I have certain friends who had to have a razor phone because they loved the idea of being able to set real music as their ringtones.  When Alexandra’s phone would ring, she’d sing along for awhile before actually picking up the call.  I suppose it can be funny, setting certain ringtones for certain people.  Add some irony:  I’m a Bitch for your sweetest friend.  Or not even use music but movie quotes instead.  I remember when we were house hunting our real estate agent’s incoming ring was a quote from Napoleon Dynamite.  I laughed each time I heard it, so it was actually a successful use of the technology.  So now that I have my iPhone, I’ve been creating my own ringtones (see more section below to learn how to create free ringtones).  But I’m a little wary to use them because I can’t help feeling it’s like middle school, when I’d blast some popular or meaningful song, that I somehow thought defined me, on my outgoing answering machine. 

Anyway.  So I got to wondering, let’s just say, I did go ahead with it, assigning special ringtones for a few of the special people in my life. I mean, there have definitely been times where the phone has chirped as I sat down for dinner with Phil, and I’d turn to him and say, "I will only get it if it’s X."  Then I’d jump up and see if X was indeed calling.  So really the unique ringtone is so I can be lazy and screen even more calls. Which songs would I assign to whom?  And as I question this, insisting they need to be songs I can tolerate hearing, I wonder what song or songs I would want associated with me.  And that’s the big question, certainly not a new one: what is your theme song?

When my father phones, Rod Stewart’s "Forever Young" pipes in.
For Lea, it’s The Suicide Machines’ "Sometimes I Don’t Mind" (a song about loving your dog!)
Mom gets that awesome version of "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" that was featured in Finding Forrester.

As for my friends, just as I sometimes allow them to choose their own names for my books, I think they should choose their own song.  It’s better than being stuck with a JoJo song always associated with you (as everyone seems to  do with me and the "Get Out" song, which is associated with my past life and past crapjack marriage).  What song would you want associated with you?  I currently have all incoming calls set to "Bubbly" by Colbie Caillat.  I might just mix it up with some more girl cliches and have Fergie’s "Big Girls Don’t Cry," but then I might need to put a pistol to my head.

To create free ringtones in iTunes:
1. Choose the song you want to turn into a ringtone (you have to own it) and make sure it is selected in iTunes
2. Listen to the song, and note where you want your ringtone to begin and end (for example, start in middle of song at 0:35 and end 1:12)
3. Right-click /ctrl-click the song and select GET INFO, then click the OPTIONS tab.  Here you’ll put in that start and end time, and if you want, you can adjust the equalizer preset to reduce bass if it sounds like it has too much static once on your phone, etc)  Then click OK.
4. Now with song selected, go to ADVANCED up top and select CONVERT SELECTION TO AAC.  It will create the ringtone!

How to LOAD this ringtone onto an iPhone so it actually shows up in your ringtones options:
You need this software that’s free to use for 30 days, then $15 to purchase: iToner



  1. I alternate between the Peanuts Vince Gagliardi (sp?) theme and the Brady Bunch theme. I think that makes me pretty tech savvy just because I don't have the factory default ring. But I'm old.

  2. this is always a tough question — i have a different ringtone for different groups of people in my life. my family all has the same – my boyfriend has one of his own -my closest girlfriends are all the beginning of 'don't stop believin'' by journey because journey is one of my favorites and they are each my favorites. my closest girlfriends from college are 'talk' by coldplay because that's what we do best – talk. default ringtone is 'new slang' by the shins – various reasons why this song defines the person i am. each of my ringtones, however, are instrumental – i agree with you that ringtones are very middle school — but i've found if you choose a great instrumental portion of the song that people will recognize – it is not as tacky as hearing the lyrics 'leave! now, get out!'

    i'd be curious to know which tones are chosen for your girlfriends. happy listening!

  3. i LOVE colbie caillat. she opened for the goo-goo dolls at the backyard earlier this month.. she was great!

    ringtones – i have the old school super mario brothers tune for my sister – we used to play it all the time. i have "sex and candy" play when my man calls. my best friend is from california, so naturally hers is "california love." my mom loves her some Jesus, so hers is "hallelujah!" my standard is just a normal telephone ring, so the calls from those i love are a lot more fun. :)

  4. "Typical" by Mute Math
    "Clocks" by Coldplay
    "Tears Dry on Their Own" by Amy Winehouse
    current ringtones.

