Ring in the good times
From metallic beeps and loud rings to Mozart, Beethoven and Rahman, ring tones on cell phones have come a long way.
FREE INCOMING calls are now literally music to the ears. As you step into a busy shopping mall, the ambience takes on a tuneful note with hand sets around ringing in the feel-good Saathiya theme, (it tops the ring tones chart), a racy Dum maro dum, the cheerful Malgudi Days theme or the mellow Suprabhatam.
Ring tones today have gone way beyond the basic beeps to inform you about incoming calls. If you happen to own the hottest polyphonic 3G mobile sets, then you have manna for the ears. In the earlier second-generation mobile phones, the music was monophonic, that is keypad generated tunes with each handset having about 20 or more options by default.
The third generation or 3G handsets, however, have the facility to play music. You can lend a ear to a Beethoven or Mozart symphony on the Nokia 7650 for instance. And if you are wondering how to get these mellifluous and distinct tunes, welcome to the world of connectivity.
There are innumerable websites that offer you ring tone downloads including company URLs such as www.airtelworld.com (offers tunes created by A. R. Rahman ), and www.hutch.co.in, popular websites like www.rediff.com and www.yahoo.com or specific ones like www.ringtones.com. You could choose from Telugu and Hindi film songs, themes from Hollywood blockbusters and more. "You like to hear songs that cheers you up. Having your favourite song as your ring tone is a sure-fire pick me up," says Ravi a student. On procuring ring tones he says, "We exchange ring tones via SMS." Ravi updates his ring tones everyday and uses different ring tones for each caller group - is that organised or what?
Assigning ring tones to particular groups is the norm in the ring tone world. Some tones encourage you to take the call while others make you go, "I do not want to take this call."
"I have one for my family the Saathiya tone, the Las Ketchup number for unknown callers and Shakira for my friends," says Kumar. He, however, keeps his mobile on silent mode at work because it is rather distracting at office. Likewise, Rajesh, a businessman, alternates periodically between the Malgudi Days theme and the Type 21 on his Nokia 3110, "because the music is mild and soothing. When you are in a meeting, you would not like it disrupted with loud music. Whether you choose Shakira or a Saathiya for a ring tone, I guess depends on age, personality, occupation, workplace and more," he says.
No matter what your choice , the new fad has made the handset alive and personalised and shifted the mobile phone from being a communication tool to a lifestyle statement.
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