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Ringtones & Ringback Tones Tips

Read these 9 Ringtones & Ringback Tones Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Cellphone tips and hundreds of other topics.

Ringtones & Ringback Tones Tips has been rated 4.0 out of 5 based on 65 ratings and 1 user reviews.
What is a "silent" ringtone?

What Is a Silent Ringtone?

Silent ringtones are considered to be the ultimate call screening tool. If you assign a silent ringtone to a particular phone number, that caller will be sent directly to voice mail and your cell phone will not ring.

It's an excellent tool for managing nuisance calls, telemarketers, and any other phone number that appears on your phone's "Incoming Calls" list too many times for your liking. Another type of "silent" ringtone is marketed to students who don't want parents or teachers to hear their cell phone ringing at inappropriate times. This silent ringtone works on a high frequency just outside the average older adult's range of hearing, due to minor hearing loss over time.

Where can I find more ringtones compatible with my cell phone?

Ringtones From Magazines

Did you know that your favorite magazine may be a source for new ringtones? Major carriers often form partnerships with magazines such as The Source and Vibe to help you get ringtones for a particular style of music.

If you've been through the list of ringtones currently available through your carrier but didn't find what you were looking for, check to see if your carrier's website offers a section featuring other ringtone providers. Check your local news stand, you may also find new ringtone features for your cell phone in promotional discs included with music and computer magazines.

What is a polyphonic ringtone?

What Does "Polyphonic Ringtones" Mean?

The phrase "polyphonic ringtones" refers to ringtones that play several notes at once. Polyphonic ringtones sound more realistic than monophonic tones that play only a single note at a time. Newer phones can play up to 72 notes at once.

Polyphonic ringtones shouldn't be confused with MP3 ringtones or other formats that use actual audio clips from popular songs or movies. Phone ringtones that use .wav files or MP3s don't rely on the phone to create the tones like a musical instrument. Polyphonic ringtones work by making sounds with the phone's software, almost like a musical instrument. These ringtones sound like a popular song, but still have that artificial quality that sets them apart from "true sound" phone ringtones.

Where can I find free MIDI ringtones to download?

I'm Looking for a Specific MIDI Ringtone. Where Do I Start?

Major carriers seem to gravitate toward music-based ringtones, but there are a large number of free MIDI ringtones available. Sites such as and offer a huge amount of free ringtones in the MIDI format, and they even take requests! This is a great way for ringtone newbies to get used to downloading, managing, and deleting their ringtones.

Once you've mastered your phone, you can switch to the actual song files offered by your favorite wireless carrier. Remember that most major carriers require you to pay again to download phone ringtones you accidentally delete from your phone. Get to know your cell phone's file management system by downloading ringtone for free, and don't forget to delete the free MIDI ringtones you don't need before paying for and downloading your Verizon ringtones or T-Mobile ringtones.

What is the difference between ringtones and ringback tones?

What Is the Difference Between Ringtones and Ringback Tones?

Confused between ringtones and ringback tones? A ringtone is a downloadable file that replaces the standard ring sound of your cell phone with a customized sound of your choice. This can be a snippet of movie dialogue, music, a sound effect, or any other sound converted to a ringtone format and downloaded to your phone.

Ringback tones are also customized sound files, but instead of playing when your phone rings, it's the sound callers hear instead of the standard sound as they wait for you to answer the call. Both mobile ringback tones and ringtones can be purchased from a variety of sources. There are free ringtones, subscriber-based services that offer new ringtones, and the usual number of questionable sites trying to "harvest" your cell phone number for telemarketing purposes. Check a variety of ringtone sites before you buy tones, you may find a few at no cost.

What are MIDI ringtones?

What Are MIDI Ringtones?

MIDI ringtone files are created with software that tell the cellphone what ringtone sound to play from inside the cell phone. MIDI is a standard format for polyphonic ringtones.

Many free ringtone sites offer a large selection of popular songs that have been "translated" into MIDI ringtones. They don't sound like the original songs on your favorite CDs, but the basic melody has been converted into a monophonic or polyphonic version. MIDI ringtones are popular because they often take up less of your valuable cell phone memory, but still sound enough like the songs that are currently popular to satisfy cell phone owners.

How do I managed my ringback tones?

Managing Your Ringback Tones

Depending on your wireless carrier, ringback tones can be managed on the website where you purchased them. You can assign specific tones to particular callers, get new ringback tones, and check to see when your current Verizon ringback tones will expire.

Many ringtones expire after a year, and some cell phone carriers also have a limit. 100 ringback tones is the limit for Verizon, for example. If you are at your limit for ringback tones, you can add new ones simply by deleting the old ones. Get rid of the oldest ringtones in your collection to quickly free up space for new ringback tones.

Did you know that many carriers allow you to assign time-of-day settings to your ringback tones? Those who want a straightforward ring during business hours can assign a different ringback tone for after-hours fun. Your T Mobile ringback tones or other versions are billed directly to your cell phone account, so in most cases you won't need to pay with a credit card for these services.

Can I make my own ringtones?

Can I Make My Own Ringtones?

There are many services available such as which let you create your own custom mobile ringtones. For a small monthly fee users get access to easy-to-use ringtone creation software.

You can select music, drums, and other features, mix-n-match the sounds, save, and download ringtones to your phone. Best of all, these services are optimized for everyday cell phone users; you don't need to be a musician to create your own musical ringtones!

When you sign up for an account with a service like, you'll be asked to enter your cell phone service provider and your cell phone number. This insures that the ringtones you create are compatible for your phone. Customers are billed for the mobile ringtones they create by the cell phone carrier, not by the service, and you may be charged airtime for using features on the website or downloading ringtones. Be sure to read the fine print!

Can I use Bluetooth to transfer ringtones?

Can I Use Bluetooth to Transfer Ringtones?

A famous hotel chain recently made a splash with technology blogs by offering free ringtones via Bluetooth. Mac users can do Bluetooth ringtone transfers quickly and easily thanks to the iSync feature in Mac laptops and desktop models. Windows XP and Vista users can click on the Bluetooth icon in their taskbar and select the "File Send" option, but your computer must recognize your phone as a Bluetooth device in order to make the transfer work.

Try using the Bluetooth option to search for devices in range of your computer. Bring your cell phone next to the computer for easier detection, and be sure the Bluetooth capability in your cell phone is active before trying to search for the phone on your Windows machine. Once your machine and your phone are paired, you can Bluetooth ringtones to your phone. If you have trouble maintaining a connection during your Bluetooth ringtone transfer, try restarting or recharging your phone before sending files over.

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Guru Spotlight
Heidi Splete