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Japanese Turning To "Therapeutic Ringtones"

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the take-two-calls-and-see-me-in-the-morning dept.

Cellphones 75

indiavision writes "A host of young Japanese are drawn to the allure of 'therapeutic ringtones' — a genre of melodies that promises to ease a range of day-to-day gripes, from chronic insomnia to a rotten hangover. Developed by Matsumi Suzuki, the head of the Japan Ringing Tone Laboratory, an eight-year-old subsidiary of the Japan Acoustic Laboratory, the tones are a hit with housewives as well as teenagers."

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Theraputic? (1)

Johnny Fusion (658094) | more than 4 years ago | (#31501828)

Well so are placebos to a certain extent, which this seems to be nothing more than.

Re:Theraputic? (5, Interesting)

icebike (68054) | more than 4 years ago | (#31502302)

I can't speak to Theraputic, but having a loud annoying ring tone affects the way most people answer the phone.

Something soothing sets the mood. Something loud or annoying tends to make people snap at the caller.

This was found when the first electronic handsets were introduced to offices. They came with a selection of ring tones and office managers quickly determined that setting the phones to use the more pleasant sounding the ring, lead to more civil answering, even during hectic times.

Re:Theraputic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31502558)

That's why I pick Tunak Tunak Tun as my ringtone.

Re:Theraputic? (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 4 years ago | (#31503602)

... only if you work in a call center :P

Re:Theraputic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31502936)

Something loud or annoying tends to make other

people snap at the person answering the phone.

ftfy.

Re:Theraputic? (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 4 years ago | (#31503188)

Yeah, that too.

Japanese Nut Jobs (1)

WED Fan (911325) | more than 4 years ago | (#31503510)

The Japanese will take just about any patent nostrum and wacky remedy. The culture is steeped in the wacky. Walk into a pharmacy over there and see magnetized bandaids.

Re:Japanese Nut Jobs (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 4 years ago | (#31503596)

I think you can get those prescribed here in the States by your homeopath. ;-)

Re:Japanese Nut Jobs (1)

WED Fan (911325) | more than 4 years ago | (#31503644)

It bugs me that you know that and that Americans are buying it.

Re:Japanese Nut Jobs (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 4 years ago | (#31503734)

It bugs me you missed the smileie.

Re:Japanese Nut Jobs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31503760)

Meh, in the US and most European countries, you have homeopathy instead. Talk about the kettle calling the pot black, eh?

Re:Theraputic? (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506492)

I heard someone's ringtone on the train yesterday. Well, actually I heard a calm "Daddy, your phone's ringing", spoken by a ~4 year old girl. Cutest ringtone ever!

Re:Theraputic? (1)

vegiVamp (518171) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506800)

I instinctively agree with your position, but do you know of any studies to this effect ?

Re:Theraputic? (4, Informative)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#31502392)

Scientists have proven that placebos work just as well as the leading anti-depressants for patients with mild or moderate depression! Placebos are cheap, versatile, and have soooooooo many uses! They are the new wonder drug!

Vocaloid (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 4 years ago | (#31501830)

Why does this make me think that it's actually Vocaloid J-Pop?

--
BMO

Re:Vocaloid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31502444)

I wonder If my Aria the Animation and Aria the Natural self made ring tones qualify. Everyone who has heard them as said oh what a nice peaceful ring tone.

Re:Vocaloid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31503344)

That clearly tells me you should upload them somewhere - i.e. megaupload - to share with the rest of us.

Hitorijime kinshi.

Quackery (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31501858)

Now your phone can share in the crazy alternative medicine craze! Hooray!

Re:Quackery (4, Funny)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 4 years ago | (#31502128)

If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a therapeutic ringtone.

Re:Quackery (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31505020)

Is psychology alternative medicine now? I swear you people won't be happy until we achieve the utopia of Equilibrium. Take your pills and shut up, anything else is quackery.

Cultural Gap (1)

swanzilla (1458281) | more than 4 years ago | (#31501960)

Japan : therapeutic ringtones :: USA : Lynyrd Skynyrd ringtones

Re:Cultural Gap (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#31502366)

What?!? Are you saying "Freebird" ISN'T therapeutic?!?

Re:Cultural Gap (1)

icannotthinkofaname (1480543) | more than 4 years ago | (#31505532)

The half with the lyrics is. The second half is why God invented Guitar Hero.

