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Ringtone

A ringtone or ring tone is the sound made by a telephone to indicate an incoming call. The term, however, is most often used to refer to the customizable sounds available on mobile phones. This facility was originally provided so that people would be able to determine when their phone was ringing when in the company of other mobile phone owners.

A phone only rings when a special "ringing signal" is sent to it. For regular telephones, the ringing signal is a 90-volt, 20-hertz, AC wave generated by the switch to which the telephone is connected. For mobile phones, the ringing signal is a specific, radio-frequency signal

Whereas older telephones simply used a pair of bells for the ringer, modern ring tones have become extremely diverse, leading to phone personalization and customization.

Newer mobile phones allow the users to associate different ring tones for different phone book entries. Taking advantage of these features, a new Ringtone Maker trend has emerged. For example, websites like Phone Sherpa and Ringtone Soup let users make ringtones from the music they already own (MP3, CD etc.) and upload directly to their mobile phone with no limit on the number of songs uploaded. In addition to the cost benefits, a key feature is the music editor that lets the user easily pick the part of the song they wish to set as a ringtone. Such services automatically detect the phone settings to ensure the best file type and format. There are however providers who have already edited and trimmed the song for you.

Others also allow users to create their own music tones, either with a "melody composer" or a sample/loop arranger (such as the MusicDJ in many Sony Ericsson phones). However, these use native formats only available to one particular phone model or brand. Although other formats, such as MIDI or MP3, are often supported; they must be downloaded to the phone before they can be used as a normal ring tone. Commercial ring tones take advantage of this functionality, which has led to the success of the mobile music industry. Southern rapper Cha millionaire was the first to have a ring tone go 3x platinum for the hit single "Ridin." He now has his own category on certain phones. [citation needed]

The latest innovation is the sing tone, a type of karaoke ring tone where a userís voice recording is adjusted to be both in time and in tune then mixed with a backing track to make a user-created ring tone.

An alternative to a ring tone for mobile phones is a vibrating alert. It may be useful:

In noisy environments
In places where ring tone noise would be disturbing
For the hearing impaired
 

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