Cell phones have revolutionized the way people communicate. Within 20 years cell phones have moved from luxury devices to devices of necessity. Cell phone ringtones are one of the most popular accessories used in cell phones. The annual sales of cell phone ringtones reach approximately $3 billion. Ringtones have changed the soundscape of modern communication.
A ringtone is the sound made by a cell phone to indicate an incoming call. The cell phone makes the ringing sound in response to a special ringing radio frequency sent by the cellular service to indicate incoming calls. They were initially provided in cell phones so that the user could differentiate between its own cell phone rings from other cell phones'. However cell phone ringtones have become even more diversified leading to personalization of cell phones. Presently many ringtones such as sing tones, voice tones, caller tunes, monophonic tones, polyphonic tones, true tones etc are available freely and on payment basis on the internet. From Britney Spears to Shakira, crying babies to diving fighter planes, all sorts of ringtones are available.
Cell phone ringtones started out as simple rings and beeps, but present day ringtones are generally polyphonic. Polyphonic ringtones use two or more independent melodies playing synchronously. Current cellular phones can play four to forty tones and notes simultaneously.
Polyphonic ringtones have literally silenced monophonic tones due to their superior and pleasant quality. They can play guitars, drums, pianos and other sound instruments. Cell phones are available with preinstalled tones.
If the user is not satisfied with them he can download ringtones from the internet or from other phones. The usual formats for ringtones are either MP3 or MIDI. The latest cell phones can store quite a lot of ringtones.
There are facilities available for storing different ringtones set for different people on the phone book. In addition, different ringtones for SMS (short messaging system), MMS (Multimedia messaging system) and voice calls can also be kept. Voice ringtones are a fad these days. Ringtone downloads of voices of famous people, movie stars and other popular voices like that of the Star Wars characters Yoda, Chewbacca, R2D2 etc are available. Yoda is particularly popular with the phrase "Answer the phone you must". Vibrational ringtones are used in noisy places, while traveling, by hearing impaired, places where silence is mandatory like movie theaters libraries, hospitals, meetings etc.
With vibra ringtones the cell phone vibrates to get the attention of the user. Cell phones have moved from being simple communication devices to a kind of adornment and fashion statement. Ringtones help make the cell phone appear more lively and attractive and thus reflect on the personality of the user.
For more on Cell Phones visit Cell Phones and Cell Phone, and also at Computer Tech.