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Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Accessible Site for Ring Tones

Cell phones have been around for a while now and the capabilities are growing faster than most people can keep up with. More than that, cell phones are becoming a big part of everyday life by offering cool features to their users like camera, video and games.

One thing I'm sure all of you have noticed is the different ring tones that people are using on their phones. Where do they get those cool tunes? Most of the sites I visited to look for new ring tones for my phone were filled with scams and pop ups. I found plenty of sites that offered free midi downloads, but it was only free until you went to their site, or after you agree to some contractual arrangement. The "free ring tones" advertisements and links are simply cleverly worded scams to get you to their site.

Mobile17 will send a midi file to your phone, allowing you, or someone who can actually see the screen, to insert it into your ring tones configuration list. The process is relatively simple and the site supports 94 percent of all the cell phones out there, so it doesn't matter if your phone is new or old. Chances are, Mobile17 can handle it.

What Mobile17 does is upload a midi file that you designate on your local hard drive or wherever you have the midi file stored. Then it sends the file out to your phone in one of four ways, depending on the data handling capabilities of your phone. The procedures that Mobile17 can utilize are:

  1. Download the file with your phone's Web browser.
  2. Receive it in a picture message.
  3. E-mail it to your phone as an attachment.
  4. Send you the file and you can transfer it to your phone.

The top three are really what makes this service cool! It allows the ring tone to be sent directly to the phone ready for use, with no middleman. The fourth option is for phones that may not have any of the first three features enabled. In the fourth option, you basically send the file to your PC and you upload it to your phone from there. This method isn't as easy and you may want to contact your cell phone's manufacturer to find out how this is done.

Since the service is free, there can be a small wait time for your file to be prepared, but it doesn't take that long. It takes maybe a half an hour and I've seen it as low as one minute.

Unfortunately, there is no great wealth of information on the site, but the service is new and they are working on implementing more help resources in the future. There is an e-mail address you can send questions to at least until more permanent resources are enabled that will assist you in using Mobile17.

Remember how I was discussing how untrustworthy these sites that offer downloadable ring tones seemed to be? Well, Mobile17 was nice enough to offer a couple of links out to no hassle midi download sites. That means you can look through copious amounts of music that is stored in their database without worrying if you're collecting malware.

You can set up your own Mobile17 account by clicking this link: http://mobile17.smashsworld.com.

Click this link to look through the available midi files for free: http://www.freemidi.org. With thousands of songs to pick from, you'll never get bored.

MP3 to Ring Tone

I found a program that will convert any MP3 or WAV sound file to a ring tone for either your cell phone or Skype. This is so simple to use. Just download Coolringer and install it. The program doesn't mess up your computer with any spyware so you stay safe.

After installation is complete, simply right-click any WAV or MP3 file and choose "Make a mobile ring tone" or "Make a Skype ring tone" and the program goes to work. Within a few seconds, you have a great clip that you can install to your phone or Skype.

Click this link to download Coolringer: http://www.coolringer.com.

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