How To Get a Ringback Tone on an iPhone

by David Wayne

Ringback tones personalize your iPhone by playing songs or sound clips for a caller to hear instead of a dial tone. Because ringback tones play over a cellular network, the sound files aren't stored on your device. Instead, you purchase ringbacks through one of the iPhone's carriers, which include AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon.

AT&T Ringback Tones

Install the Ringback Tones application by launching the Safari browser and entering “rbtapp.att.com” (without quotes) in the address bar. Your browser displays a download page with instructions for adding the application icon to your home screen. After installing AT&T Ringback Tones, launch the application and browse the ringback categories or enter a song title or artist name in the Search box. Tap a song title to purchase the ringback. The price is displayed on the download screen, and AT&T charges this price, as well as a monthly 99 cent subscription fee, to your account. Choose a default ringback by tapping “Set Default” and selecting a song from your library.

Sprint Music Plus

Add ringbacks to your Sprint account by downloading Sprint Music Plus from the App Store. This program enables you to search Sprint's ringback selection, preview ringbacks before purchasing them and manage your ringback settings. The navigation panel contains tabs that separate the program's features into categories. By tapping the Contacts tab, you can set ringbacks for individual callers or contact groups. The Library tab displays your purchased ringbacks and options for setting a default ringback. In addition to the ringback's price, Sprint charges a monthly 99 cent fee for the service. A ringback expires on the date displayed on its confirmation screen. After the expiration, the ringback can no longer be used.

T-Mobile CallerTunes

Purchase T-Mobile ringback tones from the My T-Mobile website (see Resources for link). Sign in or create an account, click “CallerTunes” and choose “Manage CallerTunes.” Browse the ringback categories or enter a title or artist in the Search box. Click “Listen” to preview a track before clicking the price to add it to your library. A pop-up window prompts you to confirm your purchase, and clicking “Yes” sets the track as your default ringback. Click “Manage CallerTunes” to assign ringbacks to contacts, groups or specific times of the day. Choose the category -- such as “Person,” “Groups” or “Time Specific” -- and select a ringback from your library.

Verizon Media Store

Visit the Verizon Wireless Media Store to purchase and manage Verizon ringbacks (see Resources for link). Click the “Ringback Tones” tab and browse the categories or enter a search term in the Search box. Click the “Search” menu and choose “Ringback Tones” to include only ringbacks in your search results. The Media Store also sells jukeboxes, which are bundles of ringbacks that play in rotation. Click “Jukeboxes” to browse Verizon's selection or create a jukebox from songs in your library. Point the cursor to “Manage,” choose “My Ringback Tones” and click “New Jukebox.” Drag songs from your library to the jukebox and then drag the jukebox to “Default” to set it as the default.

About the Author

David Wayne has been writing since 2010, with technology columns appearing in several regional newspapers in Texas. Wayne graduated from the University of Houston in 2005, earning a Bachelor of Arts in communications.

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