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While most of you are aware of how to get ringtones for the Apple iPhone from the Apple store, there seems to be substantial confusion regarding the purchase of ringback tones. Also, new users of cell phones be confused about how these tones are different from ringtones.

With smart phones like Apple iPhone on the market, the difference between a cell phone, an MP3 player, PDAs and hand held computers is getting blurred. These are more than just phones. People can listen to music, watch videos, surf the web and do much more. With the recent Apple iPhone apps released, the versatility of the device has been taken to a new level. Music sharing was never so easier. With ringtones and ringback tones, you can listen and let others listen to your favorite music.

About Ringback Tones

When you get a call, the tune that you listen to is the ringtone. Gone are the days of digital tones and the monotonous 'tring' tone, that was standard for every phone. Now you can set polyphonic ringtones and even your own recorded song or voice as a ringtone. A ringback tone is what your callers hear when they are waiting for you to pick up a connected call. This ringback tone can be set to be any tune of your choice. Your callers are entertained while you take that call.

While ringtones can be set by you on your own, on the phone, ringback tones can't be. They need to be set up by the wireless telephone company that you are subscribed to. It is because the ringback tone is played by the service provider for the callers and it doesn't play from your own phone. Same is the case with your Apple iPhone. While it is easy to set up ringtones for iPhone, if you want to set up ringback tones, you must buy the tone from the company.

With AT&T Service

Setting up ringback tones is quite simple and straightforward. Here is what you need to do.
  • AT&T has created a web based setup for online tracking and payment of bills, extra services like setting up of ringback tones and ringtones. Just Google the AT&T website and visit the page. You will need to set up an account there. Just go to the 'My Account' link and register with your cell phone number and subscription details.
  • Among the various facilities that are available, find out the list of ringback tones that you can choose from. You can sort out the list according to genre, artist or song name. Then click on the 'buy' link next to any of the available tones. The song that you choose will be set up by AT&T as your iPhone's ringback tone.
  • You can also set up personalized tones for some callers. You need to assign the cell phone numbers of callers to choose tones. Just save your settings and logout for the settings to take effect.
With Verizon Service

Verizon also offers ringback tone service for its iPhone users. Here's how you can set personalized ringback tones for your callers.
  • Visit the 'Verizon Media Store'. Just Google it and you will find it easily.
  • There, you will find a listing of ringtones, as well as ringback tones. Click on the tab which says 'Ringback Tones'.
  • You may select a ringback tone from the top ranking ones listed upfront. Otherwise, you can search through the entire store, using the search tab, provided at the top.
  • Click the 'Buy' button next to the ringback tone of your choice. Immediately a pop-up will ask you to sign in to your Verizon account. Sign in to purchase the tone. You will pay for it, through your monthly bill.
  • Verizon offers you the facility to assign 25 personalized tones to your favorite callers. To set them, sign into the Verizon Media Store and visit the 'Manage Ringbacks' link. You may also change the ringback tone according to the time of day, using settings provided on the same page.
With Sprint Service

Reports reveal that Sprint was the most preferred network of US citizens who bough the Apple iPhone 4S recently. Here's how you can set ringback tones for the iPhone with Sprint service.
  • Visit the 'Digital Lounge' section of the Sprint website.
  • Sign in with your Sprint user name and password. Create an account, if you don't have one already.
  • Visit the 'Get Media and Applications' link and browse through the tones offered. Buy whichever you like and pay for it through your bill.
  • To personalize tones, visit the 'Manage my content' section.
Ringback tones can be set up quite easily for an iPhone, using the above facility, provided on the AT&T, Verizon and Sprint websites. Just set up the tones and entertain all your callers with good music.