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Hmm, one thing about natural sounds is that some have evolved to be heard (bird calls, dog howls, elephant trumpets) but most have not (gurgling water). No wonder the non-evolved ones are soothing and hard to pick out.

I would also suspect fidelity/realness has something to do with it. I have a cheap little microwave that I love because it has a real bell inside. How hard was that? And yet the expensive ones seem afraid to have anything non-electronic.

Anyways, this is good:
The first half is a brilliantly researched history of the soundscape from the womb through the industrial revolution and up till the 1970s.

Great post Russell.

Another thing that has always struck me about ringtones is the fact that no matter which tone you end up with you always end up resenting it.

Being a massive Floyd fan myself I don't think I could ever have a Floyd riff as a ringtone. I'd come to associate it with people ringing me up and moaning at me. Even worse, I'd come to dread it.

By using it as a ringtone we're putting the choice to listen to it in someone else's hands. I want to listen to Floyd when I'm in the mood. Too often, and in the wrong situation, and it just becomes music. And Floyd is so much more than that. And yo usaid you were hippy...

I've actually gone down the cliche route and kept a really old bleepy bloppy song like a mid-90s dance song.


Personally, I don't have such a problem because I'm using the best phone ever - Nokia 3310 - and every ringtone of it will be heard, especially, in the age when everyone has polyphonic ringtones.
However, if I had poly-phone, I would use 8bit ringtone:

Really interesting.

I can't say I'm huge fan of glam rock, but I enjoyed the sense of occasion when someone rang me to the opening crunches of T Rex's '20th Century Boy.'

Maybe we need phones that listen to the ambient sounds around us and create ringtones on the fly that in some way contrast with the general hubbub, with a volume relevant to the amount of surrounding noise, and with some sort of taste factor so that the created sounds fit with your acoustic ideals and are recognisable as your own and not the person sat next to you. I'm sure it can be done with a bit of solder and some wires.

based on his comments about watching movies on the iPhone, I made this david lynch ringtone:

Anybody know where I can find a ring tone consisting of 3 Japanese wood block sounds followed by a gong sound and then three wood block sounds.

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