Virgin Mobile custom ringtones
June 16, 2007 1:13 PM   Subscribe

Is it in any way possible to add a custom ringtone to a Virgin Mobile phone?

I've got a ringtone in mind that I would like to have on my phone, but it's unlikely to ever be offered for purchase. My provider is Virgin Mobile, which seems to make every attempt to lock down their phones to prevent people from doing what I want to do. Unfortunately, changing providers isn't really an option as I don't use a lot of minutes and vmobile is the cheapest in my situation.

The ringtone that I want is monophonic, but it would be okay if I needed to make it polyphonic. Is there any phone available in Virgin Mobile's selection that would allow me to use it? Is it possible to obtain a different phone that would allow a custom ringtone and also work with Virgin Mobile?

Google is failing me. Just try to google for anything involving ringtones and see how far you get...
posted by zixyer to Technology (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Why not make your own ringtone?
posted by rhapsodie at 2:01 PM on June 16, 2007

The folks at howardforums are a great resource for matters cellphone-related.
posted by box at 2:05 PM on June 16, 2007

Response by poster: rhapsodie: Making the ringtone isn't an issue. I don't think I would have a problem creating the ringtone in any format -- the issue is getting it transferred to the phone.
posted by zixyer at 2:07 PM on June 16, 2007

Virgin pretty much has the phones locked. They operate on the Sprint Network, so it's possible you could find a Sprint phone that allows you to upload your own ringtones, but Sprint locks their stuff to some extent, and it's not anywhere near a safe bet that VM will allow a Sprint phone to be activated on your account.

Part of Virgin's appeal is cheap, but they like you to buy their stuff.
posted by pupdog at 2:09 PM on June 16, 2007

Best answer: mostly it depends on what brand/model it is. I have had great success with audiovox 8500, 8610, and 8915.

(have been on virginmobile for years now and currently use the 8915 aka snapper)

check out cellphonehacks or as mentioned howardforums. mainly you need a proper data cable and bitpim. most of the phones will only show up in bitpim as a generic filesystem and you need to find the proper folder where new ringtones should go.
posted by dorian at 2:12 PM on June 16, 2007

Response by poster: dorland: do you get the 8915 recently? I don't mind having to get a data cable but I'm a bit apprehensive that Virgin has had a chance to lock down any holes that people have discovered. I'm guessing if the vulnerability is years old, they've updated the firmware by now.
posted by zixyer at 2:23 PM on June 16, 2007

Best answer: I've had the 8915 for about a year now. some of the previous phones (e.g. 8500) have had better hackable things like free internet access (via wap), which virgin has obviously eventually locked down.

but basic things like changing wallpaper or adding mp3 ringtones (yes most guides will say you need midi files, but in fact mp3 generally works just fine*) or games have not (cannot!) be prevented when you have the data cable and bitpim/qpst/etc. I've never had problems adding mp3 ringtones thru bitpim.

sure they want you to buy ringtones from them; but the people using data cables to modify the phone make up such a small percentage that they do not lock that down (even if they could, which I'm not sure they can... b/c the method is also inherent to actual authorized servicing of the phone)

(btw the usb data cable I have is from radioshack and originally I bought it for my 8610 but it turned out to be 100% compatible to the 8915 as well)

newer phones have ~better features, so you should definitely do some reading of howardforums and cellphonehacks to see what can be done with what phone... I have been happy with various audiovox phones on vm, but that's not to say the more recent kyocera etc. ones aren't good as well. e.g. the cyclops and sonic look not-bad.

*your mp3 files do have to have the correct/suitable bitrate/frequency etc. from my personal experience
posted by dorian at 3:27 PM on June 16, 2007

I've had good luck with this website: Mobile17, which text messages ringtones to your phone. It worked with verizon in the past, but I don't have Virgin Mobile.
posted by JMOZ at 3:49 PM on June 16, 2007

Response by poster: I did a little digging and found out it's possible to transfer ringtones to the Cyclops, so that's the route that I will take. Thanks for the help.
posted by zixyer at 8:21 PM on June 16, 2007

I've just used the phone's internet access and uploaded the file to a site like
posted by loiseau at 4:53 AM on June 17, 2007

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