March 01, 2005


Originally posted by emily from, reBlogged by ts

Two different takes on New Yorker’s essay on the ringtone market, “RING MY BELL”.

From Marc Perton for Engadget: “New Yorker offers up history of ringtones”

Harmonium, the first program developed to create polyphonic ringtones, was developed by a Finnish programmer. What may be more surprising is the size of the ringtone market: a whopping $4 billion in 2004. In true New Yorker fashion, the article looks at the ringtone business, tone junkies one guy claims to spend $10 a month on tones, mostly of Led Zep songs and the evolution of the technology, which is poised to take the wind out of that $4 billion market, since it s getting easier to make your own ringtones.

From Mark Frauenfelder for “Polyphonic Ringtone Nostalgia”

“The latest issue of the New Yorker has a fairly lengthy article about polyphonic ringtones versus MP3 ringtones. The author, Sasha Frere-Jones argues that the polyphonic tones deliver the pure pop essence of a song, and are in some ways, superior to the actual songs they’re based on.

If a song can survive being transposed from live instruments to a cell-phone microchip, it must have musically hardy DNA. Many recent hip-hop songs make terrific ringtones because they already sound like ringtones. The polyphonic and master-tone versions of Goodies, by Ciara, for example, are nearly identical. Ringtones, it turns out, are inherently pop: musical expression distilled to one urgent, representative hook.