Reader Feedback: iPhone Ringtones

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During the live coverage I asked readers to email me and let me know what they thought about having to pay twice for their ringtones. I received WAY more responses than I expected, and I wanted to say thanks to everyone who took the time to email me and tell me your thoughts on it.

Here are some highlights. Luckily, out of the 95,000 views of the coverage we saw today, only 2 people felt the need to tell me I’m an idiot…so that’s good. Most everyone else was positive about the coverage, and had these things to say about ringtones:

“I wouldn’t mind if I knew the artist was getting most of that money….But if the Big 4 keep it, then no way. – William”

“I think the idea of having to pay extra to make a ringtone out of a song you’ve already paid for is ludicrous. I wonder if this ringtone maker will only allow iTunes Store-purchased songs… if so, it is an example of Apple following the poorly-laid footsteps of the cellular industry, rather than leading by thinking differently… – Tom”

“Compared to the ringtones I bought in the past from verizon and even cingular cost me around $2-4 each, 99 cents could be considered cheap. If I buy a ringtone and the song from iTunes, I can still consider it a deal, plus I get to choose what part of the song, thats a plus! – John”

“Given the existing ringtone industry, I think it is to be expected that Apple would charge for ringtones from songs it sells. It’s a logical business model and consistent with the cellular industry.

I would *like* to be able to make any old audio file into a ringtone, and wish they would add that. But again, that doesn’t exactly exist on any other phone, at least not in a usable way.

Products like iToner can fill that void. I can definitely see why Apple would not build that in themselves. – Jeremey.”

“I think Apple is probably going about this the right way. Would I like free ringtones–of course!

But chances are, if you’re a ringtone fan you are already gonna have the song. So paying $0.99 to make it a ringtone on your phone seems very competitive and reasonable. – Scott”

“While I think that it kind of sucks that I have to pay extra for a ring tone, I understand why Apple is doing it. The ring tone business is HUGE and Apple wants a piece of it. And because the iPhone is such a hit…people will flock to buy up ring tones at ridiculous rates. -Matt”

“I don’t care. I’m not paying for the song again, I’m paying to make it a ringtone. That’s fine – Megan”

“For free, you can get your phone to make a sound to indicate someone is calling you. For example, you can get your phone to make a sound like, say, a bell. Or even better, you can get it to vibrate and make no sound.

I don’t understand the desire for ring tones. I no more want a musical ring tone for my phone than I want one for my microwave oven.

Oop, gotta go, Nelly’s telling me my Lean Cuisine is done: “It’s getting hot in herre! ?” – Shawn”

I love that last one.

The general consensus is pretty split. I think about half of the emails I got were against it, with the rest either supporting it, or being indifferent to it.

I think I’m in the indifferent camp. I see that there is an industry built on ringtones, and I’m sure if Apple were to go telling the music companies that now, in addition to low cost they had to go and make them FREE ringtones, that would only further the animosity between them, so I’m really not that unhappy about it.

I also don’t plan on changing my ringtone anytime soon, so I’m sure that plays into my indifference as well. (of course, I probably will change my ringtone as soon as it’s available to review it here on the site, but that’s beside the point.)

Picture of Kokou Adzo

Kokou Adzo

Kokou Adzo is a stalwart in the tech journalism community, has been chronicling the ever-evolving world of Apple products and innovations for over a decade. As a Senior Author at Apple Gazette, Kokou combines a deep passion for technology with an innate ability to translate complex tech jargon into relatable insights for everyday users.

4 thoughts on “Reader Feedback: iPhone Ringtones

  1. I’ll say it again here… It’s not like you’ll be converting your entire library.
    Personally I think musical ringtones are annoying… most people that have them let them “ring” till the song is over so you can hear how cool they are with their “over produced, top 40, no talent” song. But there is a market for it.

  2. Eh, I’m lukewarm on the rolled-out plan. On the one hand, it makes some sense to be able to ringtone-ify songs one has bought from iTMS, and the price point isn’t too bad.

    But on the other hand, 90%+ of the music on my iPhone was “imported” from CDs I own. I’m disappointed that Apple did not come up with a way for me to transform some of those into ringtones, especially those tracks that the iTMS does not carry. (For instance, a Beatles song… 🙂

    Maybe they’ll add this capability in the future. Until then, there are alternatives…


  3. I don’t have an iPhone (yet) and I’ve never paid for a ringtone that’s on my Motorola Krazr. I export the song I want from iTunes, cut it down to 20 seconds worth in Quicktime, recode it to 64 kps and upload via Bluetooth to the phone. Works like a damn charm. Dunno. Can you upload to a ringtone folder on the iPhone or is it all invisible-ized like the iPod?

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