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Short History of Cellphone Ringtones

Hemos posted more than 9 years ago | from the the-joy-of-MIDI dept.

Music 511

RobotWisdom writes "This week's New Yorker magazine includes an interesting short history of cellphone ringtones, including statistics on their (huge) profitability worldwide. My favorite quote: 'I spent three days of productive work time listening to polyphonic ringtone versions of speed metal, trying to find exactly the ringtone that expressed my personality with enough irony and enough coolness that I could live with it going off ten times a day. In a quiet room, in a meeting, this phone's gonna go off-- what are they going to hear?'"

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A shorter history of ringtones (5, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 9 years ago | (#11804775)

A shorter history of ringtones:

Kewl

Neat

Cute

Distracting

Bothersome

Highly Annoying

Obnoxious

Grating

"Hello, is the proctologist available? I need something removed from somewhere."

coming soon: ringtones with thx 5.1 surround, so everyone can enjoy your taste in interruption melodies!

Re:A shorter history of ringtones (2)

bryan986 (833912) | more than 9 years ago | (#11804845)

A subwoofer for the vibration, brilliant!

Re:A shorter history of ringtones (4, Interesting)

BubbleDragon (652251) | more than 9 years ago | (#11804881)

*shudders* And it's even worse with someone non-technical driving the whole thing.

Last night at a restaurant, a woman in about her late 40s stopped the waitress every time she passed, asking about how to save this, or what's this mean, and "Get this bird off my screen!" Then she proceeded to scroll through every different ring tone possibility at the highest volume for 20 minutes. All the while grinning, and oblivious to the concept that everyone else in the place had adopted a bit of a nervous tick.

And they bitch about my generation being socially inept.

One more reason to hate Verisign... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11804778)

Crazy Frog [wikipedia.org] .

The only ringtone needed EVAR (5, Insightful)

Neil Blender (555885) | more than 9 years ago | (#11804784)

Vibrate.

This Story is about PHONES!! (2, Funny)

Black-Man (198831) | more than 9 years ago | (#11804826)

Vibrating is the "other" useful battery powered utility that a woman can't live without!!

Re:The only ringtone needed EVAR (2, Interesting)

RaguMS (149511) | more than 9 years ago | (#11804839)

Vibrate.

I thought that the polyphonic ringtones that vibrated to the baseline of the song were pretty neat - until I learned that people not only actually used them, but also paid money for them.

Re:The only ringtone needed EVAR (4, Funny)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 9 years ago | (#11804850)

Lies! Clearly the only ringtone ever needed is the song from level one of Super Mario 2. I have yet to hear anyone say anything but "That is AWESOME" when they hear it.

Re:The only ringtone needed EVAR (2, Informative)

Guano_Jim (157555) | more than 9 years ago | (#11804879)

Vibrate.

Indeed. [homemade-sex-toys.com]

Re:The only ringtone needed EVAR (2, Insightful)

Coneasfast (690509) | more than 9 years ago | (#11805095)

the thing that i don't like about vibrate is it sounds like your farting, i thought someone really needed to see a doctor until he pulled a cell phone out of his pocket, then i had a sigh of relief.

Ringtones!!!!! (1)

Mastadex (576985) | more than 9 years ago | (#11804786)

In a quiet room, in a meeting, this phone's gonna go off-- what are they going to hear?

Spam by Weird Al!

The sound of silence (5, Funny)

spywarearcata.com (841806) | more than 9 years ago | (#11804788)

"In a quiet room, in a meeting, this phone's gonna go off--what are they going to hear?"

Among polite people, or, failing that, with a mobile phone jammer enabled--nothing.

Re:The sound of silence (5, Funny)

lukewarmfusion (726141) | more than 9 years ago | (#11804854)

At the very most, they might hear my phone's vibration mode.

In college, we used to make a game of calling people in class to see if they remembered to turn their ringers off. Paul lost pretty much every time, rewarding us with a disruptive version of the Notre Dame fight song.

