March 12, 2005
How to Enable MP3 Ringtones on a Sony Ericsson v800

In my personal top ten of the world's most disgusting companies this week's highest entry is Vodafone who almost managed to supersede Monsanto in their lead position. The reasons: greed and bad taste. What happened? (You can skip the now following rant to get to the mp3 part by clicking here.)

Like every two years I recently had the option to renew my mobile phone contract, for which the providers usually reward you by offering a new mobile phone for a reduced price (or some of the cheaper models for 1 Euro). As I wanted to own a phone that allows me to run Flash Lite 1.1 files I decided to go for the Sony Ericsson v800 - already knowing that the "v" stands for "Vandalized by Vodafone". It's unbelievable - on the case alone they managed to place their logo four times - and it's not a simple screen print that you could rub off with a little nitro - no, removing them would mean to ruin the case permanently.

But what's worse is that they also run the phone on their own OS which means that also on the screens there is big-red Vodafone all over the place. You can replace most of those graphics with your own, but you cannot delete them from the phone's memory. They hijack one of the two main menu entries so you will always connect to their internet portal when you - maybe accidentally - click it. But well, it looks like that is the price that you have to pay for getting a discount on the phone.

Unfortunately that is not the end of the story. In their endless greed Vodafone has disabled one of the most common used functions - the ability to use mp3 files as ringtones. You can upload them into your phone, yes. You can also listen to them on the media player. But you are not allowed to use them as ringtone, alarm or as a contact identifier. Why not? Because Vodafone wants you to buy the ringtones from their portal. Buy ringtones? Do I look like a teenager or a brain-amputee? No way. But I'm not the first one to have that problem - Google reveals that probably every owner of this phone looks for a solution to this and until recently there has been a way to circumvent this:

In order for mp3s to be freely usable on the v800 they have to be packaged as DRM files. A DRM file is a wrapper that can be used to restrict or allow certain usage of its contents. Fortunately Sony Ericsson provides - or rather provided - developers with a DRM Packager Tool. This tool allows - no - allowed you to convert .mp3 files to .dm files. Of course something as useful as this was soon discovered and the link made its round through mobile forums all over the web with the result, that suddenly the tool officially is not available anymore on the Sony Ericsson site. In order to get it these days it seems like you have to visit dark backrooms of dubious sites or try to find someone who was lucky enough to download it whilst it was still available. Smells fishy and not like something I would want to recommend my readers.

Fortunately I discovered another way to make my mp3 files work as ringtones and as I haven't found this solution on any SE v800 related forum yet, here is how it works: Unlike Sony Ericsson Nokia has not yet surrendered to the Dark Side. And as developers for Nokia phones have to create DRM packages, too, this company also offers a tool to accomplish this task. The tool we need is part of the Nokia Mobile Internet Toolkit 4.1 - in order to download it you will have to register as a developer at the Nokia Forum, but that registration is free and currently open to everyone. After downloading it you will have to register the application to receive a serial number - so make sure that you enter a valid email adress.

The actual method to convert .mp3s to .dm files works like this:


  • launch the NMIT 4.1 application
  • the start screen looks like this.
    Click on the "Digital Rights" link that I have marked in red.
  • this will bring you to the DRM packager.
  • Click the radio button "Combined Delivery Lock (.dm) [1] - on the right side the "Specify Rights" screen will appar
  • In this screen select the "Enable Play Rights" checkbox [2] in the "Play" tab. For our purposes it is not necessary to set any of the other options.
  • Click the "Load Content" button [3] and select an mp3 from your collection.
  • Select File - Save
    from the top menu or press CTRL-S to save the DRM package as a .dm file.
  • Upload the .dm file into the "Sounds" folder of your v800 memory stick via the method of your choice (Bluetooth, USB, Infrared) . After uploading via USB make sure to unplug the cable in order to avoid file locking.
  • On your v800 go to to the "My Phone" menu, select "Sounds", search the title of the sound file you uploaded and select "More -> use as -> ringtone". I have a german menu, so maybe the menu items are called a bit different on your phone.
  • Done.

I'm still thinking about completely weeding out the Vodafone OS from my mobile. This german company for example offers a debranding service for lots of models. But I will first do a little bit more research about the consequences this might have.

