Cell Phones Ring Tones
By Tony Rutherford
Everyone with a cell phone has
seen ads either on the Internet or at their service providers relating to
ringtones. For the uninitiated, your phone comes with ten or twenty variations
of a simple ring. But, in a crowd, if someone has the same carrier, you may
think your phone is sounding, when it's someone else's.
To eliminate the sameness, I determined to find one that more reflected my
personality. That meant I wanted a movie theme or two. Finding was easy, getting
and paying was not. In fact, there are scams aplenty on the web. When you click
an ad for ten tones and enter your number, unless you read the FINE PRINT
extremely carefully, you likely sign up for some kind of $9.99 per month
subscription that has nothing to do with tones.
Entering the title of a song in Google brings up mostly these tricky ads. You
can recognize them as they proclaim, "No credit card necessary" and prompt you
to enter your ten numerals and carrier. If you do, and click OK, you'll see the
dreaded charge on next month's bill.
Since cell phone carriers often have a captured customer base i.e. those on
contract, the company offers new ringtones in one version or the other. You can
go to the Internet, search for a tone, play a sample, then click to send it to
your phone and pay about $1.99 per song.
But, what if you know the song(s) you want, but they are not on the carrier's
site? You see, a few Internet sites offer you less than $10 a year access to a
wide scope of selections, but to retrieve the tone you have to download it to
your phone from the net. If you have a browser on your phone, sounds simple,
In this case, I received a text message to use the phone to go on the Internet
and pick up the tone. Unfortunately, if you have big hands it's hard to get all
the letters and numbers entered exactly right.
A trip to the carrier's offices did not accomplish anything except frustration.
One clerk told me that only the ones from the carrier would download. I had two
downloaded improperly. I clumsily displayed my punching talent; she did not
offer any help, except: go home and do it on your home computer.
Let's see, a one day Internet pass plus two tones. Now, they would not work
properly. She said do it again and the duplicate billing of the same tones would
be removed. What about the OTHER site? I mean, I really wanted that theme. "I
A trip to a different office produced, "It won't work." Now, by surfing to the
website of the phone carrier and the phone manufacturer, one or both sold a
computer- to-phone cord, so that the desired tone could be downloaded to the
computer then transferred to the phone. That's almost as bad as transferring
pictures and/or videos. One or more carriers want you to upload to only their
site for a fee. I selected a phone with a mini-card access so I could go
straight to my computer.
As I inquired on the Internet, at least one site webmaster ( http://www.freeringers.net
) offered some helpful troubleshooting even as the carrier had displayed on the
site: "While Alltel has a Multi- Media Service (MMS service), it's not a full
MMS service (probably because they don't have their own network). Also, the
ability to download to Alltel phones is hit or miss. Some phones work, some
don't, some only work in certain areas or at certain times when they connect to
a certain cellular network. Also, when you use a data cable, you need to know
how to use it as we don't have any ability to know how your cable works on your
Some data cables don't even offer the ability to send ringtones and wallpaper
background screens. Some can only be used for phonebook editing or Internet. It
all depends on the phone, and what software comes with the cable. We've never
even seen this in action, only heard of people doing it. So by request, we added
the PC Link option to our service for those people who have a data cable, know
how to use it, and know it works with ringtones and/or wallpaper. This site pays
royalties and had the tone. But, they indicated, as above, I still had download
Yes, I heard the melody, but it did not download. So, I went out to find a
connection. (Tip: Best Buy has some software that sells you multiple phone cord
types --- in case you change phones --- connected to a USB cable.
When I got back to them about the software, the administrator of freeringers.net
"Typically, people that use our service with a data cable already have a data
cable that came with their phone. Realistically, if you purchase some software
from Best Buy that comes with a data cable, you probably won't need our service,
as the software is a duplicate of ours. The people that use a data cable with
our service already have the cable, and have no software, just the cable. The
software Best Buy is talking about is probably ringtone software, like ours, but
in a PC-based program instead of online software like ours. Just a different way
to skin a cat."
Finally, I downloaded the tone (a movie studio fanfare) and put it on my phone.
(Note: During the Google search, two additional sites similar to freeringers.net
were: http://www.mobiholic.us and http://www.ringophone.com.)
However, my cranial cavity had already started boiling. I mean, like, gee, why
did not the carrier simply sell me a cord (or suggest I buy one)? Could it be
that they wanted to keep all the purchases from them, even though they not only
did not have what I wanted but they had one improperly titled.
During this exercise in a consumer scam odyssey, I did find (addresses to
follow) one of the most complete sites for sounds and tones. All properly
licensed with original artist.
In fact, you could even have, for instance, Clark Gable uttering, "Frankly, my
dear, I don't give a damn," each time someone called. They have phrases such as
this from hundreds of films and TV programs. Uniquely, http://www.audiosparx.com
has thousands of brief tunes and phrases such as Clint Eastwood proclaiming,
"Make My Day," a cutesy holiday "angels get his wings" bit from "It's a
Wonderful Life," and, of course, the Governator Arnold uttering many of his
classic one-liners. The site does not limit itself to action either, comedy bits
can be selected there also.
Themes range from "Battlestar Galactica" to "Sex in the City." The license
agreements are very specific --- one for just on a computer, one for a tone,
another for a casual non-professional use. The cost? About $1.50 to $3.50 per
I don't know about you, but I can think of lots of movie phrases that would make
mischief and practical jokes, which would be well worth a single or double
purchase. You could download the voice of a star of the opposite sex and with a
little practice, you might make an 'ex' really, really jealous and really,
really, reconsider breaking up. Then again...maybe not.