What is a Ringtone – How does it work and its types?

A Ringtone is a popular feature that almost every mobile phone these days has. It is essentially a short audio clip that is played when there is an incoming call. It is sort of like an alarm that alerts you when you receive a call from someone else. It can be a song, sound or any audio clip.

In fact, you can set a different ringtone for each of your contacts, so you can know who’s calling without picking up your phone. Ringtones repeat themselves repeatedly until you either pick up, decline, or mute the call. 

Ringtones are a fascinating piece of software, and we will explore all the different aspects of ringtones in this article. So, continue reading to know more about how ringtones work, the different kinds of ringtones, and how it differs from caller tunes. 

How Does Ringtone Work?

In computer technology, ringtones are just programs written onto your mobile phone’s memory chip. These programs are coded to make your microprocessor control the speaker system on your phone so that it plays the ringtone you have chosen when you pick up an incoming call.

In fact, the memory in your phone actually has many notes saved beforehand. The ringtone program simply instructs your microprocessor so that it knows which note to play when and at what rate. This way, no matter what song or audio file you choose, the microprocessor can play with the variables to produce the ringtone you want. 

Nokia first developed the programming language for ringtones. It was known as the RTTTL, which is short for Ringing Tone Text Transfer Language. As we mentioned, RTTTL simply identifies the incoming call and instructs the code to play the ringtone you selected. 

Types of Ringtone

There are 3 primary types when it comes to ringtones. Let us discuss each one in detail now. 

Type 1: Monophonic ringtone – This ringtone is a melody with only one note playing at a time. So, this is usually a very dumbed-down version of a famous song, and it was wildly popular in the early mobile phones. It is rarely used because it is the most basic kind of ringtone and is not very fun to hear. 

Type 2: Polyphonic ringtone – Unlike monophonic ringtones, polyphonic ringtones are those that have the ability to play more than one note at a time. They can play up to 16 notes simultaneously. Polyphonic ringtones can replicate a basic song and is much more preferred by people. It can be customized way more than monophonic ringtones. If you do not want to purchase an MP3 ringtone, then polyphonic ringtones are a great alternative because they are free! 

Type 3: Digital ringtone – This type of ringtone is an MP3, a clip typically taken from a sound clip or an entire song. This MP3 ringtone is the most famous kind of ringtone because this has the highest level of customization. You can virtually set this to be any song or audio clip worldwide! Whether it is an MP3 file or a WAV file, you can always set it as your ringtone. But only newer smartphones have the feature of MP3 ringtones. 

How is Ringtone Different From Callertune?

Ringtones are basically the sound that plays from your phone speakers when you receive an incoming call. Ringtones are the best way to personalize your mobile phone.

They help you make a statement when you are in public, and they definitely catch the attention of anyone near you. Ringtones can easily be customized to your liking, and you can even set a different ringtone for each contact. 

Whether it is a beat you like or a famous song you want to jam out to, you can set your ringtones to any audio file! There is no restriction when it comes to personalizing your ringtones in the modern era. The majority of ringtones are also completely free! 

Unlike ringtones, a caller tune is a sound that the caller hears when they call you. While ringtones are usually free, you will always have to pay for caller tunes, as they are a service you can subscribe to. 

Key Takeaways

Ringtones are a wonderful invention because they definitely spice up your mobile phone. They are an added level of customization that makes your phone truly yours. You even have the freedom to set your ringtone as virtually anything! 

As we learned earlier, there are 3 ringtones: monophonic, polyphonic, and digital. Each type has its own set of restrictions, but digital ringtones are the most popular kind of ringtones. 

Although you may think that caller tunes are just another name for ringtones, this is not the case. Caller tunes are what the caller hears when they call you, but ringtones are what you hear when you get an incoming call. 

We hope we have cleared all your doubts regarding ringtones, so set up your favorite ringtone! 

About Hitakshi

Hitakshi Patel is a freelance content writer from Anand, Gujarat, writing for Apprupt.com. She graduated from Gujarat Technology University with Computer Science as a major. She loves writing about technology, digital marketing, travel, edtech.

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