Oct
01

Upload Ringtones (or Programs) to the Samsung MM-A900 “Blade” with USB or Email

One dollar?! For 30 seconds of music!? I can preview songs that long at CD Universe for free! How can Sprint charge me the same price for what I already pay on iTunes?

I admit, I am a pretty adept computer enthusiast. So, when I discovered that my phone came with a USB-type tether, I scoured the manuals for a way to easily turn a simple MP3 file into a ringtone for my Samsung MM-A900 “Blade.” The problem was that it wasn’t so simple. In fact, it wasn’t even documented since doing so required a little complicated gray-hat hack.

 

Uploading Ringtones on Different Phones

The “Blade” was once the hottest model on Sprint’s line of phones. It was their answer to the ubiquitous Motorola RAZR … that was until the real thing came in Sprint-CDMA flavor. True, my method is a bit harder than it is with most other phones. I heard others were easier to manipulate with BitPim. The truth is, manually loading a ringtone will be different with every phone you encounter. Some will be easy with BitPim and others will require risky hacks. Some will require a bit of social engineering with the phone company’s CSRs, while others will just let your drag and drop. It all depends!

Plan A: Surefire, Non-evasive Method

One thing’s for certain. There is a sure-fire way of successfully and safely uploading a ringtone to any cell phone. Email it to yourself! There are many services that do this for you. Basically, you specify the upload file, your carrier, and your phone number. This was always the case for me in the past with Rumkin … until I decided to cut my cell phone’s Power Vision service. Now, any data transfer to/from my cell phone will cost me a whooping $0.03 / KB! For a typical ringtone, it will cost upwards of $15!

Plan B: Potentially-destructive Method

So, what is this other gray-hat method I mentioned? As a warning, this method is potentially destructive and very invasive! You’re putting your phone in a vulnerable state. Any mistake can be detrimental.

  1. First things first! Choose your song and crop out about 30 seconds of audio for your ringtone. There are many free programs that will let your do that. In fact, Windows Sound Recorder has a usable, limited functionality. For something more robust and full featured, I would definitely go with Audacity.
  2. I hear that the Blade will take MP3 files as ringtones but I have yet to see that in action. MP3 ringtones have never worked for me. So, you're stuck with only the MP4 (AAC) format. Use dBPowerAmp to convert your Audacity-mastered WAV/MP3 file to MP4. You may have to download the Nero Digital Audio or Apple Lossless plugin.
  3. Now, here’s the good stuff. Download Qualcomm’s QPST software suite. Kyocera the owner of the Qualcomm brand is the main manufacturer of the CDMA technology. Even though, you’re using a Samsung phone, much of its inner workings is actually Qualcomm. QPST is internal company software for manipulating their phones. Since it is internal, there is no official public version. Hint: Google is your friend.
  4. If you haven’t already installed the Samsung driver for the A900, you’ll need to do that as well.
  5. After you install the Samsung driver, plug in the phone and note the COM port that it is assigned to. If you go to the "Phone and Modems" Control Panel applet, you can check on the "Modems" tab." Launch the QPST Configuration. Under ports, "Add New Port.." The "Port Label" can be anything. Just make sure the "Port" is the same COM port you checked previously.

    hackblade_port.jpg

  6. hackblade_msl.jpgMost people will also need to download and install MSL Reader (Again, Google is your friend.). MSL stands for “Master Subsidy Lock.” I’m not quite certain on what it definitely is but my guess is that it’s like a “PIN” to do something potentially altering to your phone. It is the number Sprint CSRs instruct you to enter when activating it. For the extremely astute readers who horde information and numbers like a pack rat featured on Oprah, you may not need to download the MSL Reader if you wrote that number down … but I’m guessing not.

    Basically, the MSL reader tries to retrieve the MSL. Most of the time, it will work for you. Other times it won’t. If it will not read the MSL for you, your only recourse is to call Spring Customer Service. Believe me, unless you are a master social engineer like Kevin Mitnik, it will be awkward., How are you going to explain to the CSR that you need the MSL to hack your phone? I can’t even think of a plausible lie!

