PERSONALIZED PHONES: The Ring's the Thing.(living)
BYLINE: HEIDI KNAPP RINELLA, REVIEW-JOURNAL
Cat lovers can download the Meow Mix commercial soundtrack. Teachers can choose
Crosby, Stills & Nash's "Teach Your Children." Birthday girls and boys can go
with the Beatles' "Birthday."
You can also get the fight songs of various universities and national anthems of
countries including Gambia and Uzbekistan, in addition to the good ol' USA.
Soares said artist ring tones also are available -- such as Jessica Simpson
saying, "Hi, it's Jessica. What were you telling me about those Buffalo wings?"
Suh said ring tone applications are increasing exponentially. (A co-worker of
Suh's has a friend who reminds him of Vanilla Ice, so the friend's incoming
calls come to the tune of "Ice, Ice Baby.") The company has launched
partnerships with dozens of radio stations, enabling each station to have a
portal through which users can download ring tones in the station's format.
Through Jones Media's Jones Banana Network, it helped country singer Tim McGraw
launch his most recent album, offering a pre-release of a McGraw cut as an
actual ring tone. The song, McGraw's hit "Live Like You Were Dying," sounds just
as it does on the radio or CD -- but you can hear it when your phone rings.
"It was the very first ring tone promotion out there," Suh said. "This is the
next generation of ring tones. There are limited handsets that can support it"
-- although he said 47 models can. "The majority of our sales are true
polyphonic. But this is the next step."
"Polyphonic" refers to a blend of sounds forming the tune; monophonic ring tones
are the equivalent one-trick ponies. Which you can have depends on what model
phone you have. The Web sites have lists of compatible makes and models.
As for Sprint, Soares said, "My understanding is that with the content that we
provide, it's accessible to all PCS Vision phones."
How much you hear -- what part of the song -- depends on the company that
produced the ring tone.
"We typically go for the hook or the chorus," Suh said. "Typically they're the
same. The chorus is the real hook in the song. If there are songs that have
multiple areas that sound real well, we'll go ahead and make that.
"With rap and hip-hop and pop tunes these days, they're all about the hook. So
it's an easy translation into ring tones."
Suh said the next trend is phones that play a song from a music video and show
the video on their screens.
"You hear the song, you pull your phone out, and there's Tim McGraw singing on
your flip-phone screen to answer the call," he said. "That's coming in the next
year for sure."