Examples: Exporting audio for ringtones and IVR messages

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This page contains examples of how to export audio in various formats usable for ringtones and IVR (Interactive Voice Response) messages:

44100 Hz 16-bit PCM WAV

To export to 44100 Hz 16-bit PCM WAV
  1. If required, convert the stereo track to mono.
  2. Look at the Project Rate control on the Selection Toolbar (by default at bottom left of the Audacity Project window); if it is already showing "44100" skip to Step 2 below. Otherwise, select the "44100" option from the dropdown menu; if there is not a 44100 (Hz) option select Other ... and type 44100 in the box that pops up (in Audacity 2.x select and type over the existing value).
  3. Select menu item File > Save Other > Export Audio...; in the "Export File" dialog choose WAV (Microsoft) signed 16-bit PCM in the "Save as type" dropdown, then enter a file. Click OK then click Save. If the Metadata Editor pops up at any stage, click OK. Metadata tags are not needed for WAV files in mobile phones.

8000 Hz 8-bit WAV

WAV (Microsoft) Bit depth: 8-bit; Sample Rate: 8000 Hz; Channels: 1 (mono)

This is an example of exporting an uncompressed but small size WAV file specific to a particular type of phone. The low sample rate of 8000 Hz means that the file will not contain frequencies higher than 4000 Hz, so this file may not give the best results on other phones that have more capable speakers.

The following Motorola Sprint Nextel cellphones:

i265, i275, i405, i450, i560, i710, 730, 750, 760, 830, i833, i836 ,850, 860, i870, i930

require ringtones to be 8-bit 8000 Hz mono WAV files. If your phone has the same requirements as this, the instructions below should work for your phone.

If the only information you have is that the WAV needs to have a bit rate of 64 kbps, these instructions will also probably work for your phone, because in a WAV file the bit rate is always the (bit depth) multiplied by the (sample rate), multiplied by the (number of channels) so the WAV in our example is (8 * 8 * 1) = 64 kbps.

If your phone requires WAV files with slightly different characteristics than these you can adjust the instructions below appropriately. It's assumed you've already made the track mono as per "Convert stereo to mono".

  1. Look at the Project Rate control on the Selection Toolbar (by default at bottom left of the Audacity Project window); if it is already showing "8000", skip to Step 2 below; otherwise, select the "8000" option from the dropdown menu. If there is not an 8000 (Hz) option, select "Other ..." and type 8000 in the box that pops up (in Audacity 2.x select and type over the existing value).
  2. Select menu item File > Save Other > Export Audio... , in the "Export File" dialog choose other uncompressed files from the "Save as type" dropdown, then enter a file name. Click Options, a dialog will open. In the "Header" dropdown, select "WAV (Microsoft)" and in the "Encoding" dropdown choose "Unsigned 8-bit PCM"; click OK then Save. If the Metadata Editor pops up at any stage just click OK; metadata tags are not needed for WAV files in mobile phones.

MP3 32 kbps 8000 Hz

MP3 Bit Rate: 32 kbps; Sample Rate: 8000 Hz; Channels: 1 (mono)

As an example of a phone requiring an MP3 ringtone, the Motorola i580 requires MP3 files at 32 kbps, 8000 Hz mono.

If your phone has these same requirements this should also work for you; if your phone requires MP3 files with slightly different characteristics you can adjust the tutorial instructions below appropriately. It's assumed you've already made the track mono as per "Convert stereo to mono".

  1. If you have not already done so download the LAME MP3 encoder to your computer and tell Audacity where to find it; instructions on doing this are here.
  2. Look at the Project Rate control on the Selection Toolbar (by default at bottom left of the Audacity Project window); if it is already showing "8000", skip to Step 3 below; otherwise, select the "8000" option from the dropdown menu. If there is not an 8000 (Hz) option, select "Other ..." and type 8000 in the box that pops up (in Audacity 2.x, select and type over the existing value).
  3. Select menu item File > Save Other > Export Audio..., in the "Export Audio File" dialog, choose MP3 Files from the "Save as type" dropdown, then enter file name. Click Options, a dialog will open. Set the Bit Rate Mode to Constant; in the "Quality" dropdown select "32 kbps"; set "Channel Mode" to "Stereo" - a single-channel (mono) file will still be produced if your Audacity track is stereo; click OK then click Save.

You may want to add ID3 metadata tags to your MP3. Use Audacity's Metadata Editor for this; enter any tags you require (or none) and click OK. If the tag editor does not appear select menu item Edit > Metatdata....