Posted at March 12, 2005 06:46 PM | Further reading
Comments

yeah,you´re right,the mobile companies really go too far these days. yeah,having their logo all around and inside the phone is ugly,but as you said,the worst things are those extra keys for internet access and things like mp3 ringtone blocking.
Actually several keys for web access piss me off most,because that is an obvious client unfriendly way of making profit from someone who doesn´t want to buy their products (in this case web access) (and though ring tone selling by blocking using mp3s counts into the same category,it pisses me off more because i already got into web connection accidently while just wanting to access some menu options or close a phone call).
I really don´t know what these companies are after,to me it looks like quick (received thanks to 'cheating') money seems to be more important to them than pleased clients. i hope they will quickly realize that this is the wrong manner,because me for sure,i will never again buy a phone wrapped by companies like vodafone and td-telekom to cheat their customers.

Posted by: tom on March 14, 2005 08:08 AM

on a small sidenode: damn those spammers,i see you added bad word (in terms of spam prone) detection to your commenting system and having all those recent blog spammers on various blogs in mind,i can understand it,but i had to modify my post several times because the comment system always thought some words were questionable..
anyway,
greetz,nice post you made,all consumers should block such 'marketing' moves by the telecoms ;)

Posted by: tom on March 14, 2005 08:11 AM

Yes, my list of bad words is getting longer each day. But unfortunately it's necessary as my blog is under constant attack by comment-spam bots. "cheap" and "tmobile" are some of the words that will not work in my comments...

Posted by: Mario Klingemann on March 14, 2005 10:15 AM

i see :D at least you got the words i had to change =)

Posted by: tomsamson on March 15, 2005 11:51 AM

The information I got from your site was splendid and helped me "win the battle " with Vodafone. It feels really good not letting them get their way. If they believe that buying a cell phone and a connection with them, we will pay money for every move we make, they are really STUPID. And all this because they are not interested to gain customers but gain money.

I even intend to purchase the genuine sticker of Sony-Ericson in order to place it on the cover and at the back and replace the Vodafone one.

Congratulations again for your work and for this excellent site you have created.


Posted by: Hai on March 16, 2005 04:30 PM

Do you know if this will also work for the Sony Ericsson T630? Do Sony's phone all have the same .dm standard as far as ringtones are concerned?

Posted by: jeremy abbett on March 20, 2005 12:00 PM

@jeremy: as I don't own a T630 I cannot test it, but I don't see why it should not work. Can you maybe give it a try and post the results here?

I'm not an expert in DRM formats, but as far as I know it is a standard so if it works on one model it should work on other models as well.

Posted by: Mario Klingemann on March 20, 2005 04:50 PM

Just for info - thought that you might like to know that the best way to do it with the Nokia 7280 is to convert the MP3 to .wav / .wma files and then burn them to a CD this allows you to convert the files using the Nokia PC Suite (Audio Manager) and then send them via infrared.

Posted by: PrincessMandy on March 23, 2005 12:03 AM

I was trying to listen MP3 Music which I got from the internet with my phone. I used Nokia Mobile Internet Toolkit 4.1 but my phone keep asking me that the song has to be activated.
How can I activate it? Just connect to the internet?

Posted by: The stooges on March 25, 2005 07:19 PM

I have the same problem with "the stooges" can anybody help me?

Posted by: george on March 29, 2005 02:24 PM

I would like to thank you for the great advice in the big problem we are facing with vodofone.I did all the above but when i am going to save the mp3 file as an .dm file it cannot be saven.Could you pls help me?

Posted by: sokos61 on April 4, 2005 02:32 AM

No need to worry because i fixed the problem i was facing.Once more congratulatios for your valiable assistance.

Posted by: sokos61 on April 4, 2005 02:45 AM

Thanks for posting this method. I went through all the instructions properly but I still get the DRM Protection Key message on my phone. I have a Japanese V802SE so maybe that's the problem.

Have you, or anyone else on this forum, gotten this to work on a Japanese version of the phone?

Posted by: gloomybb on April 6, 2005 02:52 PM

Top advice. I have just done my first mp3 ringtone and it was as easy as you have laid out. I can't stand the fact that part of a song you like costs money when you should be able to just load it on your phone and use it as you want.

Just one thing, can tones created using the toolkit be bluetoothed to other phones?

Posted by: Jase on April 9, 2005 11:37 PM

I have used these instructions and had no problem converting my mp3 files. The Sony DRM Packager is available from XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX.
Scroll to the bottom of the screen and click free, wait for the countdown to reach zero and download the file.

Posted by: visitor on April 12, 2005 12:58 PM

Sorry, but I had to censor that last post - but as I don't know about the licensing scheme of the Sony DRM Packager I will not allow direct links to non-official locations of this tool. from my site.

