Know The Basics of Polyphonic Ringtones

By: Craig Thornburrow

Many inexperienced cellular phone users may be overwhelmed by the technical jargon they encounter when trying to purchase or use a new phone. Terms such as monophonic and polyphonic ringtones, GPRS, baud rate and the like are enough to shake many non-technophiles. This article is an attempt to explain polyphonic ringtones to the novice consumer.

The first ringtone technology to be widely available for cellular phones was the monophonic ringtone. Although groundbreaking in its day the monophonic ringtone was only able to reproduce sounds and music one note at a time, two values only being required to produce the tone, pitch and the lenghth of the music.

Polyphonic ringtones are special because they allow several sounds to be played at the same time. Polyphonic ringtones are able to much more accurately reproduce complex sounds than previous technologies, and, for this reason, phones that can handle polyphonic ringtones are much more popular than their monophonic rivals. With polyphonic ring tones, complex compositions such as popular songs, college fight songs, movies scores, and others are reproduced in high quality and are easily recognizable.

One of the outstanding features of phones that support polyphonic ringtones is that polyphonic ringtones can be encoded in the popular MIDI format. MIDI is an industry electronic music standard and that means that anyone with a decent electronic keyboard or other computer interface-capable music instrument can create their own polyphonic ringtones.

Polyphonic ringtones are available for download from a vast array of online websites, typically for a small fee, though sometimes available for free. If your feeling adventurous you can always create your own, software either available online or packaged with the phone can help you with this task.

While polyphonic ringtones are becoming standard on almost all cellular phones, technology continues to progress, and now there is a technology that may one day supplant polyphonic ringtones. Some high end cell phones are now able to play mp3 encoded sound. These phones can accurately reproduce recorded sound to an arbitrary degree of precision (the more precise the sound, the more memory it requires). These new tones allow for the exact recreation of sound, which is much more than can be offered by polyphonic ringtones.

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