In an important meeting, my phone is on silence mode - no ringer at all. If I didn't do that, I'd never get anything done.

wow (0, Redundant)

Quasar1999 (520073) | more than 9 years ago | (#11804791)

It's like he's saying what I'm thinking!

Since this is slashdot... I'm sure more than half the reader can identify with wasting tons of work time listening to ring tones... I know I have... ;)

Re:wow (1)

kc0re (739168) | more than 9 years ago | (#11805057)

Does it count if you've devoted at least 16 hours (two straight work days) listening to ring tones, and unsuccessfully finding a "free" ringtone website?

Re:wow (1)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 9 years ago | (#11805059)

Really? I have two mobile phones and I've only ever listened to their choices once. Hell my current one is just the Billy Hatcher theme I got free when buying the game.. it's unique so I won't be one of them narks if a phone rings..

Why would you spent hours trying to find a ring tone.. then again this is slashdot, we spent hours waiting for a message...

i rule (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11804792)

i rule?

Meetings... (5, Funny)

darkstar949 (697933) | more than 9 years ago | (#11804794)

They are going to hear that you have too much time on you hands...

Re:Meetings... (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 9 years ago | (#11804925)

They are going to hear that you have too much time on you hands...

They're going to hear that you believe receiving a phone call during the meeting is more important that anything which is being discussed. Pray it's not your boss, or someone higher that it just cut off in mid stride.

Ringtones are one of the dumbest things to pay for (4, Insightful)

hsmith (818216) | more than 9 years ago | (#11804795)

I mean, $2-3 a PIECE? who the hell pays that? I am quite content with the standard ringer on my LG. It is a damn phone!

Re:Ringtones are one of the dumbest things to pay (0, Troll)

Celestial Avenger (826964) | more than 9 years ago | (#11804880)

That's why I have the dungeon theme from Super Mario Brothers 3 and you have Fuga. Cheapass.

Re:Ringtones are one of the dumbest things to pay (3, Interesting)

slashkitty (21637) | more than 9 years ago | (#11804934)

Tell me about it. I thought noone actually would buy them. However, it ends up that it's easy to buy, just enter a few sms numbers, and it gets tacked onto your cellphone bill.

I just started a ringtones on my site last month. I've already sold over 3000 ringtones in over 50 countries. I'd say that ringtone sales are going strong.

Re:Ringtones are one of the dumbest things to pay (3, Informative)

Hes Nikke (237581) | more than 9 years ago | (#11804982)

here's your fix [smashthetones.com] ... Give an MP3/MIDI... :P

Re:Ringtones are one of the dumbest things to pay (1)

doofus1 (466720) | more than 9 years ago | (#11804987)

t-mobile sells them for .99, and it's a one time fee. I pay more than that for my 64oz mountain dew refills.

Re:Ringtones are one of the dumbest things to pay (0, Offtopic)

suso (153703) | more than 9 years ago | (#11805055)

And there is nothing wrong with drinking 64 oz of mountain dew and needing to refill it?

Of course, says me, who just took 6 20 oz bottles of Dr. Pepper(tm) to the recycling bin.

Techies drink carbonated drinks in great quantities, Other people download expensive ringtones in great quantities. Take your pick.

The ringtone craze (5, Insightful)

RaguMS (149511) | more than 9 years ago | (#11804796)

Seriously, I do not understand the level of popularity that ringtones have acheived - especially considering that they cost money! A cellphone plan costs enough already. I use a preprogrammed ringtone on my Audiovox CDM-4000 phone (1st gen CDMA for anyone unfamiliar with the particular phone), and while it's a bit cheesy I can instantly recognize that this tone is coming from my phone and my phone only - It's been ringing like this for almost 5 years. If I were to change ring tones often, not only would it be time&money consuming but I would also lose that mental 'training' of what my phone sounds like when it rings in a room full of people with ringing cellphones.
Yes, I do know people who have a ring tone for everyone in their phonebook. Perhaps it is useful to them other than being a fashion statement (since caller ID also identifies incoming callers) but is it really worth paying for?

