Ring Tone Transfer Language
The RTTTL format is a string divided into three sections: name, default value, and data.
The name section consists of a string describing the name of the ringtone. It can be no longer than 10 characters, and cannot contain a colon ":" character. (However, since the Smart Messaging specification allows names up to 15 characters in length, some applications processing RTTTL also do so.)
The default value section is a set of values separated by commas, where each value contains a key and a value separated by an = character, which describes certain defaults which should be adhered to during the execution of the ringtone. Possible names are
The data section consists of a set of character strings separated by commas, where each string contains a duration, pitch, octave and optional dotting (which increases the duration of the note by one half).
To be recognized by ringtone programs, an RTTTL/Nokring format ringtone must contain three specific elements: name, settings, and notes.
For example, here is the RTTTL ringtone for Haunted House:
HauntHouse: d=4,o=5,b=108: 2a4, 2e, 2d#, 2b4, 2a4, 2c, 2d, 2a#4, 2e., e, 1f4, 1a4, 1d#, 2e., d, 2c., b4, 1a4, 1p, 2a4, 2e, 2d#, 2b4, 2a4, 2c, 2d, 2a#4, 2e., e, 1f4, 1a4, 1d#, 2e., d, 2c., b4, 1a4
The three parts are separated by a colon.
- Part 1: name of the ringtone (here: "HauntHouse"), a string of characters represents the name of the ringtone
- Part 2: settings (here: d=4,o=5,b=108), where "d=" is the default duration of a note. In this case, the "4" means that each note with no duration specifier (see below) is by default considered a quarter note. "8" would mean an eighth note, and so on. Accordingly, "o=" is the default octave. There are four octaves in the Nokring/RTTTL format. And "b=" is the tempo, in "beats per minute".
- Part 3: the notes. Each note is separated by a comma and includes, in sequence: a duration specifier, a standard music note, either a, b, c, d, e, f or g, and an octave specifier. If no duration or octave specifier are present, the default applies.
Standard musical durations are denoted by the following notations:
- 1 - whole note
- 2 - half note
- 4 - quarter note
- 8 - eighth note
- 16 - sixteenth note
- 32 - thirty-second note
- P - rest or pause
- A - A
- A# - A♯ / B♭
- B - B / C♭
- C - C
- C# - C♯ / D♭
- D - D
- D# - D♯ / E♭
- E - E / F♭
- F - F / E♯
- F# - F♯ / G♭
- G - G
- G# - G♯ / A♭
The RTTTL format allows octaves starting from the A below middle C and going up four octaves. This corresponds with the inability of cellphones to reproduce certain tones audibly. These octaves are numbered from lowest pitch to highest pitch from 4 to 7.
The octave should be left out of the notation in the case of a rest or pause in the pattern.
An example of the RTTTL format would be
- How do I distinguish a Nokring/RTTTL ringtone from other ringtones? (Eric Bematchez, about.com)
- RTTTL specification document in pseudo-code