Why have my phone blast out the latest Fiddy Cent or Gwen Stefani in craptastic QCP when I can geek it up with authentic NES or SNES chiptunes that sound better at low bitrates?

For NES:

1. First I head to Zophar's NSF Archive and download the game I want the music from. If the files are seperated by track, great. If not,

2. Use any NSF player to determine which song you want (if it's an archive) and how many seconds you want of it. If you only want a single track, you can seperate the tracks using NSF Track Ripper.

3. Use the NSF2WAV command-line utility with nez_plug.dll (both available from the NEZPlug website) to convert them to 16kHz WAVs. (You can up the sound quality all you want, but it'll only increase the filesize without much gain). The usage is:

nsf2wav -f[frequency] -t[time] -n[song] -o[outputfile.wav] song.nsf

As stated, the best setting for -f is 16000 (16kHz).

For SNES:

1. Get to Zophar's SPC Archive and download the SPCs from the game you want. Typically they're already seperated into tracks.

2. Use any number of SPC players to convert into .wav. I prefer Foobar2000 with out-of-the-box SPC support and .wav conversion. It's also a damn good music player period.

For both:

1. Use Sound Recorder (start/run/sndrec32) to trim the file as desired and resave as .wav.

2. Download the LAME command-line MP3 encoder and use it to create an MP3. Recommended usage is:

lame -b 32 -h -m m inputfile.nsf/spc output.mp3

Which will create a 32kbps high-quality mono MP3. For SNES, use a -b setting of 64 (which will create a larger filesize, but it's worth it).

3. Use any of the MP3 uploader sites to get it to your phone.

NOTES:

- This is only for phones that natively support MP3. I personally use my Treo 650 and Ringo to let me play MP3 ringtones. I don't know what they'll sound like if an uploader site converts them to .qcp.

- Filesizes are about 30-40K for 32kbps MP3s and 60-70K for 64kbps MP3s.

- I also lean towards command-line solutions because that makes it easier to automate things by dragging-dropping over a .bat file.

Hopefully other geeks like me can now party like it's 1989.

[Crossposted to sprintusers.com forums]