Re:The ringtone craze (2, Interesting)

almost-empty (861377) | more than 9 years ago | (#11804858)

You certianly have a good point, if you are walking around a store (say walmart for example) and you hear someones cell phone ringing a new stock ringtone, you can see like 10 people reach for the phones to make sure if its them. For some reason, a friends father checks his phone after hearing any ring, guess he'll never miss a call that way, lol.

Re:The ringtone craze (1)

TERdON (862570) | more than 9 years ago | (#11804950)

Same for my parents. My mom has an Ericsson GH198 [samlaren.org] . It's kinda ancient... However, she's still using the preprogrammed ringtone (there's a possibility to choose from five or six different ones). Needless to say, she never hears it normally. The only exception I know of was when we visited the Liseberg [liseberg.se] . For their newest rollercoaster - the "Balder", they used exactly that ringtone to convey the warning messages. Quite irritating actually. Myself - I'm using a ringtone I programmed myself into my cellphone - all free. I doubt that tune will find its way to Jamba etc companies, and if it will, I will just change it to one of the tunes I've written myself.

Re:The ringtone craze (1)

blastum (772029) | more than 9 years ago | (#11804958)

And on the flip side, one of life's purposes is to get the ring tone to stop as quickly as possible. Not to entertain!

Re:The ringtone craze (1)

doorbot.com (184378) | more than 9 years ago | (#11805026)

Seriously, I do not understand the level of popularity that ringtones have acheived - especially considering that they cost money!

If you have a Bluetooth enabled phone, you can often upload ring tones (MIDI files in the case of my T610) directly to the phone. No need to pay the phone company $1 per ringtone.

What are they going to hear? (4, Insightful)

sulli (195030) | more than 9 years ago | (#11804800)

In a quiet room, in a meeting, this phone's gonna go off-- what are they going to hear?

Everyone else hollering "PUT YOUR FUCKING PHONE ON VIBRATE!"

Damn I hate ringtones.

Re:What are they going to hear? (3, Insightful)

Quasar1999 (520073) | more than 9 years ago | (#11804857)

Just recently in a meeting a phone went off on vibrate... it was still loud enough to cause everyone to look at the poor guy... and then to add insult to injury, he turned his phone off... thank you Motorola for your *DAMNED* making music while turning off the phone sounds... I'd like to meet the idiot who thought playing a sound was a good idea while turning the phone OFF... FLIPPIN' IDIOTS...

Re:What are they going to hear? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11805094)

I believe the off-melody can be disabled with most cell phones. Most fucking (that is what you meant, wasn't it?) idiots simply can't be bothered to do so.

Re:What are they going to hear? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11804944)

Everyone else hollering "PUT YOUR FUCKING PHONE ON VIBRATE!"

One of the most annoying, grating thing in an office environment is someone with a grating, annoying ringtone who leaves their cellphone on their desk and goes to lunch/meetings/bathroom/whatever. If there weren't witnesses, many a cellphone would have met our office hammer. The off button would be too easy for them.

Um... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11804802)

... isn't it about time to post a story about Jef Raskin's death?

News for nerds, stuff that matters to cellphone ring-tone salesmen...

Re:Um... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11804999)

Yesterday called... [slashdot.org]

What are they gonna hear? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11804807)

not much since they will be bludgened to death with their cool sounding phone.

You know what you'll hear? Let me TELL you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11804812)

In a quiet room, in a meeting, this phone's gonna go off-- what are they going to hear?

If I'm there, they're going to hear some pretty foul language, I'll tell you that. In a PG-13 setting, I'll just throw out some elaborate Pratchett, "May your genitals sprout wings and fly away!"

Whats next? (1)

almost-empty (861377) | more than 9 years ago | (#11804814)

We've come a long way from a simple ringing sound, and now we've got polyphonic ringtones, mp3 ringtones, etc. So what is next? Personal vibrating patterns?

Re:Whats next? (1)

strelitsa (724743) | more than 9 years ago | (#11804885)

I have tried, so far in vain, to find a simple ringing sound like the old rotary dial phones used to have. I guess Jamster and their ilk are going to drag me kicking and screaming into the 21st Century whether I want to go or not.

