Sunday, October 25, 2009

Ring tones

I got a new phone a couple of days ago. I spent most of the afternoon figuring out how to use an mp3 file and convert it to a ring tone, so I thought it would be worth writing down how to do this.

My new phone is a Samsung Reclaim. I didn't get it because it's green (both in color and ecologically), but that is a nice feature. I got it because I have Sprint as my mobile carrier, and this phone was the highest rated of the free phones. Actually, it was one of the highest rated of all Sprint's phones. I don't have a data plan. The phone will do all the internet stuff, but I just don't want to be that connected. Besides, I'm pretty much in front of a computer all day anyway, so email on my phone just isn't that critical.

So -- ringtones. The cnet review says it won't play mp3 files directly. Google led me to this page, which says it's "easy peazy":

"Simply use your method of choosing to get your sound clip into a .3g2 (this is a video format) file and get it into the DCIM/100SSMED on either your phone or your memory card."

I have mp3's, which is an audio format, I need 3g2, which is a video format. I spent quite a while searching for an app that would make the conversion. I finally found Mobile Media Converter. This is a free, open-source app that runs on Linux and Windows. It is a very simple front-end to ffmpeg, just pick your input file, your output destination, and what you want it converted to. I converted my mp3 file to a 3gp file, then renamed it afterward to have a 3g2 extension so my phone would be happy.

As I mentioned, I don't have a data plan, but my phone does have a microSD chip. To get the ringtone to the phone, I just took the SD chip out of the phone, inserted it into my computer, and copied my new ringtone to the chip into the DCIM/100SSMED folder. The ringtone has to be in this folder, or the phone won't find it. There is a similar folder in the phone itself, so the ringtone could be copied there if desired.

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