Sunday, July 10, 2005

Of Ringtone Overkill

Cellular phone ringtones are turning into a musical genre and a public nuisance to boot. An uber-techie I once worked with had a husky voiced woman urge him "Come On Baby Get The Phone" each time it rang. It cracked up everyone in neighboring cubicles at first but soon we grew tired of the suggestive come-hithers. Another woman had the ET background score to announce her teenager's calls and Fur Elise her boyfriend's. Without a snazzy ringtone one can start to feel socially inept amid people who drip globs of attitude each time their cellular rings.

Golan Levin, now a professor of electronic art at Carnegie Mellon University says of ringtones "It can be a vehicle for creative expression both on the part of the composer and the part of the person who uses it. The ringtone has a clear connection to everyday life, and because of that I think it's a vital form." For those who disagree, there's always vibrate - and that would include me

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