Samsung phones come with stacks of ringtones, but if you’re like us, then none of them will be quite right. You might want your S6 to trill the theme from your favorite TV show, or play hardcore punk to demonstrate that you’re still against The Man. The good news is that changing it is easy. Here’s how to set an MP3 as a ringtone on Galaxy S6.
MP3 is short for Motion Picture Experts Group-1 Audio Layer 3, which is a pretty big name for something designed to be small. MP3 is a way of compressing audio files to make them take up much less room: a typical MP3 file is roughly one-twelfth of the size of a CD-quality WAV or AIFF file.
The main way MP3s compress music is by analyzing the sound, identifying the bits it thinks your ears won’t miss and throwing those bits out. We don’t mean getting rid of the drummer or silencing the singer; MP3 removes specific frequencies it thinks you won’t notice.
The trick with MP3s is to get the right balance between sound quality and file size: a bitrate of 128 Kbps (where the file uses 128 kilobits of data per second) is OK for a ringtone, but if you wanted to listen to music on headphones then 320 Kbps would sound a lot better.
How do I get an MP3?
You can download an MP3 from the internet, for example from Amazon, or you can make your own by converting music from CD. Software such as iTunes does that, or you could use a dedicated audio editing tool such as the free Audacity audio editor (Mac/Windows) or a ringtone editing app such as Ringdroid.
Using an audio editor enables you to edit the track, so you could just clip the chorus and get shot of the verses, or loop the intro, or mix it with farmyard noises, or do anything else you fancy doing.
MP3 isn’t the only format used for music. Your Galaxy S6’s music player supports WAV, MP3, AAC, AAC+, MIDI, WMA, FLAC, OGG and many other common file formats, but MP3s are the most widely supported by hardware and apps, so they’re fairly future-proof. In the case of ringtones, MP3 is the format Samsung expects you to use.
There are several ways to do it. On Windows you can use Windows Media Player to sync files from your library, or you can use Samsung Smart Switch software to transfer your file(s) across.
On Windows you might have to pull down the menu and change your Samsung from camera to media player to see the music folder. On a Mac the S6 should automatically appear as a folder on your Desktop, enabling you to add files from the Finder by dragging and dropping.
How do I turn the MP3 into a ringtone on my Samsung Galaxy S6?
The same process works on any Android device, not just the Samsung Galaxy S6. Once you’ve created your MP3 and saved it or transferred it to your phone’s storage, the next step is to go into Settings and look for Sound & Notification. Tap on that and then scroll down until you see Phone Ringtone, along with the name of the currently selected ringtone.
Tap on that and you should now see a list of the available audio files on your device, including the ringtone file you’ve saved or transferred. Select that and it’ll become your brand new ringtone.
Have you used any ringtone creation or curation apps? Do you have a favorite? Let us know in the comments.