April 24, 2001
11:04 AM   Subscribe

cell phone rings? the next napster. (could, could, could. do you think record companies will actually pursue this?)
posted by rebeccablood (23 comments total)
I hope cell phone rings will be given away like free screensavers are to publicize movies, tv shows, bands, etc. It's the perfect way to create (excuse pun) buzz amongst the trend setters! And fans can proudly use their favorite movie/tv/band rings. If I were a composer, I would hate to not be paid for my work to be ringing all over the place, but record companies can benefit by using this trend for good, not raising up evil litigation.
posted by girlhacker at 11:21 AM on April 24, 2001

*I* look at it as free publicity. when a phone goes off in my vicinity, I have that song in my head for the rest of the day...or until the next phone rings.

what would be cool is if songwriters would write little rings...little catchy phrases specifically to be used on phones. to be paid for or not, it could be kind of cool to have to most popular ring in the world....
posted by rebeccablood at 11:25 AM on April 24, 2001

I don't doubt that they will. This isn't about cell phone rings being shared, it's about unit sales of cell phone rings. I don't see any legal wiggle room: it's infringement.

Granted, this will probably cost the record industry more than it's worth, but they can't let their guard down on any front.
posted by dhartung at 11:25 AM on April 24, 2001

You guys might want to take a look at yourmobile.com, which has tons of popular ring tones (which is what they're called in most of the world).
posted by lia at 11:38 AM on April 24, 2001

This is not a troll! I think musical rings on phones are the most tacky, annoying of developments. One of the downsides of technology is that it people's bad taste is no longer hidden inside their homes. Those rings are so damn annoying on any kind of public transportation or in the street--like musical car horns. Almost as bad as having to listen to idiots' loud telephone conversations in public!
posted by ParisParamus at 11:39 AM on April 24, 2001

paris: this is not a troll either!

I think they're annoying, too, but I don't think they're going away anytime soon. I wish everyone would just have their phones on vibrate all the time....
posted by rebeccablood at 11:47 AM on April 24, 2001

I think its cool. Of course, the quality of the tunes is crap. Would be way better if the rings could be actual MP3 clips at some half-decent quality....
posted by thinkfuture at 11:48 AM on April 24, 2001

Yeah the quality is crap. I surfed through mobiletunes.com for hours and then settled on the Mission Impossible theme, just because it transfered so well to the medium :-)...

As to why customize the ring? I do have a vibrating alert, and I usually stuff my cell in my pocket, but for the times that it is out, I'd like to have a unique ring. Because, you do become conditioned to jumping off your seat when your phone rings, so a less popular ring, means less annoyance.

That said, Mission Impossible *is* the #1 hit in ring tones...

Oh, and BTW, Vodafone already commisioned Boy George to write an exclusive ring tone...
posted by costas at 11:54 AM on April 24, 2001

The sooner you gearheads get outfitted with Bone Phones, the sooner we'll all be free of this problem. :)
posted by Skot at 11:58 AM on April 24, 2001

I was excited when I saw that ring tones could be customized because I wanted to write my very own that no one else would have. And creating your own "arrangement" of a known tune is kind of like doing cover tunes with your garage band. Until the quality level gets to be the exact match of the original (or someone is making money off it), I would hope no one gets legal about it. Also, there's the concept of copying and distributing the original ring tones themselves. If Boy George wrote one that he is getting paid royalties for (which probably isn't the case), what if people trade that around for free?
posted by girlhacker at 12:04 PM on April 24, 2001

Give me shelter.
posted by ParisParamus at 12:05 PM on April 24, 2001

All I can say is, remember as a kid when there was always one or two yahoos around town who couldn't resist rigging up their car horns to play "Dixie" just like the General Lee from The Dukes of Hazzard? And how they then couldn't resist driving around honking their horn every time they saw a cute girl? And how unbelievably annoying that became to everyone else? Well, this is the same thing.
posted by aaron at 12:10 PM on April 24, 2001

How can this article not be from two years ago or something? Customizeable ring tones are new and hip -- and thus possibly threatening the music industry -- in the UK (or the US for that matter) now?
posted by frednorman at 12:19 PM on April 24, 2001

Is it true that some company device sells a device which jams cells phone reception, "cloaking" an area from cell phones? That would be great for restaurants, cinemas and other public places. In fact, i'd like to invest in a portable version I could carry around with me! : >
posted by ParisParamus at 12:20 PM on April 24, 2001

Interesting point Aaron. In my case, however, I was thinking more along the lines of my car horn lightly bleating out "da da da dum" (Beethoven's Fifth) when I needed to call someone's attention to something, not a garish blasting out of something annoying. But, yes, people will do that, as you point out. I do agree that in public areas, phone rings should go on vibrate. My phone just isn't small enough to go the "always on me" route yet, so I would enjoy a nice personalized ring tone.
posted by girlhacker at 12:26 PM on April 24, 2001

BlueLinx Q-Zone uses Bluetooth to turn off phones in an area. Of course it only works with Bluetooth phones. I think in some places (countries where cell phones are ubiquitous), they use the equivalent of radio signal jammers to effectively shut off all the phones.
posted by girlhacker at 12:30 PM on April 24, 2001

Girlhacker: da da da dum is already unbearable! The only acceptable kind of ringer is a quiet, abstract sequence of tones.
posted by ParisParamus at 12:33 PM on April 24, 2001

Yes, I used a bad example, ParisParamus. :-) I'd like to think I can come up with something a lot nicer! I kind of was running with the "classical music would be a lot nicer than the stuff we hear blaring out these days" thought, but ended up citing something people probably find just as annoying. Incidentally, a co-worker has "Fur Elise" on his phone and I do find it really annoying, so, point well taken.
posted by girlhacker at 12:42 PM on April 24, 2001

Look, about 1/3rd of what I'm saying is a joke. But take even "pleasant" things, multiply them many times over, and what you got is annoying. I mean, here in New York, it's too much to ask that people don't play headphones so that they're audible to others.
posted by ParisParamus at 12:46 PM on April 24, 2001

Horn...Dixie...And how they then couldn't resist driving around honking their horn every time they saw a cute girl? And how unbelievably annoying that became to everyone else? Well, this is the same thing.

And this is more annoying than honking a regular horn ceasely at a cute girl? I don't think so...
posted by fooljay at 6:09 PM on April 24, 2001

It is more annoying, because it's from multiple sources, repetitive, shrill in sound, and indoors.
posted by ParisParamus at 6:32 PM on April 24, 2001

I meant the car horns...
posted by fooljay at 8:02 PM on April 24, 2001

I welcome customizable cel phone ringers, because I'll be able to tell when my phone rings, thanks to my plain-vanilla built-in ring.

But then again, I secretly long for my phone to ring out "Nothin' But A 'G' Thang."
posted by youthbc1 at 2:08 AM on April 26, 2001

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