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Ringtones for Cell Phones 101

Simple guide to the different types of ringtones and their uses.

A ringtone is a sound file that is used on a cellular or mobile phone. This smart idea was developed for cell phone users to personalize their phones, make them more entertaining as well as allow the user to differentiate callers by distinct rings. Overall with the large expansion of the mobile market, ringtones are just a small aspect of the large amounts of options available for mobile phones.

These days the hottest ringtones are real music tones, which are actually mp3 song files downloaded to the phone. Most music hits that make the charts are available as ringtones and these are the most popular types of tones, but technology has developed so rapidly, that ring tones can be made from almost any sound imaginable.

One of the biggest reasons for their popularity seems to be the desire of users to personalize their phones as with cell phone wallpaper. While most phones come with several tones pre-programmed, the music chart tones usually have to be ordered and downloaded separately.

While you can get a variety of tones, including real music, polyphonic, nature sounds, movie and TV themes, all of them have a couple of different uses. They can be used both as regular rings and as ringback tones. The regular are those you hear when your phone rings, while ringbacks are those that are heard by the caller. Also, different sounds can be assigned for different callers. So the cell phone user can know who is calling by the ring and there is no need to check the caller ID or reach for the phone.

Types of Ringtones:

Real Music Tones - These are original music pieces that are just like the recorded song. The format is usually MP3, WAV, or WMA. Most of the newer phone models have the capability to play these types of ring tones.

Monophonic - Simple tones that are compatible with older cell phones that cannot play the music tones. It uses a series of sequential tones at different frequencies.

Polyphonic - A polyphonic ringtone can consist of several notes at a time. The first polyphonic tones used sequenced recording methods such as MIDI. Such recordings specify what synthetic instrument should play a note at a given time, and the actual instrument sound is dependent upon the playback device.

While there are many websites that advertise free ringtones consumers need to be careful as this is usually a scam where the visitor downloads and then gets a charge on their cell phone bill as these sites often have hidden costs. These scammers have given ringtones a bad name in recent times while in reality there are legitimate companies who provide affordable plans for downloads of tones, wallpaper and games and who disclose the exact charges, usually around $10 per month for a certain amount of downloads, and allows the user to cancel at any time. It is also important the company discloses phone compatibility and that you check if your phone can handle the ringtone you want to download.


Article Tags: Cell Phones, Cell Phone, Real Music, Music Tones

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