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).