Re:Whats next? (1)

almost-empty (861377) | more than 9 years ago | (#11804986)

Yes, soon they'll have you playing gangster rap against your will, 21st century here we come!

Re:Whats next? (1)

Buelldozer (713671) | more than 9 years ago | (#11805035)

I have that one on my Samsung SPH-I700, it sounds like the rotary phones I remember my parents having in the early 70's. It never fails to get a chuckle out of people when it goes off, at least once they've figured out what the heck it is. :-)

Re:Whats next? (2, Interesting)

spywarearcata.com (841806) | more than 9 years ago | (#11805038)

Hey, how about a cell phone vibration mode which simulates an Oscillon so that slowly the loose pens, clips and paper on the meeting table begin forming interesting patterns...

Just use Pop Goes the Weasel and be done with it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11804820)

or maybe that circus music that goes "Do do Dodo dododo do doooo do... Do do Dodo dododo do doooo do... do dododo do... do dododo do..."

Re:Just use Pop Goes the Weasel and be done with i (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11804898)

Entry of the Gladiators by Julius Fucik

Re:Just use Pop Goes the Weasel and be done with i (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11805098)

wow, that is pretty informative for an AC post.

I will memorise that fact and use it to impress people at parties.

beep (5, Informative)

3.09 a hour (812839) | more than 9 years ago | (#11804822)

This is why i use the single beep ringer, its short and functional, and acceptable in all areas. As an added benifit, if you left it on somewhere you shouldn't like school or the movies, one beep could be anything and mos tpeople arn't even sure they heard it.

Re:beep (1)

almost-empty (861377) | more than 9 years ago | (#11804916)

You are quite right. Also the single beep would be hard to trace down to the person that had it simply by hearing it, like you said, people aren't even sure they heard it.

Ringtone story (4, Funny)

suso (153703) | more than 9 years ago | (#11804824)

I was with my wife in a pizza place a few years ago and we happened to be talking about baseball (once in about probably 10 times I've talked about it in my life) and right then the girl's cell phone in the booth next to us goes off and plays "Take me out the ballgame". That was a weird coincidence.

I made my own long and dissonant ringtone for text messages so that it will wake me up at night if a server goes down.

Ringtone Study (2, Interesting)

moofdaddy (570503) | more than 9 years ago | (#11804829)

This is an interesting article, there seems to be a growing intrigue into ringtones. Recently i read about a study being done at Cornell with ring tones. Users are being studied for a year and they are trying to determine what goes into people's decisions to buy a certain ringtone. I guess this is really becoming a huge business.

Re:Ringtone Study (1)

vidarlo (134906) | more than 9 years ago | (#11805012)

I guess this is really becoming a huge business.

It is big business! And what more, it's fair use often. You're allowed to use a copyrighted work for samples etc. (fair use) up to 30 seconds...plenty for a ringtone!

Re:Ringtone Study (1)

moofdaddy (570503) | more than 9 years ago | (#11805099)

It is big business! And what more, it's fair use often. You're allowed to use a copyrighted work for samples etc. (fair use) up to 30 seconds...plenty for a ringtone!

Good then at least Britney Spears isn't making any money off my ringtone then.

I am baffled. (5, Insightful)

bigtallmofo (695287) | more than 9 years ago | (#11804831)

From the proliferation of (what I consider to be) annoying ring tones, I really feel alone in the world with my lowly silent setting.

For the life of me, I can not figure out why someone would take the time to set up a custom ringtone - let alone pay for one.

I guess it's the same people that blare their radio in the car with the windows rolled all the way down.

Re:I am baffled. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11805061)

"I guess it's the same people that blare their radio in the car with the windows rolled all the way down."

I saw the king of these idiots recently. He was blasting his "lookee-me" music out of his rolled-down convertable in 20F weather! This guy must be truly desperate for attention.

Ring Tone Ring Fence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11804835)

Why Pay ?

