Ring tones are a reflection of a person's choice, his or her individual taste and most of all the mood in which a person is, just like a lot can be said of a person from the type of mobile phone he has, an equally large amount can be said about a person by his or her choice of ring tone. Today there are dedicated sites on the internet that cater to just ring tones for various phones, and almost all major artists, and songs have a ring tone associated with them. From classical ring tones like Bach and Mozart, to ring tones from newer artists like Justin Timberlake and Avril Lavigne, almost all artists have a ring tone associate with their popular hits.
Although there is a ring tone for most hit songs, the more important fact to note is that not all phones support all types of ring tones, older phones supported very poor quality of ring tones, where as newer phones support ring tones in the impressive MP3 format. The oldest form of ring tones that can be downloaded from the internet are the polyphonic or MIDI format based ring tones, these ring tones are restricted in that they can only play music using a limited number of chords or sounds. Older phones had only 16 chords to choose from as time progressed the support was for up to 32 sounds. With that advent of phones supporting MP3 the number of sounds, is no longer a problem, the speaker on a newer mobile phone, can reproduce almost any type of sound, from human voices to eclectic beats. There are 3 popular ways to download ring tones today, the first is to get your cellular operator like Cingular, Verizon or Sprint to send you a MMS or SMS with a ring tone attached, this is the simplest method by which you can get a ring tone sent to you.
Just send an SMS with the ring tone code you want and you are ready to go. The second and some what complex method is to link up your phone with a computer, and then download the ring tone you want on to the phone's memory, the only problem is that older phones do not allow you to link up the phone to a computer, in which case, the only option is to use your cellular provider to provide you with new ring tones. The final method is to connect to the internet using your cellphone (there are numerous technologies that allow you to do this GPRS, EDGE etc.).
Once you are online you can directly browse to the ring tone of your choice and download whichever ring tone you want. Compared to option 2 even fewer phones support browsing the internet direct. Mobile phones supporting internet access also have Bluetooth built into them, which means apart from downloading ring tones from the internet or the computer, you can actually receive and send ring tones from friends and family, that have Bluetooth enabled phones. Things to remember when downloading ring tones a) Not all songs make good ring tones, make sure you listen to a preview of the ring tone before you download it. The same applies for phones, surprisingly due the difference in the quality of the speakers used in phone's today, you should be sure the ring tone you download sounds good. b) Make sure the ring tone you are downloading is supported by your phone, or is compatible with your phone, an MP3 ring tone on a black and white screen phone, has a very low probability of working.
So make sure you read the list of compatible handsets before you download a ring tone. .
Andon the author of this article on cingular ringtones. Find more information about cingular ringtones here.