Ringtones are one of the great rip offs of our time alongside replacement car parts, cashew nuts and all forms of tradesmen. Sign up to the Crazy Frog and, despite the fact doing so probably means you deserve everything you get, you’re likely to be in for a months of unexpected extra costs. LA based Xingtone has something to say about that.
It has launched its own downloadable software which allows users to personalise their mobile phone using any music, sound effects or recordings they own. I had a go with a journalist trial edition (ie: it’s free!) and remarkably easy it is too. Setup asks you for your network, phone number and handset make and model, the software loads and you select the audio you want using the built in explorer. This analyses the track and lets you play, cut and fade it in or out (this doesn’t harm the original file).
When satisfied, click the very large SEND button and it jets off the clip to Xingtone which returns a text message to your phone containing a URL. Paste it into your WAP browser and you’re done. My selected portion of Babyshambles’ “F*#! Forever” should go down very well with passers by and old ladies I feel…
The beauty of this system is the standalone nature of it. Each customised tone costs just £1.50, there’s no subscription and no hidden costs. Given that data from ClickZ Wireless this year shows 85 per cent of us have downloaded a ringtone and paid between £3 and £4.50 for it, there is a potentially huge market for Xingtone to cash in on. What’s more, if it accelerates the eradication of that damn helmet wearing amphibian from our handsets it deserves a Noble Peace Prize.
You can grab the Xingtone software free from its website now, or buy it for £14.99 at PC World, Amazon, Stapes, The Apple Store and Dabs where the pack includes 15 free transmissions and all future ones will cost £1.
Personality I hope it succeeds, not least because Xingtone commander in chief Richard Miles is crazy as a fish: “Mallets will be our choice weapon with balaclavas as the only form of defence,” he roars. “Be brave my lonely warriors and stomp these ringtone rogues out for all of eternity!”
Ummm… yes Richard.