Posted by: Mario Klingemann on April 12, 2005 01:13 PM

I was so happy to find this site, well I still am went through the whole thing it didn't work then I saw the guy that had the Japanese V802SE same as I. Does anyone know how to play mp3s on this model or better yet a place in the states where I can De-brand it?
Thanks,
Craig

Posted by: Craig on April 16, 2005 09:19 AM

Tried this on a new K700i and it didn't work :0(
I managed to do all the instructions with the NITK but the phone just wouldn't recognise the .DM file as a sound file and would only allow me to send it on.
Will have to try other avenues such as unlocking.
Thanks anyway for putting some instructions there , they were very good.

Posted by: Neil on April 22, 2005 02:11 PM

Hi,
i have a nokia 6260. I tried to send the .dm files from my pc via bluetooth to my mobile. The phone recognized the file, but won´t play it in the mp3 player or as a ringtone.(I used the se drm packager, maybe thats the reason)Then i used the nokia pc suite and the nokia mobile internet toolkit, but it doesn´t work,too.

Can soneone help my, please???

Posted by: prickl_pit on April 23, 2005 03:35 PM

Hi There,
Many Many Thanks for your cunning suggestions. i have been a loyal Ericsson & now sonyEricsson customer for years ( just don't like Nokia's, too common and not as creative), and find it a bit Ironic that a nokia package has sorted this problem. I feel really shafted by ericsson over this but have come to expect it from Voda. Gits! Anyhow one little bit of extra info I need is how to get the converted ringtones to play for longer than just a few seconds before looping again. My chosen ringtone just get going before it starts to repeat itself. A tad vexing............... Any idea's?

Posted by: Happy Days on April 25, 2005 06:36 AM

Thank you very much, for this wonderfull software. i am very happy with it, we should really not let this mobile companies rule over us..................

Posted by: Shalin on April 25, 2005 02:15 PM

Any idea how to make the distribution rights on the ringtone unlimited ?Then I can send ringtones to all my friends ...

Posted by: Panda on April 25, 2005 04:46 PM

Can anyone send me the SE packager as it is very difficult to get hold of

Posted by: neil on April 27, 2005 02:30 PM

Have got the required packager now and also found instructions for use. Thanks to VISITOR for pointing me in the right direction. cheers

Posted by: neil on April 28, 2005 03:21 PM

Hey man you are the best.
I was trying to download mp3 as ringtones to a Sony f500i Voda without luck. What you suggested is working very well. Thanks a lot. Greetings from Greece.

Posted by: c_mos1 on May 4, 2005 11:57 AM

Is anybody else having the effect, that the v800 seems to have a tendency to switch itself completely off at random intervals? Somehow I have the impression that this happens more often whenever I choose a mp3 as a ringtone. The problem is that the settings for the ringtones get resetted whenever you switch the phone off. Is this maybe another one of those easter eggs Vodafone included?

Posted by: Mario Klingemann on May 4, 2005 03:10 PM

Thanx for this, i've spend the last two days tryin to create the DRM package. And thank god it works for SE V800.
Ps. for everyone in Holland, vodafone here uses the same type of drm packages

Posted by: Paulxx187 on May 9, 2005 09:39 PM

Mayday, Mayday... I open the NMIT, check the right boxes, I press ctrl+s but I cannot get the .dm file copied from the PC to my K700i. I m using a USB cable (MA8910P). Any ideas PLEASE before I start burning Fonavode's offices!

Posted by: FuriousVFvictim on May 14, 2005 05:06 PM

thanks for all the advice- brilliant. Shame the drm files are so big when reconverted from mp3. My 125k mp3 file becomes 1.25mg when converted to drm ............am i doing something wrong?

Posted by: nick on May 21, 2005 02:08 PM

Well I had a Sony Ericsson Z600 from Vodafone and now I got a V800 from Vodahone and they totally VADALIZE the phones. I got to this site trying to play some mp3s with my phone. I cant even play them in Media Player. I am waiting for the registration email from nokia. Thx for this page. Thumbs up

Posted by: Luvie on June 1, 2005 03:24 PM

I have a vodafone nokia 6630 japanese edition. I cant play any mp3, awb, aac files (well it can play amr)! It driving me nuts! I have encoded it using NMIT 4.1 and sony ericsson DRM packager and it still cant play! Most of all, I cant install games or themes! It keeps on saying unable to install! What the hell is going on here? Is vodafone really that bad? I have also a sony ericsson v802se also a japanese edition and still cant play any mp3 tones! HELP!!!! for both units!

