What are MP3 ringtones?
MP3 ringtones are among the latest innovations in mobile phone technology. These ringtones — which are also aptly named �TrueTones� and �realtones� � are actual audio recordings. This means that they offer richer sound quality than monophonic and polyphonic ringtones, which are the simpler rings that consist of computer tones and synthesized music.
Most MP3 ringtones are short snippets from songs, and some artists are even producing 30-second tracks specifically for the ringtone industry. People are also downloading TrueTone or MP3 ringtones of comedians, sounds effects, and wake-up alarms.
TrueTones are also available in AAC, WAV, and other formats.
Which phones can play MP3 ringtones?
MP3 or TrueTone ringtones have been available since 2002. However, challenges related to storage space and battery power stalled the widespread availability of MP3-capable phones. Even today, many new phones are unable to play MP3s; they are limited to monophonic and polyphonic ringtones.
Some of the ringtone websites, such as RingtoneJukeBox.com, are able to determine the best file format for a given phone.
Here is a partial list of mobile phones that play MP3 ringtones:
- LG: G5600, SV-420, T5100
- Motorola: E1070, L7, PEBL V6 , V180, V180, V220, V3, V300, V360, V3g, V3lite, V535, v547, V600, V620, V635, V80, V975
- Nokia: 2600, 2650, 3100, 3120, 3230, 3330, 5100, 5140i, 5210, 6020, 6021, 6060, 6101, 6111, 6170, 6220, 6230, 6230i, 6260, 6610, 6610i, 6620, 6630, 6670, 6680, 6681, 6820, 6822, 7210, 7260, 7270, 7280, 7600, 7610, 7710, 8800, 9300, N-Gage QD, N70, N90
- Samsung: D410, SGH-D500, SGH-D600, SGH-E330, SGH-E340, SGH-E530, SGH-E760, SGH-E810, SGH-S300, SGH-X100, SGH-X600, SGH-X660, SGH-Z130, Z500
- Sony-Ericsson: K500i, K600i, K700i, K750i, P900, P910, P910i, S700i, T290i, T610, T618, T630, W800i, Z800, Z800i
Note that cell phone manufacturers do not always publicize the ringtone capabilities of their products. Therefore, even if your phone is not listed above, it might still be worth referring to the user guide that was packaged with the device. (User guides are generally published online too.) Until a comprehensive list of MP3-capable phones is available, customers interested in buying such a device are advised to check with a cell phone vendor who can explain current options.
Where can I get MP3s for my cell phone?
MP3 ringtones can be obtained from cell phone service providers, independent websites, or a customer�s own CD collection.
Most cell phones have a menu option that links to an MP3 ringtone store. For instance, Verizon Wireless offers the VZW Tones Deluxe service. After downloading the program, users just press the right navigational arrow on their handset and scroll to choose �Get Tunes & Tones�. They have the choice of pre-paying for 1, 2 or 4 VZW Tones Deluxe credits. Charges appear on their phone bill.
Additionally, hundreds of online vendors are competing to sell MP3 ringtones. Many attract customers by offering a wide variety of free MP3 ringtones too. Some popular sites include Thumbplay, Ringtone JukeBox, Myxer, and Phonezoo.
A third option is for consumers to make MP3 ringtones from their own audio collections. Wired Magazine provides a tutorial in this for the technologically comfortable, but simpler methods are also available. For example, some of the aforementioned websites let users upload music, edit it, and send it to a phone for free.� Users with certain cell phone contracts will need to pay their phone company for the data download.
MP3 ringtones trivia
- The first MP3 released as a ringtone was My Gift to You by Chemistry.
- The first ringtone to go platinum was the �Theme from The Dukes of Hazard (Good �Ol Boys)� by Waylon Jennings. This country tune has been marketed as a polyphonic ringtone and as an MP3 ringtone.
- Carrie Underwood was the first country star to have two platinum hits in Mastertone/MP3 ringtone format. She won this title with “Before He Cheats” and �Jesus, Take the Wheel.�
- The MP3 ringtone �Hustlin� by rapper Rick Ross was downloaded more than 1 million times in 2006 before its full song even reached stores. This made it the first ringtone to go platinum through mobile phone commerce.
- �Ridin�, an MP3 ringtone by rapper Chamillionaire, was the first ringtone to earn triple-platinum status.