Customizing Windows Phone 7 Ringtones

July 28, 2011, By Christian Cawley

One of the most popular customizations that users like to bring to their mobile phones is the ability to select custom ringtones. This is something that has curiously been omitted from the original release of Windows Phone 7, although it is set to be added with the Mango update in late 2011.

In the meantime, users are restricted to a preselected group of default ringtones, although these can be used to good effect.

For instance, the volume of ringtones can be altered and different tones and alerts can be assigned to particular notifications, such as new text messages and new voicemail messages.

As you might also expect, contacts can be assigned their own ringtones – in fact the only thing you can’t do is assign and edit custom ringtones!

Windows phone 7 ringtones

Configuring Ringtones and Sounds

In Windows Phone 7 the Ringtones & Sounds screen in the Settings menu controls how notifications and ringtones are setup.

When you first open the screen, you will see that there are switches to toggle the Ringer and Vibrate function (note that these can also be altered/activated via the volume rocker switch on the side of the phone), before scrolling down to find the Ringtone selector, where you default ringtone is activated. New text messages, voicemail messages and emails can also be assigned audible alerts, or if you prefer you can choose to keep them silent by selecting None.

Also available via this screen are check boxes for toggling whether a sound is played for Appointment reminders, key presses (specifically the software keyboard), the Lock and unlock functions and any Other notifications, such as those that might occur when playing games.

Assigning a Ringtone to a Contact

Thanks to the People hub on Windows Phone 7, you can easily manage all of your contacts and their related information from other services and networks in the comfort of one single area of your phone.

Better still, this screen allows various editing and configuration of the contacts, including assigning ringtones.
This is easily done by opening the People Hub, selecting a contact and tapping the Edit button in the menu. From here, tap +Ringtone and select an appropriate audible notification to assign to that individual. Despite the fact that custom ringtones cannot be assigned there are nevertheless plenty of tunes to choose from.

Before choosing one of these ringtones, remember that you can preview them by tapping the play button before applying as a new sound.

So, how easy will it be to actually assign a ringtone when the time comes for Microsoft to add this functionality to the platform? There is little point in expecting that added functionality to be any different from what is already in place, perhaps with the added benefit of some audio trimming tools.

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