Re:Cultural Gap (1)

Whalou (721698) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506866)

The caller will most likely hang up before the phone has finished ringing.

Re:Cultural Gap (2, Funny)

madpansy (1410973) | more than 4 years ago | (#31502548)

So you're saying housewives and teenagers across America are alerted to calls by the sound of Free Bird, and not Ke$sha? There's hope for this country yet.

So... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31501962)

What's the Japanese for "There's a sucker born every minute"?

Re:So... (5, Funny)

swanzilla (1458281) | more than 4 years ago | (#31502268)

What's the Japanese for "There's a sucker born every minute"?

Sony.

Re:So... (4, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31502746)

Man, I thought that "Sony" meant "Coasting on the reputation you once deserved".

No wonder they say that Japanese is tricky...

Re:So... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31508382)

Nah, language is mutable. That used to be "Sony", now it's "Onkyo". That frees up Sony to mean the other thing. By this point, everyone has had plenty of time and experience to know that Sony no longer has or indeed deserves a good reputation.

Re:So... (1)

treeves (963993) | more than 4 years ago | (#31502722)

Arigatou gozaimasu!

Re:So... (1)

owlnation (858981) | more than 4 years ago | (#31503854)

What's the Japanese for "There's a sucker born every minute"?

Shiatsu.

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31506464)

All the nerds on here and not one of you speaks a lick of Japanese? What are the odds.

Here's a real deal-- not something regurgitated by Google Translator.

Less morals = more money (1)

tsalmark (1265778) | more than 4 years ago | (#31501964)

Sometimes I wish I had the moral fortitude to create and sell snake oil.

It's pronounced "fewer" (1, Funny)

Jeff-reyy (1768222) | more than 4 years ago | (#31501972)

As in "I wish there were fewer illiterate retards on Slashdot."

Re:It's pronounced "fewer" (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31502056)

If the GP considers "morals" as being an indefinite substance rather than a countable quantity, "less" is correct.

Re:It's pronounced "fewer" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31502070)

Are morals a countable quantity? I'm not sure they are. If they are not countable, then less would be correct, not fewer.

Re:It's pronounced "fewer" (2, Insightful)

tsalmark (1265778) | more than 4 years ago | (#31502232)

or maybe "I wish some people on Slashdot were less anal"?

Re:It's pronounced "fewer" (4, Funny)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#31502524)

Shouldn't the first letter of a sentence be capitalized?

Impatient (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31502146)

I'd like a five second ring, then silence. I'd also like a voice mail greeting that didn't say. You have reached the Sprint Voice mail of..... Please leave a message.

unreliable (1)

gomek-ramek (1340625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31502218)

In order to make it through the day, do these Japanese rely on a bunch of people calling them? Somehow I don't think phonecalls are going to motivate a "sluggardly housewife" (from TFA) to do more housework. Also, where are the examples? This article is no good without examples.

What about microwaves? (0, Flamebait)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 4 years ago | (#31502312)

Some people will be torn between therapeutic ringtones and violent and dangerous microwaves. So, uhm, is this good or bad? Help, I'm confused!

Ringtone? (1)

Eggbloke (1698408) | more than 4 years ago | (#31502438)

I admit I only scan read the article but are these for playing when you get a call or just audio on the phone to play? Ringtones are for informing you that you have a call, if my phone rings (I admit that doesn't happen very often) I answer it straight away. Sitting and listening to a tone is a precise art; if you leave it too long the call times out and you are left with a very nice memory of the tone but no purpose for your phone other than 'therapy'.

Re:Ringtone? (1)

that this is not und (1026860) | more than 4 years ago | (#31503086)

You apparently don't get many calls from bill collectors.

Re:Ringtone? (2, Interesting)

bahstid (927038) | more than 4 years ago | (#31503326)

I didn't RTFA either, but my phone (I live in Japan) has a "Spa Menu", with a feature called "Healing Illumination" when turned on makes kind of peaceful sounds... sort of "ambient", as in the music genre, along with blinkenlights fading between "soothing" pale shades of colour. (Other settings on the menu are to display an hourglass or clock, presumably to keep yourself from being overcooked, the obvious music/radio/tv player and even a quiz section to brush up on your English or Maths while you soak)

To answer your question though, these sounds and light display can also be set up to be the result of an incoming call, so the answer is probably BOTH.