  5. My brother's ring is the theme from Fraggle Rock – our favorite show as kids.

    My boss? The theme from A-Team.

    All exes have "Red Rubber Ball"

    Clients all have "Dueling Banjoes" from Deliverance :)

  6. I have Back in Black by AC/DC for just about everyone. Three friends have copied me and when ever my phone goes off I get comments on the ring. People think I'm cool, let's not tell them the truth…

  7. My phone announces who is calling in a soothing woman's voice…"Dad's work" and "Mom's Mobile" and if I haven't identified it, it just reads me the number.

    I have no idea how this happened, except my children got their hands on my phone before I did, and got it all set up. My favorite is 'home sweet home'. But I usually get that call during the work day when one of them is hogging the computer, one is barfing, and one lost the remote. Or something.

  8. ugh, i hate that fergie song. actually, i don't like fergie so…

    mine is the theme song to sex and the city..love that tone. i never thought to much about which songs get assigned to friends..except my husband. his ring when he calls is the theme from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

  9. I personally don't have ringtones set on my phone…..everyone gets the same standard tone. But I've been told that a couple of my friends have chosen Pink's "U + Ur Hand" for me.
    I'm not here for your entertainment
    You don't really want to mess with me tonight
    Just stop and take a second
    I was fine before you walked into my life
    Cause you know it's over
    Before it began
    Keep your drink just give me the money
    It's just you and your hand tonight

  10. I don't have a ringtone on my phone but my husband has ringtones for his Mom, our oldest son who is 12 years old and me. His Mom's ringtone is a siren because every call is an emergency to her, even if she just wants to chat. Our son's is from Talladega Nights during the scene where one if Ricky Bobby's son's says, "I'm gonna come at you like a spider monkey". My tone is LL Cool J's, I Need Love.

  11. For my pregnant friend, I set her phone to play "Like a Virgin." The love of my life gets Robin Thicke "Lost Without You."

  12. I've assigned ringtones to specific people since it was possible years ago. I did it so I knew whether it was important enough to answer the cell phone at work or in a store, or wherever. It's just practical.

    It isn't as big a deal as you're making out to be- pick a song for each person that would remind you it's them. To this day, whenever I hear the theme from 90210 I think of my friend "C" or know she's calling. For MH it's the song we cut our wedding cake to, and for my NYC girlfriends it's Girls Just Want to Have Fun…My mother-in-law is Hava Negilah because her voice couldn't be any more Brooklynese Jewy…so on and so forth.

  13. remind me by royksopp-not because I'm cool and already knew this band,(which I didn't) but because of the Geico commercial, heard it and loved it.

  14. Don't you have a deadline you are stressing about? Get off the iPhone and back to MOOSE!!!

  15. I actually have fugue in D minor as my ringtone right now, but that's only because I'm too technotarded to figure out how to do anything other than the standard options on my blackberry.

    My personal current theme song is "Unwritten" by Natasha Bedingfield (sp?). My life is sort of at a crossroads right now and I have no idea where I'm going or where I'll end up, but I'm very positive about things. :-)

  16. Big Girls by Mika! Anyone want it just email me and I will text it to you! :)
    You can also steal songs from Myspace's and make ringtones.
    Bubbly gets on my nerves, already overplayed! :(

  17. SO, my ringtone for work is 'Under Pressure' by Queen/Bowie, VERY APROPOS. My ring tone for everything else so far, is 'Brown Eyed Girl' by Van Morrison' which is also the the number one playing song on the soundtrack for my life. Eventually I hope to give everyone their own tune.

  18. Jen- you can get myspace free ringtones? I thought that was a scam or spam or something?

    Anyway I have a razr and only 3 ringtones that come with it autmatically are ok, the rest are jarring tech-sounding 90s club music crap. No thanks. How do I get a new ringtone for me razr?

    I like the song your mom has from 'Finding Forrester' SK. Very sweet song.

  19. I love the fact that today's subject is ringtones! During the months of August through February my ringtone is the Ohio State Fight Song. The other months, well it varies. The best is my CallerTune. That is what the caller hears while waiting for the other person to answer. Instead of the standard "Brrrnnngg Brrrnnngg…", my callers get to hear Lionel Ritchie's "Hello" The first song I had on there was Joan Jett's "I Hate Myself For Loving You". Is it obvious I was going through a break-up? It got the message across! But back to "Hello". It is the most appropriate song, in my opinion!