Purchasing Ringtones? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11804841)

Why would anyone purchase ringtones when it's possible to convert your own audio files as ring tones and then upload them to the cell phone? It's free and you get what YOU want, and not what corporate america wants. Btw first post.

Re:Purchasing Ringtones? (0, Troll)

TheDormouse (614641) | more than 9 years ago | (#11804909)

Why would anyone purchase ringtones when it's possible to convert your own audio files as ring tones and then upload them to the cell phone?
Whoever posts a link to free software that does this easily will get modded up.

Vibrate mode (5, Insightful)

BeBoxer (14448) | more than 9 years ago | (#11804847)

Which is exactly why I have mine set to vibrate mode. The reality is, during a meeting, nobody gives a shit what kind of music I like. Cell phone use is intrusive enough without the addition of "look how cool I am" ring tones.

Top Google Search Query for February 2005 (1)

eXoXe (157466) | more than 9 years ago | (#11804853)

"History of Cellphone Ringtones"

Another Dimebag Daryl melody (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11804856)

Paying tribute to one of the best metal guitarists.

I hope Sprint won't take away free ringtones! (1)

jerde (23294) | more than 9 years ago | (#11804861)

Pointy-haired bosses at Sprint PCS must see this as an excuse to take away their customers' ability to compose free ringtones, since obviously we're depriving Sprint of some good revenue.

But I'm one really happy customer, since I've composed one and two-letter morse-code "songs" in MIDI and use them as custom ringtones for all the people who frequently call my phone. Irritating songs be damned, my phone gently beeps to me the identity of my caller. It's fabulous.

I'd like to STRANGLE these people who use LOUD, OBNOXIOUS songs for their ringtones, and then don't even have their phone on their person... "oh god, that purse is now ringing at top volume. during the concert. naturally, during the quiet part. AAAAAAAAAAH!"

- Peter

Vibrate-tones (1)

necrodeep (96704) | more than 9 years ago | (#11804994)

Maybe they can start vibrating out songs for these people... that way we will not have to all want to strangle them...

Sometimes I wish cell-jammers were legal in the U.S.

FunkyTown...... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11804862)

boooyaaaa

Fav ringtones (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11804863)

My favorite ringtone was discussed in this slashdot [slashdot.org] article a couple of days ago.

My Ringtone (1)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 9 years ago | (#11804864)

In a quiet room, in a meeting, this phone's gonna go off-- what are they going to hear?


A happy dolphin.

Sometime's it's embrassing, but just being me is embarassing, so I've learned to live with it. It's pretty much my trademark now.

(The dolphin ringtone, that is...not being embarasssing.)

No! No more tunes! (3, Funny)

rueger (210566) | more than 9 years ago | (#11804865)

God - the world does not need musical ring tones. Really, we don't. Without doubt they are always irritating and annoying to everyone else.

Really, just because you think that the Looney Tunes themes is cute doesn't mean that the people around don't view you as an idiot.

Re:No! No more tunes! (1)

Quasar1999 (520073) | more than 9 years ago | (#11804976)

Really, just because you think that the Looney Tunes themes is cute doesn't mean that the people around don't view you as an idiot.

Sadly, the ring tune had very little to do with their view of you as an idiot... although it may have helped cement the view... ;)

Just shows how rude some users can be (4, Insightful)

ageoffri (723674) | more than 9 years ago | (#11804869)

"In a quiet room, in a meeting, this phone's gonna go off-- what are they going to hear?" This attitude really bugs me. If you aren't turning your phone to vibrate/silent only in a meeting, in a movie theater, at a family dinner then you are just flat out rude.

Of course I've got a new one to add to rude cell phone use. In a movie theater if you have a bright screen on your phone, cover it with your hand so it doesn't distract other people.

Though on the good side technology is getting to the point where it can effectively block cell phone signals so since it is obvious people won't police themselves it is only a matter of time before more and more public places like movie theaters block it for them.