  7. Once you finally obtain your MSL (and you can’t continue without it), plug in your phone and fire up the EFS explorer in QPST. Select your phone and enter the MSL in the SPC field. In a couple of seconds, you should see the (very delicate) file system.

    hackblade_qpst2.jpg



    The index for ringtones, applications, and games is in “brew/mod/obione/jas/index/.” There, you will find text files numbered consecutively. The actual data is found in “brew/shared/jas/content/.” You will also find files numbered consecutively. There will be one *.gcd or *.jad for every number. Additionally, there will be either one *.gc or *.jar for every number. *.gcd or *.jad are formats that kind of act like meta data or tags with the display name. *.gc is the mp3/mp4 extension for audio files and *.jar of course is the Java extension for programs and games. Every *.gc goes with a *.gcd and every *.jar goes with a *.jad.

    hackblade_qpst.jpg

    Using that information, you can load your own ringtone in the phone. First, we have to create an index (*.txt) file and a meta data (*.gcd) file. Use the following as a template when creating each file. Omit my comments in “//.” Save the files as the next consecutive number with the appropriate extension. For example, if the last number in “brew/mod/obione/jas/index/” was “10.txt,” your next index text file will be 11.txt.

    CODE:
    1. // 11.txt
    2. CONF: 11 // The next consecutive number
    3. COSH: 11 // The next consecutive number
    4. TYPE: audio/mp4
    5. SIZE: 493645 // The size in bytes (not size on disk if using Windows)
    6. FEXT:
    7. ENCO:
    8. TPID: 1
    9. OWNR: 1
    10. VRNG: 0
    11. PATH: shared/jas/content/11.gc // The next consecutive number
    12. FDNM: Ringers
    13. SUBD:
    14. DOMA: 0
    15. MMSK: 24
    16. CATE: 2
    17. STAT: 2
    18. COID: artisan applications rings // Unnecessary meta data of source
    19. DURL: http://www.art-app.com // Unnecessary meta data of URL
    20. NAME: Streetcorner Symphony (Come on Over) // Name of ringtone
    21. VEND: Rumkin.com Upload
    22. TIME: 1146990987 // Time length of audio clip (You can leave this as its not really necessary)
    23. ICON:
    24. ISIZ: 0
    25. FLCK: 1
    CODE:
    1. // 11.gcd
    2. Content-Type: audio/mp4
    3. Content-ID: artisan applications rings // Unnecessary meta data of source
    4. Content-Name: Streetcorner Symphony (Come on Over) // Name of ringtone
    5. Content-Version: 1.0
    6. Content-Vendor: artisan applications rings // Unnecessary meta data of source
    7. Content-URL: http://www.art-app.com // Unnecessary meta data of url
    8. Content-Size: 493645 // The size in bytes (not size on disk if using Windows)
  8. Rename the MP4 file as the next consecutive number with *.gc as the extension. Drag-and-drop both the *.gc and *.gcd files to the “brew/shared/jas/content/” directory. In the same way, drag-and-drop the *.txt file to “brew/shared/jas/content/.”
  9. hackblade_reset.jpgOn the menu, click “Phone” and “Reset Phone.” After the reset, you should see your creation in the “Ringers” of the “My Content” menu.

If you’ve gotten this far, congratulations! Was all that work worth it? I mean you just saved a measly dollar. I think so. You may be thinking, “Why should I viciously fight for a measly dollar?” It’s the principle here! Nobody should have to pay for part for something he or she can get the whole thing for the same price. Besides, you can now install any ringtone (even cell phone game if you apply the same principles) with no ringtone price, data transfer rate, Power Vision subscription fee, or availability restrictions.

If you have any problems, please leave a comment or check out my sources. Good luck!

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10 Responses to “Upload Ringtones (or Programs) to the Samsung MM-A900 “Blade” with USB or Email”

  1. liege Says:

    i want to upload ringtones to my samsung mobile cellularphone

  2. liege Says:

    i want ringtones uploaded to my memory stick(thumb drive)

  3. mermster Says:

    Ive tried this process step by step several times, and each time a upload the files to my phone, and when i reset my phone, the new files are not there :/ please help

  4. brian Says:

    I've done all the steps and everything and files are still not there, like mermster. The attributes, mode, and links are all different. The files that I added are UAD, 37777777777, and -1, respectively. While the original files are -AD, 100600, and 1, respectively. How do I fix this?

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