Friday, October 07, 2005

Cell Phones, Ringtones: Why and how to get new stuff for your cell

The downloadable cellphone ringtone industry has created a huge buzz among a certain segment of the internet industry. Although you don't yet see reports of this stuff on the broadcast network news reports, there is a lot of money changing hands.

One big question: Why?

I asked my teenaged son this question: Why do kids like to customize their phones? After getting the typical "Dad you just don't get it look" that I get quite often (!), the answer boiled down to "It's just cool".

Bottom line, if I may be permitted to extrapolate the rest of the story, ringtones allow you to personalize a gadget that has become a part of your everyday workflow. Ringtones have the advantage of being cheap, and very easy to deal with as well.

So how do you download some new material on your phone? The answer varies a bit with the capabilities of your phone. Some phones can only play one note at a time, some phones can only play modified MIDI files, others can do samples of one format or another. It can be a bit confusing.

Help for the confused

Enter This is a ringtone site that keeps track of what your phone can use. All you ahve to do is select a tune you'd like, and then select your phone model. If you don't see your phone model listed, your phone can't use that type of file!

The site has thousands of ringtones available. It also offers wallpaper (for changing the backgrounds on the cell phone screen), pictures, and even videos (for the latest phone models). The inventory is constantly being updated, and is very easy to use. Downloading is quick, easy, and secure - not to mention cheap!

How to download ringtones to your phone

First, swing over to and select a ringtone, wallpaper, or video. Click on your selection to preview it. This will create a popup window, so if you have popups blocked you may have to CTRL-click the link (command-click for you Mac people).

After you listen to it, select your cell phone service provider (i.e. Verizon, Cingular, AT&T, etc), then your phone manufacturer (Motorola, Samsung, etc.) and then your specific phone model. Only those phones that can use your selection will show up in the list - so you can't buy something you couldn't use!

Simply click the "Buy" button, and the window will be replaced with instructions on how to finsih the download. generally, use your cell phone to send a specific text message to a specific number, and the material you ordered will be automatically downloaded to your cell phone.

Prices are low - somewhere in the $1 to $2 range, and the site is available internationally as well.

It's fast, easy, simple, cheap, and secure. So check it out - it's a lot of fun, actually. They have a wide selection of tunes available, and it's all legal.