Re:Just shows how rude some users can be (1)

CMRichar (610129) | more than 9 years ago | (#11805039)

If by recent, you mean 1836 [wikipedia.org] , then, yeah, technology IS getting to that point. Other than that, I agree with the parent post. People suck, and there's not alot we can do about it.

What are they going to hear? (1)

Evil W1zard (832703) | more than 9 years ago | (#11804870)

Probably a shitty ring tone that took you 3 days to decide on... Now get back to work!

Phone going off (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 9 years ago | (#11804875)

In a quiet room, in a meeting, this phone's gonna go off-- what are they going to hear?

Let's see...if the phone goes off, they'll hear... silence!

After spending days of productive work time... (1)

Phidoux (705500) | more than 9 years ago | (#11804877)

... I finally settled on a polyphonic ring tone that sounds just like a normal good old fashioned land-line phone ringing.

why does the story submitter... (0)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 9 years ago | (#11804878)

take so much delight in annoying other people?

why does he think anyone else cares about his ringtone?

1960's (1)

Masq666 (861213) | more than 9 years ago | (#11804887)

Why cant everybody just get a ringtone that is similar to an old telephone from the 60's Ring, ring!!

I'll take a stab at it (5, Funny)

Swamii (594522) | more than 9 years ago | (#11804888)

I spent three days of productive work time listening to polyphonic ringtones...in a meeting, this phone's gonna go off-- what are they going to hear?

"You're fired."

Re:I'll take a stab at it (1)

almost-empty (861377) | more than 9 years ago | (#11804960)

haha. from my experience in meetings, I'd say yea, "you're fired" or "turn that $%#&ing phone off "...

Phones come with bluetooth for a reason (1)

shrewmy (37432) | more than 9 years ago | (#11804890)

All the MIDI ringtones I want for free on my T616. When I first got it I downloaded a crapload of songs to it... and finally after the novelty of being a walking musical jukebox dbag I settled on the "Old Phone" ringtone which, still loud and obnoxious, at least sounds like a phone.
The only downside is it's just the standard midi phone ringing sound, and every time a phone rings on TV or radio, I think it's mine.

One of my employees just got a cellphone and every time someone calls her she lets the ringtone play out right up until it'd go to voicemail, then she'll answer it. I told her today, from now on it's either going on vibrate or it's not coming in the store.

Am I the only one who hates ringtones? (1)

soft_guy (534437) | more than 9 years ago | (#11804894)

I like my telephone to sound like a damn telephone. My Treo is either set to ring using a standard telephone ring, or else I have it set for silent operation. I always try (and usually remember) to set it for silent when I am in meetings because ringing telephones are disruptive.

kyocera7135-how did it slip in at verizon (1)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 9 years ago | (#11804906)

I can convert any mp3 to a ringtone, software included.. considering their "security" model, how did they approve that phone, I'll never know

Two words (1)

pair-a-noyd (594371) | more than 9 years ago | (#11804921)

'I spent three days of productive work time listening to polyphonic ringtone versions of speed metal, trying to find exactly the ringtone that expressed my personality with enough irony and enough coolness that I could live with it going off ten times a day. In a quiet room, in a meeting, this phone's gonna go off'

YOU'RE FIRED.....

Worse than musak... makes more money... (1)

necrodeep (96704) | more than 9 years ago | (#11804926)

It is still unfathomable to me that Ringtones have become a multi-billion dollar industry... And most of them are bad MIDI recreations that cost as much (or more) than a song off of iTunes...

I'll stick to 'Vibrate' thanks.

Re:Worse than musak... makes more money... (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 9 years ago | (#11805093)

Half of them are downloaded from other websites without crediting the authors... someone even ripped off some tones and images my wife did in her spare time. The site that nicked them wasn't interested in paying or even linking to the source, and promptly sold it to half a donzen more.

Anyone with a PC can install a poly ringtone by downloading it for free from the original source and
uploading it to the phone via bluetooth or email. For free. No idea why anyone would pay for it.

If I'm a client, she'll hear my foot in her rear (1)

zymurgy_cat (627260) | more than 9 years ago | (#11804927)

In a quiet room, in a meeting, this phone's gonna go off-- what are they going to hear?

