Yesterday after spending most of the day up in Boulder, I got home to a nice little message in itunes…Ringtones Are Here!
Excited, I quickly checked to see which songs had ringtones attached. I have a library of more than 24000 songs. Only 1800 had ringtones. 7.5% of my library. Which really is disappointing int that at least 80% is itunes purchased songs (or itunes plus). Which is also an issue, since ringtones seem to be only available for itunes purchased DRM’d songs.
The interface is pure Apple. Clean and easy to use. I like the fact that the actual sound wave is used, so I can tell where the chorus and heavy piano (yes, I said piano) were located. After picking a decent 10 second clip. I bought my iTunes ringtone and within seconds it was synced to my iPhone.
And thats where the iTunes Ringtones let me down. The volume is so low, its almost impossible to hear the phone ring. As a true mac lover, my first reaction was “Damn it. I did something wrong!” So, I went about making another iTunes ringtone.
This time, I selected Nick Cave’s (Are You) The One I’ve Been Waiting For? Again, picked my 15 second section, bought and downloaded my iTunes Ringtone. Again, poor volume.
So, I took at look at a couple other options, finally settling on iToner. iToner gave me the ability to put the ringtone on my iPhone, but not the ability to trim it. I decided that rather than fussing with a bunch of different tools, which would have required conversion utilities, song trimmers, etc. I thought I would try PocketFuzz. Now as most of my friends know, their founder Danny Newman and I have been friends for a long time. I saw PocketFuzz when it was still in “danny-mode” (concept worked, but danny had to do a bunch of manual things to make it work). I have always thought it was an interesting concept, but never really could find a decent use for it.
PocketFuzz now is a full blown ringtone service for independent artists and their fans. Bunch of cool features, I would suggest checking it out. But enough of the advertisement….
for $0.99 you can upload any AAC/MP3 (non-DRM’d) to an interface very similar to iTunes, and cut a ringtone, which is then texted to your phone (and because this is not supported by the iPhone), you can download the ringtone to your desktop. I chose s.e.k.s’ version of Dont Fear the Reaper.
Then its a quick drag and drop over to iToner, and a click of the sync button. And, more importantly, the volume and clarity of the ringtone is easily 2-3x better than iTunes Ringtones.
My suggestion to Danny is he should call the maker of iToner and create some sort of easier integration, so that folks that want to create their own ringtones out of their own music have an alternative to iTunes Ringtones.
I am not a big ringtone guy, having only 3-4 on my phone, but my experience so far with iTunes Ringtones, while from a user experience was great, has been sub par. I think for now, I am going to stick with my iToner/PocketFuzz solution.