RIM BlackBerry How To: Set Custom Ringtones, Notification Profiles and Exceptions

Your BlackBerry lets you assign specific ringtones to individuals and even create your own phone profiles and exceptions so important calls can still ring through when the device is on vibrate. Here's how.

Mon, June 30, 2008

CIO — Most modern mobile phones give owners a vast amount of freedom when it comes to personalizing call and message alert profiles. But BlackBerry handhelds from Research In Motion (RIM) in particular are among the most customizable smartphones, letting users not only create their own custom ringtones and assign different tones to each and every contact in their address books, but also create their own phone profiles and tweak settings so, say, a call from the boss still rings through when the device is on vibrate.

In the past, we've largely focused our BlackBerry Tips of the Week on keyboard shortcuts, tips and tricks, free software downloads, and advice on everything from how to extend your battery life to getting the most from Bluetooth. This week, we're offering up two tips--one simple, one more advanced--that will give you more control over your BlackBerry address book contacts and phone profiles.

Know Who's Calling: Assign Specific Ringtones to Individuals

One of the most basic BlackBerry phone customization options available to users can also prove to be the most valuable. Setting custom ringtones for the contacts in your address book, or at least for those with whom you communicate frequently, can tell you who's calling and eliminate the need to peek at your caller ID.

First, open your BlackBerry contacts by clicking on the Address Book icon on your home screen. From there, scroll down to the contact for which you wish to add a custom ringtone. With the contact's name highlighted, hit your BlackBerry Menu key, located directly to the left of the trackball on 8xxx series devices, and scroll down to and click Add Custom Phone Tune. From the dropdown menu, choose the location within your phone's memory where the default ringtones are stored--usually labeled Preloaded Ringtones--or the folder in your memory card where you keep your custom ringtones. (BlackBerry users can employ a variety of applications, including the BlackBerry Desktop Manager software, to create their own custom ringtones.)

Screenshot of BlackBerry Add Custom Ringtone screen

Scroll through the list of available ringtones--default tones will be named "Ringer_ NAME_XX .mp3"--and click on the one you wish to associate with the previously selected contact. Hit OK when the confirmation dialogue box displays, and you're all set. After assigning a custom tone to a contact, you can edit that tone by highlighting the contact's name in your address book, hitting the BlackBerry Menu key and selecting Edit . Then, scroll all the way to the bottom of the entry where the custom ringtone is listed, click on the name of the tone and navigate through the dropdown menu until you find the new tone you'd like.

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