If I'm a client (or her boss), she's gonna hear my foot in her ass. Why can't people put their friggin' phones on vibrate for a meeting?

It's not cute; it's not you personalizing your life; it's not you making a statement. It's you being rude and unprofessional.

Proving once again.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11804945)

That we have too much time, too much money, and are soft, weak, and foolish.

Evolution, please do your thang.

Use tunes you already own. (2, Insightful)

mtg101 (321836) | more than 9 years ago | (#11804949)

Personally I refuse to buy ringtones. If I like a tune, I've probably bought it on CD; why should I pay MORE money to have it on my phone? (Don't tell me, some record industry group thinks I owe them for performance royalties for letting my phone ring in a public place? What if I _promise_ not to take my phone outside my house???)

Even if you do decide to buy a ringtone, you've then got to hunt around and find somewhere that isn't charging you 5 euros a month for some subscription you didn't even know you were signing yourself up for! (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/4295625.stm ).

Personally I now stick to phones that you can put .wav & .mp3 files on and use those as ringtones.

Blocking... (1)

uqbar (102695) | more than 9 years ago | (#11804953)

Obnoxious ringtones and overly loud phone conversations in public lead to calls for blocking.

The only problem is, do you really want blockers going when there could be a real emergency that requires 911?

Ringtones must Die (1)

miseryinmotion (615385) | more than 9 years ago | (#11804962)

It's like a carnival in college classes anymore. You're in your data structures class, and suddenly "Sir Mix-A-Lot" busts in, screaming "pick up tha phone!"

I imagine they wouldn't be so annoying, if everyone had the respect to set their phones to vibrate or silent before coming into class.

I mean, the last thing I want is some old rapper interrupting my slashdot browsing in class...

Why Pay for ringtones (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11804972)

you can grab a midi of a track from your favorite old game... for zilch

Midis to me, have always reminded me of gaming from the early 90s.

I have a myriad of Super Mario World Midis on my Nokia 6100 and thats good enough for me.

I also happen to have the e1m1.mid on there as well :)

Paying for ringtones? (4, Insightful)

retro128 (318602) | more than 9 years ago | (#11804989)

I refuse to pay for ringtones. You go on these sites and most of them are crap anyway. For the large part they are just sound clips from the latest teen gangsta sensation. And they charge, what, $5 a pop for this garbage?

I have a Motorola v551 which is able to interpret general MIDI files and MP3s. Adding ringtones is as simple as jumping on a MIDI archive or ripping one of my CDs, truncating the song down to the part I want, and transferring them to the phone with the data cable.

Buying ringtones is right up there with paying for pr0n in my book.

Cell Phone (4, Funny)

supe (163410) | more than 9 years ago | (#11804993)

I don't have a cell phone you insensitive clods!

Wanker (1)

Ageless (10680) | more than 9 years ago | (#11804996)

'I spent three days of productive work time listening to polyphonic ringtone versions of speed metal, trying to find exactly the ringtone that expressed my personality with enough irony and enough coolness that I could live with it going off ten times a day. In a quiet room, in a meeting, this phone's gonna go off-- what are they going to hear?'

They should hear the phone gently vibrate against your keys, from your pocket. When someone's phone starts ringing in a quiet room, in a meeting I give them a look so evil that they sometimes they burst into flame right on the spot. Vibrate. Learn it, use it, love it.

At the Opera (1)

iamlucky13 (795185) | more than 9 years ago | (#11804997)

I went to Madame Butterfly a couple weeks ago as part of the required fine arts class I'm taking. Since there were a lot of students who were unfamiliar with opera, the last thing they did before the overture was ask everyone to turn their phones off. About 5 minutes later during the hush between the overture and the actual beginning of the act, from the upper balcony, a ring echoed across the entire hall. I would be willing to bet the only thing that saved the dumb student from a righteous opera-nerd beating was the wondrous novelty of hearing a phone make a normal electronic ringing sound, rather than play a really distorted rendition of whatever hip hop song happened to be popular at the moment. Like the opera, it was special because it's something you don't hear every day.

