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A Brief Treatise on Ring Tones

07.30.2009 · Posted in Home and Garden Articles

This is a small article on one of the discoveries of the modern era the ring tone! nnSome facts about the ring tone:nn1. Ring tones are the sound made by any phone, whether mobile or fixed (land line), indicating that a call or message is being received by that instrument. The proper nomenclature should be ‘ring sound’ as in many cases there is no aspect of a ‘tone’ to it.nn2. Modern receivers allow adjustments to the volume and offer many variations in the type of ring tone to allow differentiation between two or more instruments lying side by side and also suit customers specific requirements, such as for the hearing impaired.nn3. The first telephones had a bell which made a ‘ring’ing sound when struck by a hammer, operating electromagnetically, to announce a call. While this system is still common, most cell phones and modern land line phones have advanced from the ring to producing different kinds of sounds.nn4. Research had shown that a single long ring to indicate an incoming call usually meant the person would wait for the instrument to stop ringing before picking it up. For this reason the ring – pause – ring system evolved. Of course now, melody based ring tones play the whole snippet of a song so the pause doesn’t apply.nn5. Towards the late 1980s mechanical ring tones were slowly getting replaced by electronic ones progressing from single tones to those playing two, three or more tones and then on to melodies.nn6. Customised ring tones on mobile phones started off in 1996 with Japanese manufacturers offering a number of options, both customised and pre-recorded.nn7. Downloadable ring tones were available from 1998 and this service has now become an enormously successful industry right across the globe.nn8. There are generally 3 types of ring tones. The monophonic tone has a single musical note played, one at a time. Polyphonic ones have several notes played together as in the MIDI format. The Truetone or audio recording is the latest development and is the format used in MP3.nn9. Real tones, which are usually taken from popular songs, began to be distributed from late in 2002.nn10. The vibrating alert can be considered as an alternative to the ring tone and performs the same functions where too much or too little noise is a factor.nn11. Some of the more common formats used for ring tones include MIDI, iMelody, MP3, RTTTL and Nokia Smart Messaging.nn12. It is now possible to use a ring tone maker to customise the ring tone using a particular portion of a favourite song or melody and send the file to the phone via email, sms or cable.nn13. A karaoke type of sing tone option seems to be the latest innovation that is likely to make it big.nnThis seemingly most mundane of ‘inventions’ is now a multi billion dollar industry and is in the process of evolving very fast. Let’s see where it takes us!

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