It takes a little work, but somebody going by the name of Tony posted a cool idea on how to get ringtones for free! Basically, what you do is go to a site that allows downloads of song samples, such as walmart.com, and download the MP3 file. You can then follow the instructions to create either QCP or M4A type ringtones starting at the point where you have an MP3 file.
After making my previous post about Sprint ringtones, I made a ringtone for my fiancÃ©e from a song that she really liked. She had previously said that she was really looking forward to it becoming available and would use it as her ring as soon as it was. She was really appreaciative, but after a couple weeks pointed out that it didn’t sound as good as the other ringtones on her phone. I thought that was weird, because I had listened to that ringtone and some of the ones I had downloaded from Sprint’s site on my phone and they all sounded about the same to me. My fiancÃ©e, being a Sprint employee, has a fancier phone than I do, so I listened to a couple of the other ringtones on her phone, and she was right… the one I made for her just didn’t sound as good. So I went back and did a little more research and discovered that the Sanyo MM 7400 supports MP4 ringtones, provided they have the M4A extention. So, I had to find a way to convert my WAV file into an MP4 file. For that purpose, I used dBpowerAMP. So to make a long story short, she was really happy that I was able to produce a ringtone that sounds just as good as the ones she gets from the Sprint site and was just what she wanted.
For the past couple of weeks now I’ve been looking off and on about how to make my own ringtones for my Sprint PCS phone. I’ve managed to find some resources that said my Sanyo PM-8200 phone will support polyphonic ringtones. These are essentially just MIDI files and thus can’t do anything more than notation. Nice, but they can hardly compare with the ringtones that are available for $2.50 apiece from Sprint’s site that expire in 90 days. I wanted something of that quality, but without the price or the expiration. So I kept looking. What I discovered was that those fancy rigntones were in a QCP file format. I also discovered a simple command line application, PureVoice that can convert a WAV file into QCP format. Now the only thing I had left to discover was how to get that QCP file to my phone. In looking for that, I discovered a Free Mobile Phone Uploader site that will either send a text message with a link to download your file or give you a Jump Code to allow you to download it.
So now I can have any sound I want in the entire world as a ringtone. Using a little creativity, that can include clips from songs that I downloaded from iTunes for $.99. The basic steps to do that are:
- Purchase the song from iTunes.
- Convert that file to MP3 format. You can either burn it to a CD then rip it, or use JHymn.
- Convert the file to WAV, shorten it to 30 seconds or less. I used Audacity for that task.
- Reduce the sound quality to be PCM, mono, 8 kHz, 16-bit. I was unable to figure out how to do that in Audacity, so I simply used the sound recorder app that comes with Windows.
- Use PureVoice Converter to convert the WAV file to a QCP file (drag the WAV file onto pvconv.exe).
- Upload the QCP file to the Mobile Phone Uploader.
- Download it from that site to your phone and assign it like you would any other ringtone.
Update 25-May-2005: Newer phones (like the Sanyo’s that start with “MM”) can use a different, and better sounding, format.
Update 8-Feb-2006: Thanks to Tony, we now know how to make ringtones for free! (Hint: Use walmart.com as step 1).