What Are Polyphonic Ringtones

By: Craig Thornburrow

Cell phones are getting more and more advanced every day, and the old ringtones have now been almost completely replaced with polyphonic ringtones.? In this article we will discuss the differences between the three dominant types of ringtones available from most cell phones.

The first ringtones were monophonic, which means that they were only capable of playing one note at any given time.? Monophonic ringtones were easy to find and inexpensive, but frankly, didn't sound all that great.? Beginning in the later 1990s, polyphonic ring tones became popular, and many cell phone manufacturers began adopting polyphonic ringtone capability into their existing cell phone lines.

Unlike monophonic ringtones, polyphonic ring tones can play many notes at once, creating more complex and accurate reproductions of songs.? The earliest polyphonic ring tones could only play four notes at any one given time, but before long this figure had doubled to eight notes. Today's polyphonic ringtones can usually handle 32 or even, in some cases, 64 notes at once, to produce very high-quality reproductions of music, as well as a wide variety of other unusual sounds.

With the introduction of polyphonic ring tones, the old monophonic ringtones began to be phased out.? However, they are still used by some manufacturers, and even modern cell phones still support the monophonic ringtone format, for users who would like a simpler, retro sound on their phones.

In recent years, a third type of ringtone has become popular, competing with modern polyphonic ringtones for market share.? This new type of ringtone is called "true tone."? The true tone format is a digital audio recording similar to an MP3 that can perfectly reproduce a piece of music or other audio event.? True tone ringtones have been gaining popularity over the last several years, and now most modern cell phones have the ability to use both polyphonic and true tone ringtones.

The advantage of true tone ringtones over polyphonic is that you can create a ringtone from any audio event that can be digitized.? For example, you could record you and your friends telling jokes, create an MP3 of the recording, and then upload this as a ringtone on your phone.? There are several different types of software on the market that will convert standard MP3's to cell phone ringtones, and most are quite easy to use.

Additionally, there are ringtone upload sites online that will allow you to upload your newly created true tone ringtones on the Internet, and then download them directly to your cell phone ready for use.

Although true tone technology is gaining ground, the majority of cell phone ring tones in the United States are still of the polyphonic variety.? They few companies are even attempting to merge polyphonic and true tone technologies to create a fourth category of ringtone that would have all the advantages of both types.

Although this fourth type of ringtone has not caught on yet with either consumers or phone manufacturers, the idea of combining polyphonic ringtones with digital audio "snippets" is currently being explored, and may provide the most versatile polyphonic ringtones yet.

Cell Phones
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