The Ringer

What’s problem with custom ringtones? The price, right? Who wants to pay a couple of dollars for a ringtone that they’ll be tired of within a couple of months? Custom ringtones are available through a bunch of different sources. Many of the ones that I’ve found have been a subscription thing, where you pay $2-$5 per month. That’s just crazy.

But you have to admit, they are kind of cool, right? I like them, but have never had one before because I don’t want to pay someone for a 15 second clip of a song that I already own. I’ve known that there are options for creating these yourself, but who has the time to jack with it?

I got a Treo phone for Christmas from my brother. I love that thing. Its great to have my calendar in my pocket, and I also like putting all of my contacts in one place (Outlook) for my computer and my phone. So all of that is pretty cool. The problem is, the Treo is a fairly popular phone. Probably once or twice per week I’ll hear my phone ring, only to realize that someone next to me has the same ring as me. I’ve never had that problem before now.

Custom ringtones are the answer. I had to figure this out. And I did. In about 15 minutes (if I had known it was this simple…). You need to do this. You like custom ringtones, and you’re tired of paying for them.

You’ll need to download two files, Audacity and lame (I laughed, too). Note that this version of lame is for Windows. If you’re on a Mac or *nix machine its available for you, too. Do a search and you’ll find it.

Unpack lame in a folder on your desktop. You’re done with that now, so install Audacity. Once its installed, open it up and click Edit > Preferences > File Formats > Find Library. Point it to the folder that you unpacked lame in. Set the bit rate to 128 and click OK. You now have all the tools you need.

Pick your favorite MP3, open it in Audacity and clip it down to 15 seconds. You get to pick which 15 seconds, so don’t sweat it. When you’re done, export it to MP3 (be sure to change the file name otherwise you’ll overwrite your original song).

Finally, get the new MP3 to your phone by text message, USB, Bluetooth, however. Then on your phone move it to the ringtone folder and you’re all set. Ba Da Boom you’re done. Free ringtones.

Next time you call me, I’ll be listening to Strong Bad. Yippee kai yo.

4 replies on “The Ringer”

  1. @Chance
    I’ll have to check that out. Thanks for posting. We need to grab lunch or dinner before you leave.

    I picked “The System is Down”. It comes from his cartoon called Techno. It can be downloaded here. Its listed under “Songs, Music & Balance Transfers”.

    I like the song, and thought it would make a great ringtone, but its more difficult to hear than my previous ring. I may be making a different selection soon.

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