Ringtone Sites
January 20, 2004 7:32 AM   Subscribe

I've upgraded my mobile phone and now have the option of using polyphonic ringtones. The ringtones that come stock with the phone are cute and all, but I'd like to have some more options. A Google search for ringtones pulls a ton of sites, but many of them seem just too sketchy. Do any of you have ringtone sites you'd recommend? And have you made your own, possibly from converted Mp3s?
posted by grabbingsand to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Most of the phones that do this should take a MIDI file -- at least my T616 does -- and those are easy to come by. Then I just use a laptop's infrared port to send the file over to the phone. Try that before you deal with the ridiculously sketchy world of downloadable ringtones. (How did that niche get so full of dodgy operators and spammers?)
posted by majick at 7:39 AM on January 20, 2004

I was all excited when I got my new phone (Motorola E365), with downloadable polyphonic ringtones. Then I looked online, and discovered that the ringtones on offer were not only rubbish, but it would cost about £3.50 to download one! WTF!!??? How on earth do they justify this sort of money when online music sites are charging between $1 and £1 for an entire song!? To add insult to injury, the phone has no infrared capability, and I can't find anywhere that will sell me the required USB cable.

So I'd like the same sort of advice as grabbingsand. I'm bewildered by the mobile phone web sites that are out there at the moment. How do I make MIDI files out of MP3s or OGGs? Are there any sites out there which as majick put it, aren't run by "dodgy operators and spammers"? (I'm in the UK BTW).
posted by salmacis at 9:17 AM on January 20, 2004

I'm not sure about other types of phones, but there are several utilities to upload files to Sprint PCS phones. (I use this one.) You go to the utility's website, upload your file, and it sends a link to your phone to let you download it from the network. There's a "this didn't cost you $5! it could be filled with viruses! and stuff! please buy our ringtones!" message, and then there's a brand new ringtone on the phone.

I have no idea about other services, but I'd assume as long as the phone has internet access, something similar would exist.

If the phone takes standard midi files as its ringtones (I'm not sure whether sprint does), you could just put the file on the web and then grab it from the phone yourself, sans utilities.

I'm not aware of a way to convert MP3 to MIDI. I can't imagine that would sound good at all.
posted by billybunny at 9:32 AM on January 20, 2004

They say that artists have started making more profit from the sale of ringtones than they make from the sale of singles. The reason they're this sort of price is because (unfortunately) people are willing to pay it. You've only got to venture onto Public Transport to hear some ghastly polyphonic rendering from the likes of Blue or Eminem.

On to your questions. You stand no chance of turning MP3 files into Midi files, but there are Hundreds of free Midi files hanging round the internet. Google Searches should turn up what you need.

Finally - on the subject of getting these onto your phone. You'll need a few things. One - you'll need to sign up to a company that allows you to send these things. A quicjk search turned up csoft. Secondly, you'll need to get to grip with the "Soap --> mms api" in order to post the data. Thirdly, you'll have to work out what the format is for polyphonic ringtones on your phone, and how to convert midi files to this format.

Technically it's a relatively complex thing, but if you're happy web programming, then I'd guess that you should be OK.
posted by seanyboy at 9:39 AM on January 20, 2004

Further on the subject of actually getting the things to your phone: If your phone has a POP client (again, the T616 does, but I don't know about others -- seems like it ought to be a common enough feature, though) and you have GSM data or GPRS service, you should be able to email the file to yourself as an attachment.

There's probably some way to do this with SMS or MMS, but I've dismissed both technologies as not worth my time to learn about. As I understand it, though, such stuff is pretty common in Europe where I guess the two-way pager networks are iffy so there's no better choice. Maybe some European phone site will have the scoop on how to use SMS to get files to your phone.
posted by majick at 10:13 AM on January 20, 2004

you can also try your service provider, t-mobile sells ringtones. they are just the normal kind, and they aren't any cheaper, but at least it's not all shady and weird.
posted by rhyax at 10:25 AM on January 20, 2004

I have been downloading ringtones from polyphonicringtonez.com for a few months. It's free, and there are few popups on the site.

It's easiest and most cost-effective to browse the selection from your computer and not from your phone. Then you can browse to the WAP site from your phone. They've got a great selection, too.
posted by lnicole at 10:29 AM on January 20, 2004

Not knowing what kind of phone you have, these forums might help.
posted by amandaudoff at 11:03 AM on January 20, 2004

I have a bottom-of-the-line Sony-Ericsson t226, which lacks an IR port, Bluetooth, or PC data link. The way I get my custom background images and MIDI ringtones (warning: self-links) into the phone is to place the files on my webserver, and then use the WAP browser to download the files. (This is how MMS works, essentially—your phone gets an SMS with a WAP URL in it, and the browser fetches the URL and displays or installs the content.) Manually entering the complete URL of the file into your phone saves you the effort of building a WML page just to download your own stuff. Works like a charm, and costs you nothing more than your usual airtime and data rates.
posted by dsandl at 12:22 PM on January 20, 2004

Try myphonefiles.com. We downloaded a cool little app called XingTones that allowed creation of a ringtone from an existing music file. They seem to have bandwidth troubles, though.
posted by theora55 at 1:30 PM on January 20, 2004

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