Be The DJ Of Your Cell Phone

What does your cell phone ringtone say about you?

CNET-TV Senior Editor Natali Del Conte offered up some advice for cell phone and iPhone users who want to show a little more character when they answer their phones in public.

"What are the do's and don'ts?" asked Early Show co-anchor Julie Chen.

"I tend to be leery about the sites that say 'free ringtones,' because you have to put in a credit card and the songs that you really want are usually not free," Del Conte said. "There's usually no such thing as a free ringtone. This isn't something the carriers realized would be such a big business for them, so they overcharge us.

"One thing is -- know your plan and know what your carrier's going to charge you, because sometimes, it's up to three dollars for a snippet of a song that you can buy in its entirety for 99 cents."

Users can download the ringtones themselves for less. Del Conte picked out some programs that enable you to do that yourself.

"If you've got an iPhone," she said, "then iTunes will do it for you. So, (say) I've got iTunes running, and I choose Beyonce ("All The Single Ladies"). And what you do is you just buy a song. And then you go and tell it to create a ringtone."

On the music side, the user can choose the portion of that song he or she wants as the ringtone, and it will repeat itself in the way the user wants.

Although it's fun, it still has a price tag of 99 cents.

"So you are like the "DJ mixer of your own ringtone," said Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.

For those who don't have an iPhone, there are other options.

"I picked ToneThis.com; it's really well-rated on download.com, which is a CBS product. But it's really high-rated, and you can use it to make things like ringtones, but also wallpaper and videos and games, and just customize your cell phone. It's the same way," Del Conte said.

"Can you get Tone-Loc on ToneThis?" asked weather anchor and features reporter Dave Price.

"You can. You can get tone anything on ToneThis. So this is for any other phone, basically, and it works on a PC instead of a Mac," Del Conte said.

Tonethis.com is software that you download for free, she continued, "but then you need to own the song, and then it sends it to you for free and then your phone as a text message, and you get the text message and click it, and download the song," Del Conte said.

It's easy for those who want to show a little more character than just having the default ringtone.