Posted by: zero3 on June 2, 2005 02:02 PM

Hello, i have a V800.... Impossible to get the .dm to work... it does a kind of "reset" when i enter the folder on my phone where the .dm is. No reset if i rename it in MP3, but i then can't use it as ringtone.
MP3's on the phone are .dcf extension , managed to make one mp3 with that extension , but then it asks for an activation of the file before it is used.... what can i do?

Posted by: Fabrice on June 8, 2005 03:23 AM

nice work - am complete novice when it comes to stuff with phones, have been looking for ages to get this done, well explained, thanks!

Posted by: theflatboy on June 10, 2005 01:10 PM

I 've got the DRM packager and I cab use the mp3s as general ringtones nut not as contact identifiers. Does anybody know ehy this is happening,

Posted by: fanouli on June 16, 2005 11:57 AM

This is all well and good for PC owners, but is there a solution for Mac OSX owners? I hate having to use my dad's PC eveytime I wanna do this!

Posted by: Al McCarley on June 17, 2005 01:15 PM

Thank you so much!!
Great directions to get rid of a very annoying problem. Even I made it...
and I still wonder how you genius' come up with these things...
Excellent!!

Cheers,
Luke

Posted by: Luke on June 23, 2005 04:47 PM

Nice piece of info for PC users.
Unfortunately I am a Mac OSX user.
Can anybody help ?

Posted by: Patrick ROBERT on June 27, 2005 10:13 AM

hey i followed all the steps properly.
but i m not able to play the dm file on my k700i. a small key appears beside it with a red line showing tht it is blocked. info says tht it is not activated.
will some one help me regarding this.

Posted by: neo on June 28, 2005 03:12 PM

I managed to get my mp3 to my k700i, and as with neo a key appears besides the file on the mobile, however mine did not say it was blocked, it said it actually was activated, but even so the option for "use as ringtone" and such were still not avalible. I have pretty much given up hope by now :( maybe I should try to get it debranded but I do not want to buy that expensive docking bay to to it ...

Posted by: nilo on June 30, 2005 06:27 PM

hi does anyone else know how to put mp3's in the v800 is it really necessary to convert it into a .dm file b4 it works on the v800?bcoz i tried putting an mp3 and it says that it doesnt hav a liscence or something..and is the size of the mp3 file gonna be minimize if i convert it into .dm file?

Posted by: ryann on July 3, 2005 11:09 AM

i hav something missing on my last post...is it necessary to convert it into a .dm file even though u dnt actually want the mp3 as a ringtone?? if anyone know can u plz rely to diz post..thanks!!

Posted by: ryann on July 3, 2005 11:11 AM

Regarding the V800 and it's omnipresent and frankly hideous Vodaphone branding, I'd strongly recommend getting the handset debranded and flashed with Z800 firmware. I've had this done in London for 12.00GBP, and it works a treat, providing more features on the phone, removing all Vodaphone imposed operating restrictions, freeing extra memory, and of course, removing all Vodaphone menus etc.

I also had the phone unlocked to accept all simcards, although this is a separate operation to the debranding and thus does not have to be done if not required - although it will enhance value when the time comes to upgrade of course.

Finally, the solution to disposing of the appalling Vodaphone logo branding that disfigures the V800 fascia is to replace it with a lovely shiny new Titanium Silver Sony Ericsson Z800 fascia. Taken together these will remove every reference to Vodaphone from the handset, aside from a small and unobtrusive logo on the screen itself, as well as qualitatively improving the phone itself in a number of ways.

Posted by: Jovian on July 12, 2005 09:32 PM

Right, I did this my own way. This applies to the SE F500i (Vodafone) and because of the right ballache it was to finally work it out, I feel compelled to share how I managed this (I have my own webspace, I downloaded the ringtone from there using Vodafone Live because I don't (yet) have a cable to connect the phone to my PC):

1. Download SE DRM Packager (can be found through Google UK)

2. Use DRM Packager to convert *.mp3 to *.dm file using default settings. The new file should be in a folder called "DRM" inside the folder that the original mp3 was located.

3. Upload *.dm file to webspace.

4. Enter URL to the *.dm file into Vodafone Live and download it. The file should be saved to your Others folder.

5. Right, the file you just downloaded won't be recognised by the phone. This is because (in my case anyway) the file was renamed to "*..". I renamed the file with an "mp3" file extension and all was fine. I currently have this file set as my ringtone.

