Can't Find That Ringtone? Make your own!
January 2005 by Lauren E. Darcey
My teenage sister-in-law got her first cell phone for Christmas this year. Within minutes, she had personalized it with a ringtone from her favorite band, Green Day. When we called her house to wish her a happy holiday, she even played her ringtone to us over the phone. Highly amusing, there seems to be no question that this era's most popular form of self-expression is none other than the ringtone. While wallpapers allow you to personalize your phone, it's the ringtones that are heard by all around you. They make your statement, or do they?
A multi-billion dollar industry, the ringtone revenue has helped carriers pay for all the new and improved coverage they've rolled out to make you happy customers, as well as allowed you to support your favorite music bands by purchasing their music clips and playing them for all and sundry each time you receive a call. In November of 2004, Billboard began charting the Top 20 best-selling Hot Ringtones™ based on data from various ringtone distributors and carriers - a sign that ringtones are not so much a fad, but are here to stay.
There's a fine line, though, between self-expression and being a walking advertisement. It's terribly frustrating when you're standing in a crowd and you can't tell if it's your phone blasting Eminem, because you and every other person in the room has that same popular ringtone. It's like wearing the same outfit as the class geek at the prom - very much not cool.
What many people don't know is that it's quite simple to create your own distinctive ringtones - guaranteed to catch your attention, and very much your very own. Most phones nowadays have the ability to take pictures, video and record sounds.
Check your phone for a sound or voice recording tool and give it a try. It usually involves recording a sound clip, and then setting it as your ringtone or message tone or whatever. On some phones, you can also set specific tones for specific callers like "Mom is calling" or "This is your boss calling...". For example, on many Verizon Wireless phones, you just do the following on your phone:
- Go to Get It Now®
- Go to Get Tunes & Tones
- Go to Record New
- Record your sounds - your baby babbling, whatever
- Once you've created the sound, find it in your menu and hit Options
- Set it as your ringtone
You can go nuts creating your own ringtones. I certainly did, with some great results. One I will never do again is "LAURIE ANSWER YOUR PHONE!". Nothing, and I mean nothing, is more embarrassing that having your phone yell at you over and over again for not answering it, in a very quiet room, when your phone is virtually inaccessibly hidden in a backpack.
That said, since bodily function tones and moantones are so popular, there's really no reason to spend a couple bucks on each of them when you can make your own, now is there? I'm sure you can do just as well as Meg Ryan, but keep in mind, your phone could ring during a board meeting, or during Thanksgiving dinner, or a presidential inauguration...
Get It Now® is a registered trademark of Verizon Wireless. Hot Ringtones™ is a trademark of Billboard.