My phone is at least 2 years old though, so I'm guessing this "news" is a bit of an evolution of that. In case you are wondering what the obsession is with bathing, the phone is waterproof, so I guess when the phone was released taking it into the bath [wikipedia.org] with you was a big selling point... Camera and all.

why so cooky? (3, Informative)

POds (241854) | more than 4 years ago | (#31502526)

This does sound so cooky. I haven't read the article.. perhaps i should. But music can sometimes make me feel good. Certain music definitely feels be better in certain situations. I wont believe music will be able to cure physical ailments, but i see no reason why certain tones could help relieve stress.

Sounds can definitely have the opposite effect. I'm sure kids screaming on the public transport raises my bloody pressure and i know my alarm in the morning makes my heart beat much faster. Many other sounds can also bring about stress, such as the sound of my ex girl friends voice :/.

So couldn't sounds have a calming effect on the mind? The brain is also the centre of the body that controls a magnitude of chemicals that simulate other parts of the body. I think its very likely that sounds or music could interfere with this, just as they can in a negative way.

No it's probably not the sounds frequency but our interpretation of it and what feels good to one person may feel bad to another depending on their history. But i would guess that there are certain sounds that make everyone feel good this has it's roots in evolutionary theory.

What's not science. *shing* THIS is science. (1)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 4 years ago | (#31502560)

This qualifies as a "Slashdot Science Story"? How, exactly? Even the article states:

Japan is no stranger to bizarre phone fads but the popularity of the ringtones is perhaps surprising given the flimsiness of the science behind them.

How about "Anti-HIV properties of... bananas? [scienceblogs.com] ". And it's written by ERV, not some quack.

Well, the smart money is on it, at least. (4, Interesting)

PaganRitual (551879) | more than 4 years ago | (#31502620)

the tones are a hit with housewives as well as teenagers.

Ah, the two most well-informed, fad-immune, money-conscious target markets out there. If anything was going to convince me that this wasn't just total bullshit, it would be the take up of this concept by those two groups. I'll take three, please.

Great another excuse ... (1)

517714 (762276) | more than 4 years ago | (#31502622)

for idiots letting their phone ring to the annoyance of all in the vicinity.

I swear the length of time ringing is proportional to the product of ring volume and ringer annoyance quotient. Competively predicting the time can be a means of offsetting the irritation of enduring the Geico Boss' ringtone.

As it turns out... (1)

TaggartAleslayer (840739) | more than 4 years ago | (#31502740)

I may be the first to point it out in this thread but the Japanese have many odd cultural likes and dislikes on any given day.

For your reference, see Anime. For my reference, see Cowboy Bebop. That was a damned good show. Now go watch Squidbillies. Culture(s) is odd.

Nasal blaster (2, Insightful)

treeves (963993) | more than 4 years ago | (#31502798)

The Ohana Sukkiri Melody emits a series of sounds at different frequencies "so that people can choose the sound that resonates most to their sinus and causes pollen lodged there to fall from the nasal cavity".

That settles it. Gotta have that one. Any sound powerful enough to dislodge pollen from one's sinuses has got to be a dangerous weapon.

Re:Nasal blaster (3, Funny)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 4 years ago | (#31503384)

That settles it. Gotta have that one. Any sound powerful enough to dislodge pollen from one's sinuses has got to be a dangerous weapon.

I take it you missed the part about having to keep your cellphone in one nostril?

Re:Nasal blaster (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31505996)

I take it you missed the part about having to keep your cellphone in one nostril?

Man, the Japanese sure know how to make the gadgets smaller!

Re:Nasal blaster (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31507416)

That settles it. Gotta have that one. Any sound powerful enough to dislodge pollen from one's sinuses has got to be a dangerous weapon.

Bumblebees are used in greenhouse pollenation because the particular frequency at which they beat their wings is more effective in causing the release of pollen. If this is a feature of pollen, and not the flower, then it stands to reason that the same thing may be possible inside of your nasal cavity. The down side is that you have to wear an in-ear headset, except in-nose.

Re:Nasal blaster (1)

treeves (963993) | more than 4 years ago | (#31513380)

One difference (among many) between my nasal passages and a flower is that a flower is not usually moist. Also, beating wings actually cause air flow (whoosh?), not just compression and rarefaction that a transducer creates.

Re:Nasal blaster (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31518790)

One difference (among many) between my nasal passages and a flower is that a flower is not usually moist.