Hope that helps everyone. Any questions, email me at the email address I entered and make sure you put why you're emailing in the subject line.

Posted by: Dan on July 12, 2005 09:41 PM

another Mac user scouring the net for a "DRM packager" or such like for Tiger....... there's a lot of us looking, please help if you can. tnx

Posted by: drew on July 23, 2005 01:38 AM

Thanks for the DRM solution. I've been looking around on the net, but most people only have questions and no answers. You're the first with a true and helpfull answer. It works great.
Peace.

Posted by: Germs on July 28, 2005 08:27 AM

ANOTHER Mac user scouring the endless PC user threads looking for some way to set an MP3 file as a ringtone......... Please help.....

Posted by: Alex on July 28, 2005 04:28 PM

Fantastic!! Great piece of info, worked first time no problems :D You wouldn't believe how long and hard I have looked for how to do this (or maybe you will)!

Big thanks to you

Posted by: Beaker on August 29, 2005 04:58 PM

Thanks for the info, I used your instructions together with the SonyEricsson DRM (bless Esato), and once saved as a DM copied to my K700 by bluetooth. I can now have MP3's as rongtones again! Thanks again!

Posted by: KingBobby on September 5, 2005 11:20 PM

Hi all,
Not sure if someone mentioned it already:
If using Bluetooth to send your mp3's to your phone, will let you do with it what ever you want. Only tested on:
Apple PowerBook G4 (both 10.3 & 10.4), Sony Ericsson K750i (Vodaphone branded)
Pair your phone with the Mac, "Browse the phone", drag your file to the bluetooth popup window (not in a folder, just to "root"). The phone will put it to the right place itself.
There you are, with a non-drm mp3, you can use it as ringtone, send it via BT, and what ever you want.
It does not work over cable (do NOT mount the phone in the finder, just use the Bluetooth tool).

Have fun!

Posted by: extraPixel on September 8, 2005 02:02 PM

does this DRM trick work with Z800 firmware phones? (set mp3 as ringtone through .dm?)

Posted by: Wilson on September 20, 2005 07:18 PM

How to use an MP3 as a ringtone on Mac OSX

This is what works for me with a Sony Ericsson V800 (should be the same with the Z800) : I simply use ffmpegX to encode the original mp3 to another mp3 (it also works with the 3gp format, but with very poor quality) - then I copy the new mp3 file on the V800 memory card and that's it !

Posted by: Bla on September 28, 2005 11:01 AM

Thanks so much!

Posted by: A Friend on September 28, 2005 04:45 PM

Hello all,
The issue of playing MP3 on my Vodafone SE S700i is one i've wanted to solve for ages.....i can confirm that by using the Nokia toolkit this problem is no more!! Many thanks for the advice Mario!

Weird that the k700 doesnt recognise the dm file....my s700i certainly does.

Cheers again!

Posted by: Dan on October 14, 2005 02:19 PM

Anybody got the tooljit zip? Nokia's site not working...

Posted by: Brad on October 19, 2005 04:52 PM

Thank yu for this article !

Posted by: Matt on October 21, 2005 04:56 PM

does anyone know how to solve the same problem for the k700i??

it's really quite frustrating

Posted by: Dano on October 24, 2005 10:09 AM

IF YOU WANT THE SONY ERiCSSON DRM PROGRAM JUST EMAIL ME.

Posted by: Dan on October 27, 2005 06:33 AM

How do i get music frm my pc to my fone i cant!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! plz hlp me!

Posted by: bobby john on November 2, 2005 03:34 PM

Thanks pal, I have been struggling for quite some time with these damn' DRM files-crap, but thanks to your explanation it all works now as I wanted it to do. Cheers ! (beer!)

Posted by: Marcel on November 15, 2005 11:03 PM

I have downloaded the software but I connot open it. I have windows XP SP1. Is it because of this or something else is happening? Do I have to download another version fo the toolkit, or something that I have not done right.

Thank you in advance

Posted by: Teo on December 21, 2005 07:54 PM

hiiiiiiiiiiii.i have download nookia toolkit but i m unable to activate a dcf file.any one who tell me how to activate a dcf file for k700i.i am from Paistan plz help me.my amail address is haseeb_00001yahoo,comq
waiting for anyone reply

Posted by: haseeb on February 2, 2006 09:40 AM
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