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    That Damn OptimistGil Kazimirov7/16/2014 min
    17 reads8 comments
    That Damn Optimist
    17 reads
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    • normanbae2 years ago

      A fun retrospective on ringtones and their surprisingly profound influence on the smartphone and the smartphone ecosystem. "At the time, observers proclaimed the ringtone to be the new single, and hailed the trend as “an industry shift no less important than the shift from the radio to the internet”."

    • bartadamley2 years ago

      The Medium is the message!

      Ringtones seeped deep into culture. Instead of music influencing ringtones, ringtones began to influence music

      Really enjoyed this throwback though. It really does stink that none of us have personalized ringtones like we used to back in the day.

      Why is it on an iPhone that we can set a song we purchased off of iTunes as our alarm, and yet we are unable to set that same song as our ringtone? Or is this a thing?

      • jbuchana2 years ago

        On Android, you can set any sound file as a ringtone. I've done it fairly often, I need to set up a new ringtone for the new phone I got last week...

    • OMS2 years ago

      Beautiful write up!

    • jbuchana2 years ago

      ringback tones (remember when some people had songs play when you called them?)

      One of my daughters had the most annoying ringback tones…

      I had no idea that ringtones produced that kind of revenue. I never bought a ringtone, I made them with Audacity and transferred them to phones in various ways. My biggest success was the Aflac Duck "quacking" for my wife who was an Aflac agent back when ringtones were a big thing. I still have the file. My worst failure was the intro to Come Together by the Beatles, even a new smartphone doesn't have the bass needed to make it sound even marginally OK.

    • jeff
      Top reader this weekTop reader of all timeReading streakScoutScribe
      2 years ago

      Total blast from the past! I remember ringtones but I had no idea the market was ever so big. I don't think I ever bought one but I do remember making my own from MP3 files and loading them on to my feature phone using some weird proprietary software and cable. Like the author describes, it was definitely a short-lived curiosity.

    • vunderkind2 years ago


    • deephdave
      Top reader of all time
      2 years ago


      Then, in 1998, a Finnish dude tired of Nokia’s preset monotone interfering with his weekday hangovers (no joke) found a way to transfer audio files directly to his phone through text message and the ringtone revolution began in earnest. By 2002, 30% of all SMS traffic was requests for downloadable ringtones.