of the pieces: it's often quite soft or quite loud. Pop music has been 'compressed' so much that the difference between the softest and the loudest part of the track fairly small. Pop music isn't louder at its loudest compared with classical, but on average it's louder. This is the same reason why TV commercials seem louder than the TV shows. They've been compressed so they're on average louder. They can't actually be louder because of FCC regulations.

So, you could apply the compressor effect in Audacity (or other sound-editing app) to your existing classical mp3 ringtones and see if that helps out. The compressor has a setting for how much it reduces dynamic range called the 'ratio', crank that up. And then turn the overall loudness down to prevent distortion.

I too have a P900. If you want, you could send me the files you're having trouble with and I could try them on my phone, and also try to clean them up to make them usable on the P900.
posted by todbot at 6:28 PM on January 12, 2006

I was behind a fellow in the store today who had as his ringer the sound of crickets chirping. I actually didn't realize it was a cell phone until he picked up. If subtle is your game that might be a good bet.
posted by shanevsevil at 10:07 PM on January 12, 2006

I prefer using the sound of an old telephone ringing. It's a very noticeable sound, but one that is not at all obnoxious. The only issue is checking your cell phone every time something rings on TV.
posted by SemiSophos at 10:32 PM on January 12, 2006

Sounds like you might be better off with the Nokia Ryuichi Sakamoto phone. Someone showed it to me a while back and I was most impressed with the "alarm clock" ringtone: it was quiet, nearly ambient at first, and then slowly got more intense. It's meant to wake you up slowly.

Perhaps try Googling for "ambient ringtones"?
posted by kathryn at 2:01 PM on January 20, 2006

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