This tutorial will take you through the steps of creating a custom ringtone and uploading it to a Verizon cell phone.

I decided to write this tutorial because I was frustrated that Verizon makes it difficult to create and load custom ringtones to a phone I purchased. When I started this journey I did some research and found that I could buy a program from Motorola called Phone Tools. The program is supposed to back-up contacts, sync a desktop calendar with a cell phone, manage the media and allow the user to create their own ringtones and other media. After I purchased and downloaded the program from Motorola I couldn't find the customize options to create the ringtones. I downloaded updates for the program, I updated my phone's software and still ended up calling their customer support line. I sat on hold for a long time and then was transferred several times before getting some basic answers that still didn't resolve the issue.

After doing some additional research I found that Verizon has a contract with Motorola that locks out the customize features of the Phone Tools program and doesn't allow Verizon customers to use or even view those features. Aparently there is a warning on the Motorola site for Verizon customers stating that the customize features won't be available with the purchase of Phone Tools. I didn't see the warning before I made the purchase. Since I downloaded the program and installed it before finding this out I wasn't eligible for a refund so I'm just out the nearly $40.

I was pleased with the way Phone Tools allowed me to backup my contacts, enter changes and add contacts with my keyboard. I also liked how I could sync my computer's calendar with my phone's calendar. However, I was really frustrated that the warning about the customize features not being available wasn't more visible before purchase.

I'm sure that Verizon's main goal behind making this deal with Motorola is to increase their profit in media sales. By limiting the accessibility of the multimedia their customers can use to what they can purchase through VCast and other Verizon approved vendors they have essentially directed the majority of media profits right into their own pockets. By doing so they can charge whatever they feel the market will bear.

So far as I can tell they have also set up their phones (at least the Motorola Razor which is what I have) to disallow use of songs loaded onto the smart card to be used as ringtones. So even if you create a ringtone and load it onto your phone's smartcard you won't have the option to set that song as a ringtone.

The only way I've found thus far to create and upload a custom ringtone to a Verizon cell phone is what I've listed in the steps below:

  • Select a recorded sound or song on your computer
    • You can record a sound or song onto your computer using a microphone that can be plugged into your computer
    • I have a Logitech headset with a microphone that I highly recommend
  • Turn your sound or song into a ringtone
    • First upload your sound or song
    • Then listen to your sound or song and pause it when you've gotten to the place you'd like to start your ringtone
    • Put the pointer over the sound waves and when you get the hand shaped tool press and drag to the right until you've got 30 seconds or less (You can see your total second count in the Selected Duration bubble)
    • Adjust the start (green arrow) and end (black arrow) points until your ringtone begins and finishes as you'd like
    • Below the green tab that reads Easy Mode click on the down arrow by File Format
    • Select QCP (mp3 won't work, at least it didn't for me)
    • Choose your download method
    • Click on Make A Ringtone
  • Send the ringtone to your phone in a text message
    • I had to get creative here so I sent the ringtone to myself in an email because the site's download to computer option didn't work when I tried to use it for a QCP file
    • Then I saved the file to my hard drive from the email
    • To send a text including the music file to my phone I went to
    • Hover with your mouse over Messaging on the red bar
    • Hover over Picture & Video Messaging
    • Click on Send a Picture & Video Message
    • Log in
    • Select the Upload Media button
    • Choose Browse
    • Find the ringtone you saved to your hard drive, and select it
    • Choose Upload
    • Point to your uploaded sound in the gallery and drag it onto the Drag Audio Here option on the red phone diagram on the right
    • Scroll down if necessary and choose Preview & Send
    • Type in the phone number and a subject if desired
    • Choose Send
  • Open the message and choose Options then select Save Sound
  • Go to Settings & Tools
  • Choose Sound Settings
  • Choose Ring Styles
  • Choose Master Volume Detail
  • Arrow down to Calls
  • Choose Change
  • Arrow down the bottom of your list of ringtones and the one you just saved should be there
  • Choose Select and you have a new custom ringtone

I think texting the ringtone through Verizon's site decreases the quality of the ringtone. I haven't found a different way to make this work any better yet. It is quite a few steps, but for me it wasn't so much about saving the $2.99 per ring tone as it was figuring out how to regain control of my phone.