A flower that is not moist is called wilted or dried; either way, dead.

Also, beating wings actually cause air flow (whoosh?), not just compression and rarefaction that a transducer creates.

I read an extract. I forget where it was or I'd link it. They say the frequency is the key factor.

Whale Songs (1)

muphin (842524) | more than 4 years ago | (#31502836)

i wonder if they will have whale songs, maybe the death screams of the whales, or is that more of the erotic side?

Cool... but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31502838)

I don't care what ring tone people have, as long as I can't hear it from 3 meters away.

Japan (1)

PhasmatisApparatus (1086395) | more than 4 years ago | (#31502974)

Japans major export these days is weirdness.

I could see why (1)

Reverend Zanix (1157273) | more than 4 years ago | (#31503040)

I work a call center job, and I can vouch that having an irritating ring-tone does increase stress levels, especially during busy times, so I can see how something milder than a series of irritating beeps might help.

Not just ringtones (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31503176)

My mobile phone doubles as my alarm clock. To me, an appropriate tune may make a difference in mood when I come out of S3 and rev up. Usually a crescendo with natural timbres (strings with lots of harmonics, voices...) followed by something energizing. My current tone is Soda Stereo's "Un millón de años luz" [youtube.com] -- hear the first 40 secs or so and you'll know what I mean.

Have Yet to Hear It For Myself (1)

Oyume (464420) | more than 4 years ago | (#31503272)

I've lived and worked in Japan for the last 10 years -- I have 200+ college students a semester, and I have to hear about this or hear one of these.

I wonder what they writer meant about it's being a "hit"... WHERE is it a hit again? Some small ward in Shinjuku?

Jds

Excuse for my porn ringtone (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 4 years ago | (#31503470)

Now I can tell my boss and co-workers that I have to have a porn orgasm ringtone because it's therapautic!!! Too bad they'll see through this and fire me just as quickly but at least I can say I left my last job on medical grounds.

Ding! (1)

A10Mechanic (1056868) | more than 4 years ago | (#31503632)

A-ring-a-ding-diggy-doe, a-ring-ding-ding-diggity doe. thanks, now I've got THAT in my head all day

Well then... (1)

Stephen Tennant (936097) | more than 4 years ago | (#31503696)

and here I am with my "screeching, terrified woman about to be murdered" ringtone. People say I'm a little tense...

Yeah, I've got just the thing... (1)

jonadab (583620) | more than 4 years ago | (#31503826)

I've got a perfect studio recording here of the first movement of Four Minutes, Thirty-Three Seconds [wikipedia.org] , which I consider to the the perfect ringtone.

Re:Yeah, I've got just the thing... (1)

earlymon (1116185) | more than 4 years ago | (#31505396)

A 4-33 ringtone? Sounds like the perfect companion to my new Pomegranate [youtube.com] !

Re:Yeah, I've got just the thing... (1)

yukk (638002) | more than 4 years ago | (#31515920)

I hope you have vibrate on too or you're going to miss a lot of calls.

Re:Yeah, I've got just the thing... (1)

jonadab (583620) | more than 4 years ago | (#31520788)

> I hope you have vibrate on too or you're going to miss a lot of calls.

It's a zen phone. It vibrates by not vibrating, and I answer by not answering.

Japan! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31505076)

The only thing that would ever surprise me to come out of that country is a news report stating "Japan is no longer strange, decided that their country is the nail that sticks up."

Marketer gets quackery posted to Slashdot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31505086)

Marketer gets lots of money.

Quackery gets more adherents.

samzenpus inexplicably thinks that this is "Science" and not "Idle."

May I propose (1)

SpaghettiPattern (609814) | more than 4 years ago | (#31505394)

Monsieur, as a therapeutic ring tone, may I propose a composition by Matthew Bianco? It is called "Get Out of Your Lazy Bed." [wikipedia.org]

Therapeutic silence? (1)

piotru (124109) | more than 4 years ago | (#31505742)

Japan screams with "therapeutic" sounds intended to improve the mood of everyone, everywhere, from supermarkets, singing traffic lights to toilettes. This omnipresent cacaphony actually makes one want to hear a therapeutic silence. Would it be a commercial hit in Japan - that remains to be seen.

And, (1)

Oasiz (1017554) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506410)

What's wrong with marimba ?
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