Cre­ate your own ring­tones

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Technology - By VIK­TOR MUELLENEISEN

IT IS a com­mon sce­nario: A mo­bile phone rings in the crowded train car, prompt­ing 15 pas­sen­gers to reach for their phones.

You don’t have to be one of them: Set up an in­di­vid­ual ring­tone (it’s easy!) and you’ll al­ways know if you’re the one re­ceiv­ing a call.

A good ring­tone should be unique and eas­ily recog­nis­able, but it should not be over­pow­er­ing, says Mar­cel Klop­pen­burg, from the Uni­ver­sity of the Arts in Ber­lin.

The prob­lem is find­ing such a com­bi­na­tion.

Ring­tones are not the craze they were back in pre-smart­phone days – re­mem­ber Crazy Frog? – but even with to­day’s smart­phones, you can choose some­thing dif­fer­ent if you’re not sat­is­fied with the pre-in­stalled sounds that come with the de­vice.

An­droid makes this easy for its users: Con­nect the phone to a com­puter and im­port the sound file into the Mu­sic folder. Al­ter­na­tively, you can down­load it di­rectly onto the phone.

Un­der Set­tings a new ring­tone can sim­ply be added un­der the cat­e­gory Sounds and then Ring­tones, says Benedikt Sch­wimm­beck, from the Ger­man com­puter web­site chip.de.

The sound file should ide­ally be in MP3 for­mat, but in gen­eral, al­most all au­dio file for­mats are ac­cepted. It also doesn’t mat­ter how long the song or sound is.

When it comes to Ap­ple’s iOS, things are a bit more com­pli­cated.

The de­sired sound “must be in the M4R for­mat and can be a max­i­mum of 40 sec­onds”, Sch­wimm­beck says.

The tune can be edited in iTunes or free pro­grams such as Au­dac­ity, while the free tool On­line Au­dio Con­verter can be used to con­vert the file into the M4R for­mat.

Once ready, the ring­tone can be moved into iTunes, and af­ter sync­ing be­tween the phone and com­puter, it’ll be avail­able for use on the iPhone.

You can also find plenty of free ring­tones on the In­ter­net. How­ever, sites that of­fer mu­sic from well-known artists may be do­ing so il­le­gally, Sch­wimm­beck warns. In ad­di­tion, the sound qual­ity is of­ten not as good as it could be.

For those rea­sons, it’s worth in­vest­ing a lit­tle money in buy­ing a ring­tone, ad­vises Oliver But­tler, who works for a con­sumer ad­vice cen­tre in Ger­many.

For iPhone users, this is par­tic­u­larly easy: In Set­tings, if you go into Sounds > Ring­tone, there’s a link on the up­per right-hand side to the Tones sec­tion of iTunes.

An­droid’s Play Store doesn’t have a ring­tone store, but you can al­ways buy mu­sic and use it as a ring­tone.

With apps like Ring­tone Maker (An­droid) and Ring­tones (iOS), you can edit the sound so that only your favourite part plays, as well as add fade-in and fade-out ef­fects. – dpa

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