Friday, March 14, 2008

Ringtones - Sound Overload

It is clear to me that I am getting old. This fixation with the latest, strangest ring tones just escapes me. My phone sounds like, well a phone, no songs, no voices, sneezes, coughs, hiccups or other strange sounds just a ring. I actually love to set it on vibrate sometimes but when I do most times I don't know that it has gone off as my phone is not a part of me. When I'm in meetings I simply turn it off. If I did bother to change the tone however I imagine it would be something clear and traditional, no not the happy birthday or wedding march tunes.

Imagine my incredulity this morning when I read online that free Eliot Spitzer call girl ringtones are being offered for download. One flavor is called "client no. 9 is in the house" and the other, "turning on the governor". Great marketing strategy or crass? Who knows, these days it seems that one may very well go with the other. Virgin Mobile for instance is using the image of Spritzer in an ad to promote their excellent customer care. They claim to treat you like a person, not a client so at Virgin Mobile "Whether you're #9 or #900, you'll get hooked up with somebody who'll finally treat you just how you want to be treated" and it continues "call us over and over again, whenever you get the urge. find out how you can spend some quality time with us today. Or tonight." Well, I suspect the former attorney general In Mr. Spritzer will see him being engaged in lots of litigation for a very long time.

But back to ringtones. Apple offers you to create unique ringtone from more than half a million songs on the iTunes Store. There are downloads of all shapes, sizes and formats, both free and for sale. Not to mention all those letters. There are MP3, RTTL, WAV, ZIP, MIDI, MMF, QCP, ADP and RAW. I just couldn't imagine myself bothering to figure out what converter or uploader service is necessary for me to download a particular ringtone. Worse it just seems strange to me that people would pay cash to hear a special sound on their phone. Am I cheap? I don't think so but to me it is so much easier to use one of the basic tones that comes preloaded on the phone. I know a girl who perks up when her phone sings "my boy lollipop", apparently that tone is linked to her boyfriend's number, then there are those tones in the screaming voice ordering you to pick up the phone!

It is clear that I need to get hip and I might just get with the program one day and change my ringtone. I'd do it slowly though and probably get the one designed to fall on deaf ears, you know the ultra sonic kind, like the mosquito ringtone. I guess I'd feel good if I discover that I'm actually young enough to hear it.

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