Probably the worst WP8 Hot Tip from Microsoft ever

Advice on custom ringtones virtually useless

the bugged infographic

One of theĀ  missing features which is most irritating (for long-time Nokia users especially) is a lack of configurable ring tones. Nokia virtually invented the ringtone market so it is hard to see why it has tolerated the lack of easily configurable ringtones with its latest Windows Phone (WP8) handsets. Consequently, GoMo News was delighted to see a tweet which lead to an infographic – explaining how to install “custom ringtones”. Except when we tried to follow the instructions – they absolutely don’t work for us.

Here at GoMo Towers, we have wasted the best part of half a day trying to discover how to follow the advice successfully with no luck.

The root of the problem is that according to Microsoft’s instructions, when you “connect phone to PC”, it should show up as a ‘Portable Device’. That would effectively enable you to treat the Windows Phone as another PC drive.

Well, GoMo News has tried connecting a Nokia Lumia 800 to a PC and it doesn’t get recognised as a storage device – under Windows XP, Windows 7 or Windows 8.

Instead it is treated as a ‘media player’. So when you open up Windows File Explorer, there’s no separate box/folder labelled Portables Devices. So you can’t open it and spot your Windows Phone.

We know there was nothing wrong with our USB cable because you can find your Windows Phone by Going to ‘Devices and Printers’ under Windows 7, for example.

And there will be your correctly labelled Windows Phone (with the name you’ve given it) sitting amongst media devices.

One obvious cause of the problem is having an incorrect USB cable driver. We tried downloading the latest version of that from Nokia and had no joy.

We then installed a clean copy of Zune and as a program it communicates with the Windows Phone – but the PC doesn’t recognise it as a Portable Device – only a media player.

If you try using Nokia’s PC Suite instead, the phone isn’t recognised. And we tried a Windows 8 app – PC Phone and that didn’t work either.

Incidentally it has nothing to do with an idiosyncrasy with Samsung PC hardware as one blogger suggested.

So until Microsoft comes out with a suitable USB cable driver or bugfix for this, the majority of us are stuck.

For the lucky few who can see Portable Devices under File Explorer, go to the handset’s ringtones folder and drag and drop a “music file” from the PC.

Then when you go onto the Windows Phone’s Settings under ‘ringtones+sounds’ you should be able to select your ‘custom ringtone’.

GoMo News discovered the relevant page on the UK’s Windows Phone web site here which elaborates the instructions contained in that infographic.

We assume that the file format you use for the ringtone is a simple MP3 file rather than needing to convert an existing file into Microsoft’s own WMA file format. There’s also no guidance on music file length for the ringtone.

If anyone has found a way to force Windows to recognise a Windows Phone as storage device, please share the information with us as a Comment below.

In the meantime, this whole incident hasn’t done much to prove that Microsoft has begun to learn how to support mobile phones – rather than PCs -any better.

About Tony Dennis

Tony is currently Editor of GoMobile News. He's a veteran telecoms journalist who has previously worked for major printed and online titles. Follow him on Twitter @GoMoTweet.
This article was published in Microsoft, WP7.8, hardware clinic, nokia and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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