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Ringtones Explained - Monophonic, Polyphonic or Whatever Phonic Rings Your Bell

Downloadable Ring tones - The Latest Trend

What can you say about ring tones? NOTHING…except that cell phones capable of downloading ringtones are the newest “must have” item today! One of the fastest growing features today is ringtones, especially downloadable ones! There are other downloadable items available on the Internet too like Java Games. Various wallpapers and screen savers are hot too but by far the most popular feature requested is downloadable ringtones.

The cell phone and their various ringtones have become status symbols. Ringtones show that you’re up to date and happening. You can even take a test that defines which ringtone best suits your personality. You can truly display your lifestyle and certainly your musical taste on your sleeve.

This article will describe briefly what ring tones are, what’s currently available and what the future holds. It will also suggest a caveat to consider prior to downloading the multitude of formats of available on the market. Prices are low and the sky’s the limit, so read on.

  • Just What Are Downloadable Ringtones?

  • A Caveat Before You Buy!

  • What’s Available?

  • A Brief Glimpse At Ancient History.

  • Ringtones – Where Do We Go From Here?

  • Other Products Available On Ringtone Websites

  • What Can You Say About Ringtones

Just What Are Downloadable Ringtones?

Ringtones are the sound that a regular or cell phone makes when it’s rings. Early ring tones were simple chimes and on later models, a combination of chimes. Limited numbers of ringtones were available and mostly consisted of different patterns of tones or chirps. An example of one of the most infamous ringtones was the ominous” ring ring…ring ring” that is reminiscent of Todd Beamer’s last telephone call on 9/11. You can hear that ringtone featured as an intro to Neil Young’s famous song “Let’s Roll.”

Ringtone technology developed quickly and has progressed a lot since that song was recorded. Originally, you purchased a cell phone and had a choice of monophonic ring tones that produced a one note song. The number of songs was extremely limited and downloadable ring tones were simply an Engineering student’s good idea.

Because of lightning speed technology and numerous service providers, one of the latest and greatest features available today is downloadable ringtones. When you’re surfing the ‘Net you’ll find plenty of sites offering tones by today’s hottest musicians; you can pick monophonic, polyphonic or true tone formats. More on that later.

A Caveat Before You Buy!

The first thing you need to know before you select, buy and download a suitable ring tone is if your cell phone is up to date enough to utilize this feature. Like everything else in technology, cell phones have evolved very quickly. As a result the cell phone that you purchased just a year ago may not have the ability to fully access the type of ring tone currently available. So make sure you check. Re-read your manual or call your service provider to find out. It’s possible that you can upgrade your phone for a reasonably low fee.

What’s Available?

Ringtones are divided into three formats.
  1. Monophonic

  2. Polyphonic

  3. True Tone or Real Tone

To understand this type of technology, a person needs to have a physics/mathematics background and understand musical composition. Luckily, all that is needed to know is what types of ringtones are available and what they sound like. The following is a description of three types of ringtones, monophonic, polyphonic and true tone. Most websites offer samples of each and once you hear an example, you’ll know what type you’ll want to use on your cell phone.

A) Monophonic Ringtones
Some of the first cell phones came equipped with the capability of having a one tone ringer. “Monophonic” is the simplest of ring tone technology that uses a midi format. This “one note wonder” changed ringtones. Gone were the chirps and chimes; now you could play a song. A monophonic ringtone is single notes playing a song. You can recognize your favorite song but it sounds a little lame. Most monophonic tones are offered free of charge because of more full bodied tones now available, but if you’re trying to make a statement, however, read on.

B) Polyphonic Ringtones
Polyphonic ring tones also use midi technology but the tonal quality is richer and has more depth. This is because polyphonic ringtones can play up to 40 notes or more. A quick example is the sound produced when Windows XP® starts up. It reproduces the sound of an orchestra playing a note rather than one instrument playing the same note.

Polyphonic with its richer tonal quality sounds better than monophonic but when compared to MP3 quality it sounds pretty weak. Midi format may be adequate for basic ringers and great for greeting cards but if it’s real sound that you want for your cell phone, keep reading.

C) Truetone And Mp3’s
The future of sound for ringtones seems to be hifi quality. The real tone or true tone ringtones that can be downloaded onto your cell phone are equivalent to an MP3 player quality and sounds a little like an iPod.

True tone technology will allow the user to hear recorded voices such as Austin Powers announcing “You’re phone is ringing, baby, yeah”. This recording is so convincing that people will be looking for Mike Myers. Songs like Outkast’s “Hey Ya” and the Starsky and Hutch theme song are downloadable as well. With a built in microphone you can record your own or someone else’s voice. True tone ringtones will even mimic a real old fashioned telephone ring. How’s that for retro?

A Brief Glimpse At Ancient History

In the almost ancient past, cell phones came with one ringer and no features at all. Wall paper was something that decorated your home and SMS was unheard of. Cell phones were big and cumbersome and used only by the elite or as marketing gurus put it, “Early Adopters.” Very few people owned cell phones because of the size and expense.

Digital technology changed all. All of a sudden a lot of people were buying and using cell phones. This was confusing because every time a phone rang, everyone in the room started to rummage through their bags and pockets to answer it. A unique sound was the answer and that is how ring tones of every description came into being.

Ringtones – Where Do We Go From Here?

Some technical websites declare that the cell phone of tomorrow will replace the MP3 player of today. This will be possible once a dual use battery is invented that can hold a sufficiently long enough charge. The power would last more than a few hours and be easily recharged. The “techies” declare that memory capabilities must be enhanced so that the user can download and store hundreds of thousands of songs. This isn’t that far off, in fact an MP3 player being replaced by a cell phone is considered possible within 5 years according to most technical websites.

Other Products Available On Ringtone Websites

Sound mixers and Recordable Devices
A 2002 Motorola cell phone came with an audio mixer that could harness the hundreds of musical instruments in a midi format. This cell phone has greatly evolved and allows you to program special effects. Effects include echo and reverb to name just a couple. You can program your own ringtone, download it onto your phone and then enhance it with the above hifi effects.

Wall paper and Logos
Many cell phones are used to connect to the Internet and also do double duty as palm pilots. This has necessitated a larger screen and with that you need special wall paper. You can choose from a multitude of assortments. Your favorite logos are also downloadable. Logos of every sports team are available.

Java Games
Whether you’re waiting for the dentist or the bus, passing the time is far quicker by playing a computer game. Java games are available from the same websites that offer huge assortments of wallpaper and ringtones. Google the word Java Game or Gamer and there’s lots of websites sites to choose.

SMS (Short Message Service)
ICQ (I Seek You) was the pioneer of the SMS technology and still remains on the cutting edge of SMS technology. ICQ is pretty advanced and still progressing. It offers the availability of staying in real time communication and allows a large address book. As part of the ICQ community, there are message boards, chat rooms and user lists available. ICQ also offer unique ringtones as well. SMS Google is catching up quickly and now provides the user with the option of text messaging a query directly to its web site using a cell phone.

What Can You Say About Ringtones

So there you have it, what can you say about ringtones? It seems in today’s wireless world and with cutting edge technology, quite a.bit. Gone are the days where a single bell chime or as Lily Tomlin put it so well: “one ringy dingy, two ringy dingy” had to sound to get your attention. Today the choices are endless so shop around for what suits you best in your own unique ringtone. Stay in touch!

About the Author

Lillian Fuller is a talented freelance writer providing tips about free cell phones, cell phone plans and cell phone ringtones.
© 2004 http://www.cell-phone-n-plans.com/

Lillian Fuller