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Android Ringtones and Notification Sounds

Eric loves the Android operating system. He has many things to share with others on subjects he has learned from years of experience.

How to Make Custom Android Sounds (and Why Short Notification Tones Are Better)

One of my favorite things about the Android operating system is the number of customization options available.

One of the things I love to change is the sounds my phone makes, and this guide shows how you can make your own custom notification sounds and ringtones.

Are you choosing or creating a new sound or tone for your Android? Here are a few things to consider.

1. Do Not Use Long Sound Files for Ringtones

  • Use a small part of a song for ringtones.
  • Do not use a sound file longer than about 20 seconds.
  • If you use short noises as your ringer, the audio will be repeated many times.

2. Short Sound Files Work Best for Notification Tones

  • As for notification sounds, I would keep those short and about two or three seconds long.
  • Remember that you will hear this sound a lot so I wouldn't pick something thing that will get annoying after a while.

3. An Example Sound I Used for Notifications

  • One of the sounds I use is the Xbox 360 achievement unlock noise as my notification sound.
  • It is a very short sound, but it is very memorable to me, and I love it.
  • You can find a sound file of this noise in this blog post if you are curious.

Where to Find Sounds

Here are a few of my favorite places to source unique sounds and tones for my Android.

Youtube Is a Great Source

  • You can use audio from any file, but I mostly search YouTube for specific sounds.
  • Chances are if you want part of a song, TV show, or video game you will find a video with these sounds on there.
  • I will show you later how to crop audio files, so you don't have to worry about how long the video is.
  • Find a video that has the sound you want that is clear to hear and sounds good.
  • YouTubetoMP3 is a useful website that converts YouTube videos into audio files you can download.

There Are Other Good Sources

You don't have to use YouTube, though. I am just suggesting this as a free option that most people will be able to access.

You are only limited by what you are willing to do and how long it will take.

For one video game sound, I recorded some gameplay with Open Broadcast Software (OBS). I then did some editing to isolate the sound I wanted.

What Audio Formats You Need to Use

The Android operating system supports most modern audio file formats, and you can use MP3, WAV, and OGG files.

Default Format Is OGG, but You Can Convert Audio Files

The default audio file format used for Android is OGG, so I convert files to this format, but the other two will work.

There are many ways to convert audio files to other extensions, and I use Audacity myself. Audacity is a free open-source audio editor, and I use it to shorten and save files.

The about me screen.

The about me screen.

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How to Use Audacity to Edit Sound Files

I like to use Audacity to edit my sound files. Here's how I do it.

How to Convert and Crop Audio Files

  • Saving files as a different file extension is easy as clicking Export and choosing the option you want.
  • You probably will want to crop the file first though. To do this you use the mouse to select the part of the audio track you want to crop, and then cut it.
  • You can then paste it into a new audio track and get rid of the original track.
  • You most likely will need to listen to the audio file to find the part you want to get isolated.
I have selected part of a sound file I opened.

I have selected part of a sound file I opened.

How to Transfer Audio Files to Your Phone

Once you have saved and formatted the audio files exactly how you want, all you need to do is transfer the file to your phone. It's easy.

How to Connect Your Phone to Your Computer

  • Connect your Android phone to your computer.
  • Assuming you have a recent operating system, your computer should automatically install the driver files needed to do this and connect it.
  • Your phone should show up on your computer.

Change Your USB Connection to File Transfer

  • However, depending on your phone, it may be only connected as a charge only.
  • My phone does this when I first plug it in. I just swipe down on the notification menu and select the transfer files option.
  • Then the file system shows up on my computer.
  • Once you find the right folder, you need to move the audio files to it so your phone can use them.
The notification menu and the options screen to change USB connection settings.

The notification menu and the options screen to change USB connection settings.

I have selected the folders you need to use.

I have selected the folders you need to use.

How to Enable Your Custom Sounds on Your Phone

The last step is to go into the Android options and select the notification and ringer sound select options.

The Options May Be in a Different Place

This may in a different place or look different depending on your phone manufacturer and Android version.

I wrote this guide using Android 7.0 Nougat and an LG V20 phone.

On my phone, these settings are under audio. In "audio", I can see the options to change both notification and ringer sounds.

You Can Change Notifications in Apps as Well

Some applications let you change the notification sounds as well. For example, my default texting application, Signal, lets me do this.

The sounds options screen and the notifications sounds screen.

The sounds options screen and the notifications sounds screen.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2018 Eric Farmer

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