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Ringtone downloads - Ringtones, Ringtones, and More Ringtones...

Ringtone Downloads - what's all the fuss about?

Ringtones. Seems like everybody's searching for them and downloading them. Ringtone download sites are all over the 'net, and ringtone download advertising is pretty big business, if the number of ringtone download site ads visible on the average web site is any indication.

Ringtones For You, Ringtones For Me, Ringtones As Far As The Eye Can See...

I've never spent much time paying attention to ringtone download sites. I always figured that they were aimed at a younger audience, and, I have always been satisfied with the ringtones that were built in to my cell phones. Who's visiting the ringtone sites?

Young, Hip, and Addicted to Technology Toys

If I observe the people I know, I see that my children and their young friends will spend significant sums of money downloading music and ringtones to their latest mobile devices. My older friends may, on occasion, download a ringtone or two, but they are far more likely to find a way to install the ringtone or music on the device using direct transfer from their computer to the device than to download a paid ringtone or song.

And, as people age, many tend to move from a 'consumer' mode into a 'leisure' or 'quality of life' mode, where one is more interested in savoring experiences and relationships than acquiring and showing off the latest gadget or trinket.

Personalized Mobile Devices

One aspect of the ringtones phenomenon is important: the desire to 'customize' one's mass-produced consumer device in order to make it one's own, to make it less of a commodity, less like everyone else's. This might also explain the demand for mobile device wallpaper downloads.

Pogs, Beanie Babies, and World Wrestling Federation

Are mobile device ringtones the 'Pogs' of our time? Are those who are buying and downloading ringtones engaging in this generations large-scale fad or mania? Will the current obsession with ringtones fade into obscurity as the demographic trend shifts and the next obsession takes its place?

Ringtones are the 'New Black'

Rintones are the 'new black' it lets everyone feel cool and show off a bit. Its also the best way for artists to spread without being pirated. You could make a ringtone from a track but they never sound good unless they are real tones or videos straight from the artist. Its also a great way for underground music to get out. You can make a ringtone or video clip upload it to myspace and BANG your on all your peeps phone.


... Or maybe we just want

... Or maybe we just want our phones not to sound exactly like the 70 nearest phones in our immediate vicinity, so when it rings we can pick it out of a crowd. You can't always tell where it's coming from, especially in a noisy environment.

This is especially a problem at my house, where three people have identical phones and a very, very limited set of tones. Not all are pleasing, and we need to decide which to use for receiving phone calls, SMS, calendar reminders, Google Talk messages... and for several different volume profiles. We'd like to also know whose phone is doing what.

I'd like to replace this phone but I have limited budget. You know what I've done for now? Turned it to "vibrate" and left it there. Now when a phone rings I know it's not mine.

Make my own

I have a big collection of music, all of which I like. I doubt I am alone in that. If I want a new ringtone, I just throw an mp3 into Audacity (which is free) and crop a bit that would make a good ringtone. Then I copy it over bluetooth, cable, or direct to memory card and use that. Given that the software to do this is all free, the fact I already own the license to the song, and almost all phones these days support mp3 ringtones, I can't understand the popularty of these ringtone download services.

That was my point, actually...

...and I touched on it in my original article.

I couldn't understand why people *pay* to download ringtones, and therefore why there are so many ringtone download sites bidding for visibility on the AdSense content network.

Have you ever heard an exhaust ringtone or a Harley-Davidson ringtone? Why would anyone want one? Don't laugh, I've seen ads hawking exactly those ringtones.

Composing ringtones

A good ringtone can be a work of art. Sure, you may have an mp3 of your fav artists, but that music wasn't written to be played over your cell phone speakers. It probably doesn't sound anything like the composer or artist envisioned when they wrote it.

However, start off with the limitation of a cell phone sound system, and then use that in a creative way...... voila you have art, to be enjoyed ( or hated ).