A ringtone is a sound file that is played by a cellular or a mobile phone. This concept was introduced to give a unique ring to a mobile phone so that it can be distinguished in an environment that has many cellular phone users.
These ringtones are normally melodious in nature and are played to convey an incoming call or a message. Due to technological advancement of cellular phones over standard fixed line phones, they can be better personalized to suit ones tastes. With more and more options of ringtones coming up, this form of content is helping the mobile hand-set market grow.
Mobile phone ringtones, along with operator logos, have been the easiest way to personalize a mobile phone. Many new models of mobile phones also have features that allow users to create their own ringtones. Most people tend to enjoy this process of personalization and a few find ringtones an irritant in public places.
There are many companies that make and sell ringtones, mostly through websites. In many countries of Asia, television advertising has become very popular to sell ringtones pertaining to songs or music being played. The flip of website advertising is that these companies want customers to be committed for a particular period, and is not popular with most customers. The sale of ringtones has not only boosted the mobile phone sales but also the bottom lines of recording companies as a way earning of royalties.
Types of Ringtones
There are three distinct types of ringtones: monophonic ringtones, polyphonic ringtones and music ringtones.
Monophonic cellular phone ringtones are very simple and are compatible with most of the mobile phones in use. It comprises of a series of sequential tones at varying frequencies.
Polyphonic ringtones can be played on mobile phones which are capable of playing 16 tones simultaneously. The combination of these tones creates a harmonic melody. Polyphonic ringtones are more musical and carry better presence than a monophonic ringtone. New advanced mobile phones support polyphonic ringtones.
Music ringtones are often referred to as voice tones, realtones or true tones. They use original pieces of music along with lyrics, exactly as the original recording. The format is usually MP3, WAV, WMA, etc This feature and support for music ringtones is being built into most new models of almost all manufacturers..
Finding Ringtones & Ringtone Compatibility
One can find a lot of websites that offer free ringtones which can be downloaded directly to your mobile phone. Paid websites allow subscriptions or charge on a per ringtone basis. Before one opts for downloading a ringtone, it should be ensured that the ringtone would work the mobile phone model. One should also check whether the website has rights of distribution for the ringtone, since the maker is supposed to receive royalty for use of the ringtone.