A ringtone or ring tone is the sound made by a telephone to indicate an incoming call or text message. Not literally a Musical tone nor an actual (bell-like) ring any more, the term is most often used today to refer to customizable sounds used on .
On a POTS interface, this signal is created by superimposing ringing voltage atop the −48 VDC already on the line. This is done at the Central Office, or a neighborhood multiplexer called a "SLC" for Subscriber Line Carrier. (SLC is a trademark of Alcatel-Lucent, but is often used generically.) Telephones with electromagnetic ringers are still in widespread use. The ringing signal in North America is normally specified at ca. 90 AC with a frequency of 20 hertz. In Europe it is around 60–90 VAC with a frequency of 25 Hz. Some non-Bell Company system party lines in the US used multiple frequencies for selective ringing. Ringing voltage is produced by various sources. Large central offices used motor-driven generator sets for both ringing and other signals such as dial tone and busy signals. In smaller offices, special sub-cyclehttp://www.telephonecollectors.info/index.php?option=com_docman&task=doc_view&gid=319&Itemid=2 magnetic oscillators were used. Typically, solid-state oscillators have replaced them. Originally this voltage was used to trigger an electromagnet to ring a bell installed inside the telephone, or in a near-by mounted ringer box. of the late 20th century and later detect this ringing current voltage and trigger a warbling tone electronically. Mobile phones have been fully digital since the early 1990s second-generation ("2G") devices, hence are signaled to ring as part of the protocol they use to communicate with the cell base stations.
While the sound produced is still called a "ring", more-recently manufactured telephones electronically produce a warbling, , or other sound. Variation of the ring signal can be used to indicate characteristics of incoming calls. For example, ringing bursts with a shorter interval between them might be used to signal a call from a given number.
In POTS switching systems, ringing is said to be "tripped" when the impedance of the line reduces to about 600 ohms when the telephone handset is lifted off the switch-hook. This signals that the telephone call has been answered, and the telephone exchange immediately removes the ringing signal from the line and connects the call. This is the source of the name of the problem called "ring-trip" or "pre-trip", which occurs when the ringing signal on the line encounters excessively low resistance between the conductors, which trips the ring before the subscriber's actual telephone has a chance to ring (for more than a very short time); this is common with wet connections and improperly installed lines.
The ringing pattern is known as ring cadence. This only applies to POTS fixed phones, where the high voltage ring signal is switched on and off to create the ringing pattern. In North America, the standard ring cadence is "2-4", or two seconds of ringing followed by four seconds of silence. In Australia and the UK, the standard ring cadence is 400 ms on, 200 ms off, 400 ms on, 2000 ms off. These patterns may vary from region to region, and other patterns are used in different countries around the world. Some central offices offer distinctive ring to identify which of multiple numbers on the same line is being called, a pattern once widely used on party line (telephony).
The caller is informed about the progress of the call by the audible ringing signal, often called ringback tone. Power ringing and audible ringing are not synchronized.
While rings, ringers, ring signals, or what might be viewed as the call signals which are the predecessors of ringtones, date back to the beginnings of telephony, modern ringtones appeared in the 1960s and have expanded into tunes and many customizable tones or melodies. History of the Ringtone Arguably the first ringtone (in the modern sense) appeared in the movie Our Man Flint in 1966, where the head of the secret government agency had a red phone that connected directly to the President and rang with a distinctive musical ringtone.http://apocalypzia.com/files/files/spies2.htmlgreeting card to play a melody on the arrival of a call.Sokolowski, Steve (1989). "Customize Your Phone", Ch. 8 "Telephone Melody Ringer". TAB Books, Blue Ridge Summit, PA. . One such ringer, described in a 1989 book, even features a toy dog which barks and wags its tail when a call arrives.Sokolowski, Steve (1989). "Customize Your Phone", Ch. 20 "Animated Telephone Ringer". TAB Books, Blue Ridge Summit, PA. . Eventually, electronic telephone ringers became the norm. Some of these ringers produced a single tone, but others produced a sequence of two or three tones or a musical melody.Bigelow, Carr and Winder (2001). "Understanding Telephone Electronics", Fourth Edition. Newnes. . Some novelty phones have a ringer to match, such as a duck that quacks or a car that honks its horn.
The first commercial mobile phone with customizable ring tones was the NTT DoCoMo Digital Mova N103 Hyper by NEC, released in May 1996. asahi.com, retrieved on September 6, 2008 ( Cache) It had a few preset songs in MIDI format. In September 1996, KDDI, the current au, sold Digital Minimo D319 by Denso. It was the first mobile phone where a user could input an original melody, rather than the preset songs. These phones proved to be popular in Japan: a book published in 1998 providing details about how to customize phones to play snippets of popular songs sold more than 3.5 million copies.
The first downloadable mobile ring tone service was created and delivered in Finland in 1998 when Radiolinja (a Finnish mobile operator now known as Elisa Oyj) started their service called Harmonium, invented by Vesa-Matti Pananen. Time Magazine Europe: The Sweet Sound Of Success Harmonium contained both tools for individuals to create monophonic ring tones and a mechanism to deliver them over-the-air (OTA) via SMS to a mobile handset. On November 1998, Digitalphone Groupe (SoftBank Mobile) started a similar service in Japan.
The earliest ringtone maker was Harmonium, developed by Vesa-Matti Paananen, a Finnish computer programmer, and released in 1997 for use with Nokia smart messaging. First ever MEF Special Recognition Award goes to the pioneer of the mobile ringtone business — "Vesku" Paananen, a June 4, 2004 press release from the Mobile Entertainment Forum Ring My Bell, a 2005 article from The New Yorker
Andy Clarke, while working for UK Phone Provider Orange, helped created the B5 Ringtone License with the UK's Mechanical-Copyright Protection Society in 1998. In 1999, Clarke registered ringtone.net and setup what is believed to be the world's first "legal" ringtone business. Scott Memphis, leader singer of Sunday Morning Sanctuary, wrote a 2010 hit entitled, "Ringtones & Lullabies" inspired by with the B5 Ringtone Licensing of 1998.
Some providers have features for users to create music tones, either with a "melody composer" or a sample/loop arranger, such as the MusicDJ in many Sony Ericsson phones. These often use encoding formats only available to one particular phone model or brand. Other formats, such as MIDI or MP3, are often supported; they must be downloaded to the phone before they can be used as a normal ring tone.
When someone buys a ringtone, an aggregator (a company that sells ringtones) either creates the tune or mixes a pre-existing tune. The ringtone is sent in a special file format to the phone via SMS. If the company uses a pre-existing song, they must pay royalties to a licensing agency. A significant portion goes to the cell phone provider.
In 2005, "SmashTheTones", now "Mobile17", became the first third-party solution for ring tone creation online without requiring downloadable software or a digital audio editor. Later, Apple’s iPhone let users create a ringtone from any song purchased for the phone’s iTunes library Evolution of Ringtones from SendMe Mobile