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Ring Tones . Enough Already

07.30.2009 · Posted in Home and Garden Articles

A sudden cacophony of 4 different mobile phones starting to ring within seconds of each other inside an elevator of a 30 storey building. And 4 different ring tones . a religious shloka, the latest bit of rap, a baby screaming and a Carpenter’*****. I don’t know whether to laugh or scream (mine wasn’t one of the ones ringing!). nnI don’t know about you but this seems to happen more often than not okay the location may change to a bus, the metro or even an extremely long queue. How I long for the tring – tring of the original phone ring sound! And I strenuously object to some of the disgusting and even obscene sounds that a minority of individuals keep as their ring tones, possibly to just draw attention to themselves and / or shock people.nnA ring tone is the name given to the sound made by a telephone, whether mobile or fixed line, to announce an incoming call or text message. Most of these sounds, especially those that do not have a tune should actually be called ring sounds as the word ring ‘tone’ becomes a misnomer. After considerable research it was discovered that there was a tendency for a person to wait till the end of the ring to pick up the receiver. 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. nnThe 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. 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. nnThe Japanese started providing customised ring tones on mobile phones in 1996 with a number of options, both customised and pre-recorded. Downloadable ring tones were available from 1998 and this service has now become an enormously successful industry right across the globe. The concept of real tones came in late 2002 and are usually taken from popular songs.nnThough I am probably a fish out of water in my dislike of the fancy ring tones you get to hear all over the place these days, I do know of individuals who are similarly ‘old fashioned’. I understand that there have been cases filed for wrongful, deceptive use of advertisement to promote and sell ring tones to customers. These were primarily related to whether the ring tones that were downloaded were supposed to be ‘free’ or whether a service provider should charge for non-communication related charges, like downloading ring tones, but no case has so far to challenge the ring tones themselves. I wonder whether I should be the one to bell the cat or leave it for someone else?

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