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Ringtone - Features, Criticism

ringtones phone services songs

Modern ringtones are becoming increasingly diverse. Older phones alerted the owner to an incoming phone call with a ringing bell sound. Nowadays, people can personalize ringtones to make custom alerts. The newest mobile phones can allow users to apply different ringtones to different book entries. Because of this newfound popularity, a new ringtone-making trend has emerged. Websites allow users to make ringtones from music they own. Users upload these songs to their phone and there are no limitations on the number of songs uploaded. There are many benefits to using these services including cost benefits and the feature of a music editor that allows you to pick the part of the song that you would like to set as your ringtone. Already uploaded into the system, are portions of different songs that are already edited for use. You can also create your own music tones with a melody composer or a loop arranger. One possible drawback of this is that these sites use formatting that is meant for one phone model or phone brand which makes it difficult to use if you do not have that particular phone. Though other formats are sometimes supported, they must be downloaded before they can be used. Commercial ringtones have solved this problem by offering pre-cut songs for download. The mobile music industry has become very successful. Rapper Chamillionaire is the first person to have a ringtone go platimum. A recent development is the singtone, where a user’s voice is recorded with a track to make a ringtone. Another alternative to a ringtone is the vibrate function on mobile phones which can be used in noisy atmospheres and when ringtones would be innapropriate such as movie theaters. It is also used by the hearing impaired.

Criticism

Although ringtone campaigns have become more and more popular, they have also become the subject of criticism. In 2005, a class action lawsuit was filed against Jamster! on behalf of a San Diego man and his daughter. The lawsuit states that Jamster! used fradulent means to scam cell phone customers with deceptive advertisements. The Jamster! ads offered one free ringtone to customers who responded to a text message, but did not tell these customers that they would be signed up for monthly service charges. This lawsuit is still pending. Also in 2005, a consumer advocacy organization filed a complaint with the CPUC against Cingular Wireless. The complaint alleges that Cingular Wireless charged for unauthorized services such as ringtones. The organization also stated that Cingular billed customers for Jamster! and other services for ringtones without telling the users that they would be automatically signed up for other services. With these other services came a multitude of hidden charges.

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