Add some silence to the standard HTC Incredible ring tones

I’ve had the HTC Incredible for about six months and really like it. Solid device, good voice quality, and the Sense UI. As my first Android phone (I was a Blackberry user) it’s been great.

HTC Incredible

But one thing I can’t stand is the standard ring tones. I don’t use music ringtones for professional reasons and because they’re just plain annoying. The Incredible’s four Standard ringtones are phone-like enough and generally acceptable except they’re so crazy insistent. With no delay between rings the phone sounded positively pissed that no one could be bothered to answer it before the first ring cycle ended. (And drove my wife crazy, too.)

I don’t know of a way to control the delay between ring cycles, so I just added some silence to the mp3’s. I think the result is so much better that I can’t help but believe this is one of those many areas of Android which Google and HTC left alone with the expectation that “we” would make it ready for primetime.

Note: I think you need to root your phone to do this, at least to do it the way I did. I used adb push to put the modified files on the phone. For that I needed to mount the system as writable. There’s probably an app to do this (and maybe to edit the files too?) but I was already rooted so adb made sense. (adb is part of the Android sdk.) Guides and info on rooting the Incredible here and here.

I wasn’t satisfied with a simple static-length silence so I cast about for some interesting way to determine how long to make each. For no particular reason except that it looked interesting (I first tried π but it seemed too apple-y) I experimented with the Golden Ratio and liked the results. The formula I finally used looks like this:

Total track length = length of sound multiplied by twice the golden ratio.


total = sound * 2φ


length of silence = sound * 2φ - sound

Here are the numbers.

You’ll find the files in /system/media/audio/ringtones, named Standard_1.mp3, etc.

I’ve never had need to edit mp3’s so I searched SourceForge and found Audacity. It was perfect for this use and simple enough to use quickly. The version current at the time of this writing is Audacity ® 1.3.12-beta (Unicode).

Here are the modified files. Feel free to throw them on your phone or play with them yourself. (You’ll need to loop them to get a feel for the real ring.)
All four zipped here.
Audacity project files here.