We're sure we're not the only ones who make signs of the cross with our fingers whenever an ad for a cellphone wallpaper- or ringtone-subscription comes on TV. And Myxer feels our pain. That's why they promise a website full of both free and pay-per papers and tones, with no subscriptions or hidden fees.
Sound too good to be true? We decided to road-test the site — make them put their no-money where their mouths are, as it were… (Click each screen thumbnail to open a full-size capture.)
The first thing you need to do to use the Myxer service is create a user accound. Click "Sign Up."
Ah, things just got "interrrrrresting," to steal a line from LAUGH-IN. You can create a personal account just to download stuff to your own phone, an artist account to share your band's sounds and images, OR a partner account and actually sell your own work through Myxer. We'll create a personal account.
Pretty basic: enter your email address & cell number, create a password, enter some basic info for your Myxer profile, optionally opt-in for emails from Myxer and/or third parties, and agree to the TOS. Click "Create Account."
Confirming your registration is actually a two-pronged process. Myxer sends a text message to your phone with a four-digit verification code to be entered, as well as a confirmation link to your computer's email. Both have to be entered/clicked on to proceed.
We're in! Let's start by downloading a ringtone from the "Alerts & Alarms" category.
Hmm, "Alien Call" in the second row sounds intriguing. Let's select that one…
Here we get details on the ringtone we selected, including price (if it's a pay download, it's clearly stated in advance), a preview capability, and the choice to download to your computer first, or straight to your phone. We'll select the to-your-phone option.
Myxer first confirms the destination phone number…
…then confirms the actual destination phone. (Dactyl's beloved Verizon Crackberry, in this instance!)
Voila! Myxer sent a text message with a URL to the 'Berry. Clicking it loads a Myxer page in the Blackberry browser to download the tone directly to your phone. (This is a Verizon/Blackberry limitation: other phones/carriers allow direct download of the tone or paper. As usual, standard text message/data usage charges apply, so make sure your phone plan won't get clobbered if you get download crazy!)
Myxer also lets you upload your own graphics and audio to create papers and tones you can then download — especially useful if your phone doesn't let you access it via your PC.
Mind you, our favorite ringtone to date is the "bzzzzz" of Vibrate mode. Then again, he's of the opinion that "if it's free, don't knock it."