Here is a guest Tips-n-Tricks post by Caitlin Douglass on How to Customize BlackBerry Ringtones and Ringbacks

BlackBerry RingtonesIf you receive a lot phone calls, you know how important it is to organize contacts and identify callers. One way to do that is by using custom ringtones to separate family and social contacts from business and customers.  The BlackBerry can be overwhelming when you first get one, so here’s a step-by-step guide to downloading and customizing your BlackBerry ringtones and ringbacks.

The first thing to consider about ringtones is file format. The most common ringtone format that will work on all BlackBerry phones is MP3. The sound quality of real MP3 ringtones is superior to alternate formats and the file size is generally smaller than most. MIDI polyphonic ringtones are another choice of format supported by all BlackBerry products.

How to Download Ringtones by Direct Email

  • First off, you’ll want to visit a Web site that has BlackBerry ringtones for download. and are good free sources to start with. If you can’t find your ringtone for free, try a paid ringtone site like ThumbPlay or FlyCell, which group ringtones by genres like country, pop and techno and get as specific as East Coast/West Coast ringtones! If you’re worried about your provider, use a site like SendMe Mobile to search for specific carriers like Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint ringtones. Any site that offers ringtones in MP3 or MIDI formats should work though.
  • Once you’ve found the ringtone you want, select the file and email it to an address you’ve assigned to your BlackBerry.
  • Using your BlackBerry, open the email and click the hyperlink (URL) to open a browser page.
  • Once the browser page is loaded, a popup will appear. Right click to save the ringtone. For phones with a memory card, it is better to save the ringtone to the media card than to memory. Be sure to check the box that indicates “save as ringtone.”
  • Do not close the browser page until the download is complete and the confirmation page pops up.


If you can’t find the perfect ringtone for free or on a paid ringtone site, you can make BlackBerry ringtones with a free ringtone creator like or You can also trade ringtones with your friends by using the email method above or you can send them to one another via Bluetooth.

How to Download Ringtones to Your Computer

You can also choose to download any MP3 file to your computer for use as a ringtone.  From there, you can transfer the ringtone to your BlackBerry through a USB cable using your BlackBerry Desktop Manager.

From a PC with Windows to a BlackBerry memory card:

  • Follow instructions to install the memory card.
  • Go to Options > Media Card
  • Make sure the Media Card Support setting is “On.”
  • Make sure the setting for “Auto Enable Mass Storage Mode When Connected” is “Yes.”

Once that is done, whenever the Blackberry is connected to your computer, a box will pop up giving you the option to “Open a Folder to View Files” and will display all the files on the memory card. After opening the ringtones folder, you will be able to drag and drop ringtones from the desktop directly to the phone.

You may also use the Roxio Media Manager software included with your BlackBerry. Here’s how:

  • Connect your phone to your PC.
  • Open Desktop Manager, then Media Manager.
  • In the Media Manager, select “Folders” to view the file list.
  • Locate the ringtone file you want to transfer and select it.
  • In the lower left of the screen, listed under My Devices, open the “ringtones” folder.
  • Click ”Copy Down”.
  • The Copy Files box opens. Click the “Convert for Optimal Playback” button, then press OK and it’s done.

Assigning Custom Ringtones To Phone Numbers

After new ringtones have been installed, you can assign different ringtones to numbers in your address book. That way when the phone rings, you know exactly who it is, or to what group they belong, without having to check. If you have a lot of contacts, it may be easier to organize them into groups such as “family” and “clients” and give the entire group the same tone than to try and assign each one a unique ringtone.

To assign a ringtone to a number, first, open your address book and locate the phone number that you want to assign a custom ring.  Press menu, and then edit. Select “Add Custom Ringtone” and choose the ringtone you want from the list. After custom ringtones are assigned to the numbers in the address book, you will be able to identify callers without looking at the screen, a definite advantage when you’re trying to drive, in a meeting, or trying to avoid someone. Ringtones can also be assigned to other phone sounds, like email alerts and alarms.

Ringback Tones

Ringback tones are a different personalization service, replacing the standard ringing sound for your callers to hear while they wait for you to answer. You may set up to 25 different ringbacks, and can even use the Time Of Day function to play different ringtones at different times. Ringbacks go by different names depending on your carrier. They’re known as ringback tones for Verizon and Altell, Answer Tones for AT&T, Call Tones for Sprint, and CallerTunes for T-Mobile and Vodafone. You’ll have to visit each carrier’s individual ringback tone store to get the tones and make sure you’ve signed up for this service with your carrier first.

Customizing your BlackBerry with ringtones and ringbacks can be a fun and creative way to express your personality, while improving your productivity at the same time.

Byline: Caitlin Douglass is a freelance telecom writer that specializes in mobile music applications and cell phones.