The call of the mobile
By Matt Whipp
As dusk settles on the city on a
Friday evening, a chorus of marsh frogs can be heard calling to each other.
Or is it a flock of Canada geese preparing for migration? No, it's the
tech-savvy in-crowd organising their night out on mobile phones loaded with the
latest ring tones from the British Library.
The British Library has made a collection of 100,000 audio files of nature at
its wildest available to mobile companies and ISPs to be used as ringtones on
the latest, polyphonic, mobile handsets.
Richard Ranft, Curator of Wildlife Sounds at the British Library said: 'We have
a vast collection of wildlife sounds at the Library including British wildlife
and more exotic birds and animals from the Amazon to the Serengeti. The British
Library has one of the most important collections of wildlife sounds in the
world and it has been used in scientific research over the last forty years.
'We are delighted that these sounds are now being used as ringtones as it allows
the British Library to reach a new generation and increases access to our
Along with the marsh frogs and Canada geese, other sounds with which you can
surprise fellow shoppers and commuters include the snarl of a lion, the dawn
chorus in stereo (do you need two phones for that?), a desert cobra attack or a
colony of penguins.
The collection is already available for a couple of Samsung phones at
Mobiletones. A spokesperson for the company assured us that the files were
already being encoded for a greater variety of handsets.