I say this.. (3, Insightful)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 9 years ago | (#11805013)

I'm saying this on behalf of everyone who hates mobile phones.

FUCK OFF!

It's annoying as hell to be talking to someone when they suddenly pick up their phone and cut you off mid sentence. Or you're in a shop and suddenly a phone rings and 12 people dive head first into their bag.

I miss the days of the early 90s where the only people who mobile phones were people who needed them, not every middle age woman and 12 year old girl within a 3 mile radius of the shopping part of town.

Vibrating (2, Interesting)

Douglas Simmons (628988) | more than 9 years ago | (#11805054)

It makes sense that there's a big market for ring tones because it is so annoying to hear someone's phone go off in a restaurant, auditorium, train, date, well anywhere. To not be that guy, many put their phones on vibrate. The thing is, these phones vibrate so vigorously that the sound of the vibration, even muted from being snugged up against someone's ass, is quite audible from a distance and not much less annoying than Fur Elise. It is an interruption of basically equal annoyance when someone starts vibrating in the middle of a lecture; and it is my theory that it is not necessarily the sound that pisses people off so much, but it is that the person neglected to turn their phone off before the class and the disrespect of their not having done that. I can handle these ringtones of recordings of regular bell ringing phones. Simple and subtle. But if I'm going to hear some pop song, it'd better be really funny for it to outweigh the annoyance.

My point is, in addition to the advent of new ringtone technology, cell phone manufacturers should conduct research and development to allow people to set the intensity of their phone's vibration to a point that the phone's vibrating is as quiet as possible while shaking hard enough for the person to feel it. This cannot be the same setting for all people due to bodyfat variations, so it has to be adjustable. C'mon, science!

Different strokes, etc. (1)

PHAEDRU5 (213667) | more than 9 years ago | (#11805056)

You should have seen me when "The New Hacker's Dictionary" came out.

"I spent three days of productive work time..." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11805071)

If I found myself working for a company where the employees could get away with this crap I'd be looking for a new job.

Ringtone Foolishness (1)

54M5UNG (836983) | more than 9 years ago | (#11805072)

This is funny... the statistics reflected here appear to be about the same that I hve heard from many providers & manufacturers (from my anonymous, unassuming position in the wireless telco industry). Most customers aware of downloadable content prefer not to take advantage of it; either that or they want a "regular ringtone." The experience I have from a consumer standpoint is that once you are able to download the content to your handset without price restriction, one of two things happen: you either become addicted or disenfranchised. Personally, I'm rather sick of listening to the same file(s) being played every time my phone rings; my coworker, however, has changed the ringer that he uses for me a whopping 10 times since the beginning of the year! ... just an observation...

Vibrate before ring. (-1, Flamebait)

winkydink (650484) | more than 9 years ago | (#11805074)

I sometimes leave my phone in my office by mistake. I have selected the most annoying and unique ring I could find, so that I would hear it if I forgot to bring it with me (Sony Ericsson's "Digital Rain"). When it's with me, I always manage to deal with it before it starts to ring.

How the mighty have fallen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11805079)

Remember when the New Yorker used to carry intelligent essays focused on public debate and critique? Me either.

Cell phone ringtones are primarily for people who have to define themselves through kitch and purchasing. Why can't your phone just vibrate in your pocket, and if it must make noise, just beep? That is really all that is needed, and doing any more just makes you look foolish. Can you picture ring tones at cabinet meeting or on the floor of the Senate? How about in the board room of a multinational?

You people have no class.

ehh (1)

jester22c (613967) | more than 9 years ago | (#11805091)

My phone is on vibrate for at least 12 hours out of the day. The rest of the day, when it's set to ring, it plays an mp3 at a resonable volume if I don't pick up during the first 3 seconds of vibrate.

The worst ring-tone by far... humpback whales. I don't know why someone made that a ringtone but my best friend downloaded it because it sounds so horrible. Scares the bejesus out of me to this day...

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