    Is it me you're looking for?
    I can see it in your eyes
    I can see it in your smile
    'Cause you're all I've ever wanted
    And my arms are open wide
    'Cause you just what to say
    And you know just what to do
    And I want to tell you so much…
    Hey you have reached Libby, leave me a message!

  20. I am never quite sure what ringtone will come out
    of my phone as my teenage daughters like to embarass me with setting it, without my knowledge, to songs like, The Little Mermaid or The Chicken Dance. Sometimes I am looking around wondering who would have set their phone to a certain ringtone and eventually realize that the geek is me.

  21. I have the Beverly Hills 90210 theme song. Yes, it's cheesy, but I love it – and I never confuse my ringtone with anyone else's! :)

  22. "You Know What It Is" (T.I. feat Wyclef) is my current ringtone.

    Cause you know, I moonlight as ghetto. Really great when I forget to turn it off at work and all the girls in Manolos turn, their highlighted hair swishing ever so slightly, their mouths opened in perfect, horrified, little O's.

    Can't I be two people at once?

  23. Hey, fuck you!
    I like that Fergie song. They are playing it far too much now but I still like it :)

    My ringtone is Last Night- The Strokes
    baby daddy's tone when he calls for kellen- Big Poppa – B.I.G.
    mom's tone- Peanuts theme song
    brother's tone – CCR- Looking Out my Backdoor (he's a huge Big Lebowski fan)

  24. Sometimes, my husband will change the ringer on his phone to the Darth Vadar anthem for my calls & he cracks up everytime I call him (which i think is too funny) ……But, right now "my" ringer is Sexy Love, by Ne-yo on his phone.

  25. I have a Sony Ericsson which lets me record stuff and then use it as a ringtone. Currently I have dialogue from CSI and Scrubs, as well as How to Save a Life.

    Bitch is a great song.

  26. currently stone cold/i think that she knows by justin timberlake. its fun. i sing and dance a little before i actually answer it! i've always wanted to add "i just called to say i love you" for my mom's ringer but i don't lke to get too lost in the middle school feeling ;)

  27. I have my ringtone as "Everything" by Michael Buble cause I love him and just saw him in concert in Boston. But the added benefit of having the ring tone is that an annoying guy in my office HATES Michael Buble so it's fun to get him annoyed when my phone rings. Ahhh – lovely.

  28. I nearly fell off my chair, I laughed so hard at K's comment(that was so awesome). Usually it's Barbara E. who has me rollin. Now of course that song is stuck in my head.
    I love this blog!!!!!

  29. What does it mean if I could care less what the hell kinda ringtone I have or my friend's have? Does this mean I'm old & boring, or just out of it? To be honest, I can't stand ringtones. They don't allow you to hear the whole song and some of them don't sound like songs at all, actually sound like crap.

    Don't mean to be a downer, just being truthful.

  30. my boyfriend's ringtone is Big poppa-B.I.G..i work and everyone just looks at me when it goes off. and his ringtone for me is off a wolf.

  31. I've used special ringtones ever since I had to start using reading glasses to read my cell phone's Caller ID. This is especially useful when I'm dating more than one person. If I'm with one and the other calls I know to let it go to voicemail.

  32. hey. wondering, what was the movie you mentioned before, that you watched while you were hanging out with the babies?


  33. my husband's razr ringtone is the imperial death march from star wars. mine used to be the star wars cantina song. (hi, we're nerds.) i lost my razr in JFK airport and realized i never liked that phone anyway. now it's back to the nokia basic and the plain nokia ring. it makes life much less complicated.

  34. I'm having trouble using iTunes to create my ringtones, but other than that, I love my iphone!

  35. Gnarls Barkley, "Who Cares?" THAT is the theme song of my life. Ah, the irony.

    "Basically I'm complicated
    I have a hard time taking the easy way"

    "You see, everybody is somebody
    But nobody wants to be themselves
    and If I ever wanted to understand me
    I'll have to talk to someone else"

    "And I can go on and on and on… but who cares?"

  36. "what goes around comes around" by Justin Timberlake is my current ringtone, cheesy I know – but I love me some JT. As for Bubbly, yes it's overplayed but God I love that song.

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