Sunday, February 25, 2007

Add Music to Your Phone's Ringtones

Getting Started

One feature that is continually being added to more cell phones is the capability to play music and have music as your ring-tone. Unfortunately the cell phone companies want to sell you an additional hardware package to give you the ability to add your music to your phone. After searching the web and trying the suggested methods I found a quick and easy way to add your music to your ring-tones without purchasing any additional hardware or software. This tutorial will walk through the process on OS X 10.4+ but most of the software used is also available for Windows XP or Vista. Additionally, your phone and computer must both have bluetooth installed and enabled.

Connecting Your Phone To your Computer

The most important part of this tutorial is making sure that your computer and phone can communicate to each other. In Mac OS X make sure that bluetooth is on by going to system preferences >> bluetooth >> Settings: Bluetooth Power should be on. Next click on the Devices tab and then click on Set Up New Device. At this point, the Bluetooth Setup Assistant will appear and walk you through the process of connecting your computer to your phone. NOTE: Your Bluetooth enabled phone must be set to discoverable mode. After you've finished the Bluetooth Setup Assistant click the Sharing tab in the Bluetooth Preferences set Bluetooth File Transfer and Bluetooth File Exchange to On.

Setting Up Free Software

Now that your phone and computer are setup to communicate with each other we need to install the software that will allow us to edit and add to the files on your phone. BITPIM for Mac is a great tool that easily allows users to extract and add information to the files on their phone including ring-tones, sms messages, and address book information. It is also available for Windows and works in a similar method. After installing this software onto your computer you'll need to set it up to communicate with your exact phone. To do this go to preferences >> Phone Setting Wizard. Follow the onscreen instructions and select one of the available communication ports. After clicking next click Detect phone. The phone must Pass detection. If it does not, step back and select a different communication port and try again. Once your phone is detected by BITPIM you're set to start to edit your ring-tones and other files on your phone.

Adding Your Music to Your Ring-tones

Not that your phone and computer are connected through bluetooth and through the BITPIM software you can easily access the ringers on your phone. Click the Phone icon on the top with the are coming from the phone. A new window will pop up showing PhoneBook, Calendar, Wallpaper, etc. Check all of these and make sure Replace All is selected and hit Ok. Your computer will start to pull down all the related information from your phone and save it in BITPIM. After the information has been pulled from your phone click on ringers(Under Media). Any previous custom ring-tones you've installed on your phone will be listed. Click the Music Note with the green plus sign on the top of the menu. This will bring up a window to allow you to search for your music. Find the mp3 file you're looking for and then click open. A Convert Audio File window will appear with options that will allow you to convert the file into a format your phone can read. I suggest setting the bitrate to 96 as it will sound better on your phone. Click Convert. This will convert the entire song and when it is finished click ok. You should now see your song included with the others previous installed under Ringers. It is important to note that for your ring-tone you may only want 30 seconds of a song as more than that will rarely be used as a ringing option and the extra time of the song will just make the file larger and take up memory space on your computer. To edit these songs I'd suggest using a program such as Audacity with will allow you to edit your song file down to just the 30 second of the song that you would like as your ring-tone.

Now that your song has been added to your ringers it is ready to add to your phone. Click the Phone icon with the green arrow pointing towards it and check just the Ringtone Box. Change the selection from Replace All to All and then click ok. You've just told BITPIM to take the data you've added to ringers and send it to your phone. THe status bar the bottom will start to move and various files on your phone will be updated. When its finished you should be able to go to your ring-tones and see the song that you've just added. Select it and test it to make sure that it sounds the way you like. At this point you should have successfully added a song to your ring-tone. NOTE: to remove songs, delete the desired songs from the ringers list in BITPIM and then send the Ringtones to the phone using the above instructions but click replace all. This will remove the desired songs from your phone.


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