AutoRingtone PRO, on sale for $0.99, uses speech synthesis; AutoRingtone MUSICAL currently free

Our blogger Todd Bernhard has a number of ringtone-creation apps that are pretty neat and that let you do some creative things to make customized ringtones for individual callers. His new app, AutoRingtone PRO TEXT to SPEECH RINGTONES, lets you use speech synthesis to have your iPhone announce your caller by name — or some sort of clever nickname. For example, I created a ringtone for my tennis partner, Bruce. I selected a chime from the 100 introductory sound effects, and then selected a British male synthesized voice. So now when Bruce calls, my phone chimes and then says in a British accent, "Jim Karpen, your phone is ringing. Bruce is calling. JIm Karpen, please answer the phone." You type in the text how you want to be identified, and also enter the text how you want the caller to be identified. The 100 introductory sound effects range from a bark, to cheering, to wolves, to a "ZoomSplat." There are over 20 voices to choose from.

In Manual mode, you can create whatever message you want. So for my tennis partner Paula, I entered selected the Victory sound effect and typed in, Paula is calling about tennis. The ringtone begins with the sound effect and then a British woman's synthesized voice says, "Jim, Paula is calling about tennis."

You use the app to create your ringtones, which your iPhone then automatically uploads to the website. You then go to the website to download them. You drag the new ringtones into iTunes, then sync your phone, then go to the specific contacts and select the specific ringtones for each. 

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I think Todd's apps are a good choice if you'd like to create custom ringtones that announce the caller by name.

Todd has also recently made his AutoRingtone MUSICAL app free. This app is similar except that it has 35 introductory sound effects and three voices that again use speech synthesis but in a musical voice.

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Jim Karpen holds a Ph.D. in literature and writing, and has a love of gizmos. His doctoral dissertation focused on the revolutionary consequences of digital technologies and anticipated some of the developments taking place in the industry today. Jim has been writing about the Internet and technology since 1994 and has been using Apple's visionary products for decades.