Developer: BLACKOUT LABS
Price: $0.99 Download on the App Store
Ringtone Designer Pro — The ringtone on your iPhone says a lot about you. Choose the wrong ringtone and your otherwise hip iPhone will become a loud label announcing your inner geek. Unfortunately, sometimes, the only way to get the perfect snippet of sound is to create your own ringtone. Here's a perfect example of why you need Ringtone Designer Pro.
True story: I once downloaded David Bowie's "Pressure" as a ringtone. I thought I was getting the classic retro-hip signature bassline, so famously stolen by Vanilla Ice. I did not test this assumption. Rather, I got a call in the middle of a meeting with about a dozen people who outranked me. And what came out of my phone? "bum bum bum buddy bum bum"? No. I got David Bowie sounding like he's crying into his methamphetimines, half-shouting, half-sobbing "Pressure!"
I was not selected for that project lead.
With Blackout Labs' Ringtone Designer Pro, this does not have to happen to you. You get to pick a song from your iPod library, then select the part of the song you want for your ringtone, through a simple and intuitive interface. Best of all, if you have the song already in your iPod library, you don't have to pay "per ringtone." One drawback of Ringtone Designer Pro is that your ringtone cannot be more than 30 seconds in length. But to be fair, when was the last time you waited 30 seconds before answering a mobile phone? For that matter, when was the last time you waited 30 seconds for someone to pick up, in a non-stalking context?
Once you have selected the bit of song you want for your ringtone—the aforementioned bassline, for example—you simply save it, and you're done. Well, almost done. There's a counterintuitive hiccup: Ringtone Designer Pro saves the ringtone to your iTunes account, not to your iPhone settings, so you have to sync through iTunes and load the ringtone to your settings in a separate step. It's a tad complex, but Blackout Labs supplies a helpful tutorial to get you through it. After the first time, it's just like riding a bicycle.
With this version of Ringtone Designer Pro, Blackout Labs has added fade-in and fade-out to the available options. So the choice is yours: pay $1.99 once, or whatever you're paying for ringtones now, as many times as you have to pay. Want a sweetener? You can get Ringtone Designer Free and play around before taking the plunge. It's just like the real thing, but only allows you to save two 20-second ringtones at any given time, whereas the "Pro" version allows unlimited ringtones.