I’m a little behind the curve here. I could have updated my phone with a developer preview a while ago but decided that keeping my primary phone in a known stable state was more important than getting a shiny new toy no matter how tempting it was. Besides, I already get enough heat from some half-eaten fruit loving friends about being a Microsoft/Windows Phone fanboy so I really didn’t need to give them any more fodder!
I’ve been following a few blogs and reading about the new features that Mango was bringing to the platform so I thought I was prepared. I was wrong.
Windows Phone 7.5 brings a feature that really should have been available since the initial release – custom ringtones! After updating my phone last night and exploring many of its new features (more to come on that) I decided to create a few of my own.
According to the documentation on the Windows Phone site ringtones need to meet 4 criteria:
- MP3 of WMA format
- No more than 40 seconds long
- No more than 1 MB
The documentation goes on to say that you can create a ringtone in Zune by setting the file’s genre to “ringtone” and syncing it to the phone. Now I don’t know about your music library but I’m guessing that it’s similar to mine in that most of it fails both the second and third criteria so simply changing a file’s genre doesn’t cut it.
What I did to create my ringtones was load the desired tracks into audacity. In Audacity I isolated the sections that would become my ringtones and pasted them into new tracks. For an extra touch I added a 2-second fade out at the end of each one. I saved each file to a folder already monitored by Zune so it would discover them automatically. In Zune I updated the artist, album, and genre then copied them to the phone. The files were then immediately available for selection at the top of the ringtones list.
For the curious, the two tracks I converted were both from Benny Benassi – Electroman and Cinema [Skrillex Remix]. I ended up choosing Electroman.
A few days after posting this I learned that the phone also supports contact specific ringtones. To set a ringtone for a contact just open that contact’s card and click the edit button. On the edit screen you’ll see a new ringtone option listed under name. I haven’t set any ringtones this way yet but I was happy to find it as an option.