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What are Mobile Phone Tones?

Article Details
  • Written By: Autumn Rivers
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 08 November 2016
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2016
    Conjecture Corporation
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Cell phones have existed for several years, and the mobile phone tones that are available have evolved just as quickly as the phones themselves. There is a wide selection of mobile ring tones on the market that can suit nearly everyone. They typically range in price, quality, and style, but one aspect they all seem to share is that their main purpose is to alert the cell phone user of an incoming call. Fortunately for most people, almost every cell phone has the ability to use many different mobile phone tones.

Phones have to provide some notice that a call is coming through in order to be useful at all. The traditional telephone features a ring that most people still find familiar, even if they no longer possess a home phone. While some people find that ring comforting and choose to put it on their cell phone, others want more variety. Most cell phones include several mobile phone tones for the user to select from for free. These do not need to be downloaded as they are already on the phone, and range from classical music or the traditional telephone ring to a short or long beep.

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Most newer phones feature Internet access, prompting users to take advantage of the large selection of music online. Typical online mobile phone tones can include brand new songs that it seems everyone is downloading, or older songs that only the user remembers. Nearly any song on the radio likely has its own downloadable mobile tone. Some are free, but many cost money to download.

Some of the oldest cell phones are typically limited to monophonic mobile phone tones, which means that only one note of the song can be played at a time. On the other hand, polyphonic tones can feature two or more notes at once. Many newer phones boast the ability to play truetone rings, which are essentially short clips taken from recorded music. These often display the best sound quality since they are actually audio recordings. A sing tone is yet another type, which allows users to record themselves singing and use it as a ring tone.

In general, one of the main reasons for having multiple mobile phone tones available is to allow users to set themselves apart from others. In the early days of cell phones, the same few tones were often used because they were the only ones available. In a crowd, several people would check their phone if they heard ringing, since nearly everyone had the same tone. The wide array of mobile phone tones appears to not only reduce confusion surrounding whose phone is ringing, but also allow phone users to display their musical preferences on a small scale. On the other hand, choosing a ring tone that is ostentatious, crude, or distracting many annoy those around you, so a certain amount of discretion should also be used.

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