Ringtone Studio v1.0
Reviewed on 18 November 2002
$10.00 (trial available)
Available from: http://www.wildpalm.co.uk/rtone7650.html
Version reviewed: v1.0
Currently supported languages: English only
Polyphonic tones are great to have on our mobile phones. But the complication in downloading those custom tones onto compatible handsets is an issue, as well as trying to manage a specific tone’s characteristics. Currently, trying to find a straight-forward way of dealing with polyphonic ringtones is a nightmare!
Thankfully, someone has come along and given Nokia 7650 users an excellent application that virtually caters for all your polyphonic ringtone needs. As you will find out (after reading through the review), WildPalm’s Ringtone Studio comes with all the necessary tools and features for you to manage the poly tones on your 7650.
Ringtone Studio basics
Ringtone Studio caters for the editing of MIDI-based polyphonic tones only (it does not deal with AMR- and WAV-based files) - since the application only deals with MIDI-specific properties. These include the speed, volume, length and instrumental properties of a MIDI file.
The application interface is well laid out and easy to use. On opening Ringtone Studio, a blank screen with “(no data)” is displayed. You will first need to choose a MIDI-based ringtone to open, and subsequently the tone’s instrumental data is brought up and shown on the screen instead. The length of the selected ringtone is displayed at the top of the screen (under the “Ringtone Studio” title).
Something to remember when using Ringtone Studio is to save your editions before hitting the “back” soft key, which will immediately quit the application without notification and return you to the 7650 menus.
The list of things that you can do with your MIDI-based tones by using Ringtone Studio are quite extensive, and can save people much time in having to transfer these same tones between 7650 and PC (to edit them with PC-based software) endlessly to just get them sounding right!
Here is a brief explanation of the functions available:
Editing the MIDI song
You can edit several aspects of how a song is played out, including:
- Change Speed
Increases or decreases the speed of the song by 50% either way.
- Set Max Volume
Increases the volume of the MIDI file to its maximum possible. Depending on the actual MIDI file, this does not necessarily mean that the volume can be doubled (see “change volume” below).
- Change Volume
Increases or decreases the volume of the MIDI file by 100% either way. This means you can silence the entire tone (which you probably won’t do), or increase the current volume by twofold if possible.
- Trim Silence
Removes the silence at the beginning of a MIDI song file. Usually, this may only be a few seconds maximum.
- Set Song Start and End
These two options give the user the ability to set the start and end times (up to the millisecond) based on the original MIDI song file opened. For example, if you only want the song’s chorus played out, simply advance the start time and bring back the end time.
Editing the selected track of the MIDI song
Ringtone Studio also has the ability to edit the characteristics of individual tracks:
- Changing the instrument(s) used
When a ringtone is opened, a list of all the instruments used for each track are displayed and numbered accordingly. From here, it is possible to change the instrument used by simply highlighting the track you want to change and depressing down on the joystick. A list of generic instruments will be displayed - and once selected, the specific instrument types available (see screenshot example).
- Muting the sound
You can mute the sound of the selected track. This is different from changing the volume of the track to “0%” (see “change volume” below).
- Change Volume
Increases or decreases the volume of the selected track by 100% either way (for example - completely silencing the track, or doubling the volume where possible).
Finally, there are - of course - those general features:
Brings up the list of MIDI-based files available on the current 7650 device.
Plays the currently opened MIDI file. Mainly used to check out (or preview) the changes that you have made before saving them (see “save” below).
Saves the currently opened MIDI file and any changes made to it. You can either replace the currently opened file, or save it under a new name (you can delete the old one later if you are happy with the newly applied changes).
This has got to be one of the more practical features of Ringtone Studio. A user can send the currently opened MIDI tone to another user via Bluetooth, IR, email or MMS. You will probably be able to only send such ringtones to mobile handsets that support MIDI-based files as ringtones (for example, Nokia 3650/7650, Sony Ericsson T300).
If a user has any trouble with using Ringtone Studio, simply open up the online help facility (which uses the 7650’s built-in WAP browser to view its help pages). It provides a very adequate level of information for all its users - for the experienced or those who may have no idea whatsoever.
As I had mentioned earlier on, the fact that there was no warning before quitting Ringtone Studio was an issue that may bother some people. Especially true for those that have finalised their ringtone customisation and accidentally hit the “back” soft key - where all the adjustments made did not get saved.
What I reckon should be available is a “do you want to save your changes” dialog before Ringtone Studio closes, which gives the user a chance a choice to either save or discard any editions made to the original MIDI song file.
So what’s the verdict?
I was very happy with all of the features available on the Ringtone Studio application. Although I had worked out how to get the MIDI tones on and off my 7650, trying to find a proper piece of software to edit the music files I had was near impossible. Now, I have an all-in-one solution at my fingertips - accessible anytime!
For ringtone enthusiasts, I strongly recommend Ringtone Studio as a “must-have” application for the 7650. For US$10.00, you can virtually manage all your polyphonic MIDI-based ringtones without the need of a PC, and have the ability to modify the nitty-gritty detail of each tone and saving these modifications. This is on the condition, of course, that you have the actual MIDI files on your 7650!
Look no further! Your polyphonic ringtone needs for the 7650 are pretty much covered with Ringtone Studio. Two thumbs up!