Saturday, June 23, 2007

Stop Paying for Ring Tones

What you need to create free Ring Tones:
  • Cell phone with MP3 ring-tone support
  • CD or MP3 of the song
  • Any method of transferring the ring tone from computer to phone (USB, Bluetooth, e-mail, instant message, etc.)
  • Audio-editing software that allows export to MP3. If you don't already have this, Audacity is a good open-source program you can download for free, and is available for Windows, Mac and Linux. You'll also need the LAME library for Windows, Mac or Linux. (LAME is a free downloadable MP3 codec that enables Audacity to encode to MP3.)
  • About 20 minutes

If you're creating your ring tone from a CD, rip the song you want as a WAV (Windows) or an AIFF file (Mac). Using iTunes, specify this type of ripping in File/Preferences/Advanced/Importing. It's a good idea to specify a new ripping location, too, so the ripped song doesn't end up lost in the rest of your collection. In iTunes, set the "rip to" folder in File/Preferences/Advanced/General.

If you're creating your ring tone from an MP3, just copy that MP3 into a new folder so that your ring-tone editing won't affect the version of the song in your digital music collection.

Once you have the song as a digital music file (whether WAV, AIFF or MP3), run your audio-editing software. I highly recommend Audacity for this task. It's free, it's open-source, it runs on all major platforms, it rocks. If you don't plan to use it, skip the rest of this tutorial and consult your software documentation.

Before Audacity can export audio to the MP3 format your cell phone wants in a ring tone, you'll need to download the LAME library. LAME is open-source MP3 audio-compression software that rates among the best anywhere for recording fidelity. It also claims a legal exemption from MP3 patent royalties, meaning it's free, for now at least. Find the link for your operating system listed above on this page, and download LAME to a new folder on your computer (it will need to stay there for Audacity to access it for MP3 encoding).

Run Audacity, go to the Audacity/Preferences menu, and click the Find Library button near the bottom of the screen. Navigate to the LAME Library on your hard drive, and select it. I recommend setting your bit rate to 128 Kbps. You can choose a lower bit rate to save space on your phone, but you'll get lower-quality sound.

In Audacity's File menu, select Open and find the song you ripped for your ring tone.

You'll see your song laid out from left to right. Click the cursor around until you find the section you want for your ring tone. You're looking for a phrase of 10 to 15 seconds or so. Take a few passes at highlighting your future ring tone. Press the space bar to preview the selections. When you find the right one, you can export it as is -- or you can personalize the ring tone with audio effects.

Audacity comes with several effects; to try them out, leave the ring tone selected in the Audacity window, and then select anything in the Effect menu.

I recommend trying the Echo and Phaser. Each has various settings to tweak. Adding these effects is a matter of taste, but I figure it adds a bit of spice to the ring tone and makes it more of an individual statement.

Creating a derivative work of a copyright song is technically illegal. I'm no lawyer, and this does not constitute legal advice, but I am fairly certain that one could successfully defend these highly unlikely charges on the grounds that creating -- and not distributing -- a ring tone from a legally purchased song is covered by the affirmative defense of fair use.

After you're happy with whatever effects you've decided to use (the Edit/Undo function often comes in handy here), leave the ring tone selected in Audacity and choose File/Export Selection as MP3.

It's time to transfer the MP3 ring tone onto your phone. The easiest way to do this is with Bluetooth, assuming you have already paired your computer and cell phone. If your phone came with a USB connection, use that; otherwise, try e-mailing or texting it as an attachment. Put the ring-tone file into the Audio folder if your phone has one, and then select the new ring tone in your Tools or Options menu. (excerpted from Eliot Van Buskirk a freelance writer for Wired Magazine. Click on the title post to see the complete article).

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


No anti-semitism here

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Day by day

Not the song, but my life.....Knee To Be Free.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Knee to Be Free

I'll be posting to my new blog Knee to be Free starting today. I'm going to chronicle my journey through knee surgery. Check it out!

Friday, January 20, 2006

Dead Man Rides Subway for 6 Hours

Man Found Dead On NYC Subway May Have Been Dead For Hours

POSTED: 11:15 am EST January 20, 2006

NEW YORK -- A man was found dead on a New York City subway car during morning rush hour, and his lifeless body may have ridden on the train for about six hours.

The body of Eugene Reilly, 64, was discovered shortly after 7 a.m. Thursday in the last car of the Q subway train in the 14th Street-Union Square station, said James Anyansi, a NYC Transit spokesman.

The train was evacuated while emergency medical technicians were called to the scene.

There were no signs of foul play or injuries, and an autopsy was scheduled to determine the cause and time of death, authorities said.

Reilly, a Postal Service employee, typically worked a 4 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. shift as a mail handler in midtown Manhattan. If Reilly left work at the usual time and died during the 35-minute trip home to Brooklyn, then his body could have been on the train for more than six hours before being noticed.

In June 1999, the body of a man was found on a No. 1 train. He apparently had been dead for five hours before anyone noticed.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

New $20 bill contains 9/11 images

The english website of Aljazeera has a special section for conspiracy theories. Aljazeera poses the question "Coincidence or Conspiracy?" Of course the answer is always conspiracy even if you have to have to fold a $20 bill numerous times to find an image of the burning World Trade Center. Why would the US want to do this? I don't know why, but I bet the neocons and Israel had something to do with it.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

The Republic of Greenwich (CT)

The continuing saga of alleged discrimination in the Greenwich beach bias case faced another obsticle when town officials failed to turn over the investigator's report. Town officials claim the the report does not exist because the complaintants never filed an official complaint and as such the matter was resolved informally.

The state Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities are negotiating with Greenwich to settle the matter. The proposed settlement would require Affirmative Action Officier Houston and the employees of the Human Resources and Parks department to attend a 10 hour anti-discimination training class in June and a yearly 5 hour class.

It seems that Greenwich and the complaintants are not happy with proposed settlement. "Giving a minority woman 10 hours of anti-discrimination training is an insult" according to complaintant Rothman.

The irony is Houston, the wife of Greenwich's NAACP President, exposed her racist views about whites, when she proclaimed Greenwich racist against blacks and hispanics.

Monday, January 09, 2006

One Eyed Cat & Cat with two faces

Don't mess with cat genetics. These pictures illustrate the reason there's one basic cat and you shouldn't try to manipulate their breeding.

Cy, short for Cyclopes, a kitten born with only one eye and no nose, is shown in this photo provided by its owner in Redmond, Oregon, on Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2005. The kitten, a ragdoll breed, which died after living for one day, was

And the Cat with Two Faces

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Wife of NAACP President to undergo sensitivity training

HARTFORD, Conn. --The state's human rights agency has proposed sensitivity training as part of a settlement of bias complaints against Greenwich town employees. The state Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities made the settlement offer to the town earlier this week. The CHRO proposal is in response to a complaint involving the wives of former New York Mets Bobby Bonilla and George Foster at a Greenwich beach in June.

Under the proposed settlement, Greenwich Affirmative Action Officer Kelly Houston and other employees in the town's Human Resources and Parks departments would be required to attend anti-discrimination training classes."It's something they ought to be able to live with," R. Hamisi Ingram, the state agency's executive director, said Wednesday. First Selectman Jim Lash said that town attorneys were reviewing the settlement offer.