Paco Hope My Random Musings and Rants

31Mar/12Off

Doctor Who Ring Tones for iPhone

Right up front let me tell you that I don't have a link where you can click and download the ring tones. What I did was find some cool Doctor Who sounds embedded in a free game, and then I used some free tools to make ring tones and text tones for the iPhone. You don't need to unlock or jailbreak your phone. It's all easy and straightforward. You need:

  • Doctor Who games (see below)
  • Audacity (free audio editing software)
  • an iPhone, iPad, or other iDevice running iOS 5.0 or later
  • iTunes (the one that you sync your iDevice to)

I downloaded Doctor Who: The Gunpowder Plot from the BBC. There are a few other games out there, including The City of the Daleks and The Blood of the Cybermen. I want to give a shout-out to the BBC and to Legacy Interactive Games for the high quality and playable games. These are not blockbusters, but they're solid. I enjoy them with my kids.

I installed the Mac versions of the games. I don't know what Windows users might get. In the Mac version of the game, though, all the audio resources are sitting there in .ogg files. Some of them make great ring-tones and text tones. Here's the process:

  1. Find the game on your Mac in the Finder window. For my example, I'm going to use The Adventure Games, because I thought the sounds were better.
  2. Right-click or Ctrl-Click on the game icon and select "Show Package Contents". A new window pops up showing you resources inside the game.
  3. Navigate to a path like ...Game.app/Contents/Data/Common/Audio. Inside there you'll find lots of different .ogg files. I found several (listed below) are really good for texts. I found that the file ames.app/Contents/Data/Common/Audio/MiniGames/Panel/PANEL_ACCESS.ogg is good. It's less than a second and gets your attention.
  4. Open it in Audacity.
  5. Choose File → Export
  6. Select AAC as your output format. (Note that if you haven't worked with Audacity before, you may have a couple extra steps here before you can export AAC files. It will walk you through what you need to do.)
  7. Name the file with .m4r as it's extension. (e.g., PANEL_ACCESS.m4r)
  8. Drag and drop into iTunes as normal
  9. It should show up in your ringtones. Make sure you're synchronising custom ring tones.
  10. Sync your device. Done.
  11. Now go into preferences on the device, sounds menu, and then find your file. The file name is important. If you name it PANEL_ACCESS, that's what you'll see. You might want to put spaces and nice capitalisation. E.g., "Panel Access.m4r"

Why do this?

Well, I work with lots and lots of people who all have iPhones. And I live in a major metro area (London) where there are lots and lots of iPhones. Even with 20-odd different tones on the phone, chances are I end up sitting next to someone who has an iPhone and the same text tone as me. When they get a text, I wonder if I got a text. I need to distinguish my texts from everyone else so I know if it's me or them.

Why Doctor Who?

The sound effects they use in the games, for button presses, game winning and game ending and so on, are very short and already simplified for computer-ish sounding stuff. Oh, and they're cool. The ones I like are:

  • PANEL_ACCESS.ogg
  • HACK_SUCCESS.ogg
  • STEALTH_WARNTING.ogg

Of course the sonic screwdriver, TARDIS, and theme music are also available. The three I highlighted are good for something like a text tone.

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