0479: "Tones"

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Re: "Tones" Discussion

Postby martinultima » Mon Sep 22, 2008 11:26 am UTC

I love you Randall :P
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Re: "Tones" Discussion

Postby Celtic Minstrel » Mon Sep 22, 2008 11:33 am UTC

I didn't read through all the posts, but I definitely agree with this comic. My phone's ringtone is an actual ring, too.

The alt-text actually made no sense to me.

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Re: "Tones" Discussion

Postby Apemeat » Mon Sep 22, 2008 11:38 am UTC

NMcCoy wrote:That said, I am sorely tempted by the prospect of using "Never Gonna Give You Up" as a ringback.

Got it.
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Re: "Tones" Discussion

Postby wnether » Mon Sep 22, 2008 11:53 am UTC

What do you mean your phone doesn't have any bells in it?

It's far from my only phone, but I demand that, on my home phone line, I have at least one Model 500 or 554, Henry Dreyfuss designed, rotary, Western Electric phone with the two different sized brass bells. What a sound.

Cooler than that, though, the Model 500 next to me is bright red and says "DEFENSE" on the handset.

I found it when they were renovating the football stadium at my alma mater.

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Re: "Tones" Discussion

Postby Crysm » Mon Sep 22, 2008 12:17 pm UTC

I wanted a ringer tone, but my phone just came with a variety of preloaded melodies instead, and my refusal to pay for something as silly as a ringtone trumps the issue.

My phone is also a clamshell design, one screen, no camera. Simple. I chose it for the intuitive menus. I keep it for the same reason and also because I could probably throw it off a building and it would still work (and as rough as I treat it, that's a good thing) and the battery is still pretty awesome after two years. It makes calls and sends and receives text messages occasionally. You know, like a phone. Why does every phone have to have a camera these days? That's always bothered me.

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Re: "Tones" Discussion

Postby vortmax » Mon Sep 22, 2008 12:18 pm UTC

Gracenotes wrote:Or maybe someone yelling "Fire"?

my ringtone is the emergency alert tone. (the one that plays when a severe weather warning is issued, or 'this is a test of the emergency broadcast system').

When I was getting my masters (in meteorology), every time my phone went off, the ENTIRE office would drop what they were doing and rush to a computer to see what warning had just been posted.

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Re: "Tones" Discussion

Postby aleflamedyud » Mon Sep 22, 2008 12:23 pm UTC

I must admit, my phone's standard ringer is the chorus of my favorite song. I like it that way. I haven't changed it or gotten tired of it. It's that good.

Then the secondary ringer is a compilation of the things the Turrets in Portal say. "Hello... Is anyone out there? Can I help you?"
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Re: "Tones" Discussion

Postby Cheez It » Mon Sep 22, 2008 12:45 pm UTC

Mine phone plays the a version tetris theme by ozma. Everyone has a cellphone these days, its nice to instantly know if a ringing phone is yours, which would be difficult if everyone had similar rings.

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Re: "Tones" Discussion

Postby mistercow.pnoy » Mon Sep 22, 2008 12:55 pm UTC

WOOH, I have <s>2</s> 3 rings: 1 for anyone on my contacts list(a ring, like on a home phone), 2 for anyone NOT on my contacts list(another ring, just slightly different), and 3 Fur Elise for my Girlfriend. And I love how it confuses people when they hear my phone ring: "how come it sounds like a ring? don't you have a ringtone?" me: "HELL NO, if i wanted to hear a dying whale every time someone tried to call me, I'd have them send me dying whales"

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Re: "Tones" Discussion

Postby MissingNo » Mon Sep 22, 2008 1:02 pm UTC

Well, I signed up for the forums because of this comic.

Anyways, I ended up spending a good night and a half with a friends' RAZR to pull its' Continental tone off of it over USB (damn protected/locked files) and sending it over to my Nokia 6012i. But DAMN, the Continental tone is loud when the volume's cranked up. I guess it's a good thing when I'm blasting music from my stereo...

I seriously hate most ringtones these days. I don't need to hear another goddamn Crazy Frog within 200 yards of me.
Last edited by MissingNo on Mon Sep 22, 2008 1:03 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: "Tones" Discussion

Postby EtzHadaat » Mon Sep 22, 2008 1:03 pm UTC

Paying for ringtones is silly, most phones have some built in way to send them to your phone even if you don't have a cable to connect to your computer. Sounds+Audacity+email=ringtone.

Also, I'm going to express wonderment at this loyalty to the little bells inside ancient telephones. I have vaguely rare songs for each person who regularly calls me including words and I haven't had any problems with it. Even if my phone's in my bag I usually know who's calling and that's pretty cool. Working on finding text tones for people too.

Also, I win a battle in Final Fantasy each time I receive a text message.

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Re: "Tones" Discussion

Postby Sprocket » Mon Sep 22, 2008 1:15 pm UTC

Okita wrote:II need to record an old-school cell phone ringtone to put into my current phone. Also need to get one of those old style phones that slid open, like in The Matrix. Hell, I need to design a new retro-phone. That would be awesome.
LOL. I saw "Dark City" on Saturday night for the first time, so I've had the Matrix stuck in my head. They both take on concepts I contemplated back in the days of my youth whens I dids teh thinkins, before I realized every thing I can think of some philosopher from 200 years or more ago already brought into the public sector.

So today's comic - What's with the style? The big head, the line quality, the way it all looks computer drawn. I mean the window is a thing, he does things like that ocasionally, but the whole comic looks different than it usually does.

I generally choose to put my phone on vibrate, plus my new phone doesn't offer a 'ring' choice or any other tone I actually like (my old one sounded vaugely like Mario eatting a mushroom) and I don't know how to put more on it without giving someone money, and it's not worth giving someone money.
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Re: "Tones" Discussion

Postby phlip » Mon Sep 22, 2008 1:19 pm UTC

mistercow.pnoy wrote:I love how it confuses people when they hear my phone ring: "how come it sounds like a ring? don't you have a ringtone?" me: "HELL NO, if i wanted to hear a dying whale every time someone tried to call me, I'd have them send me dying whales"

Winning the thread on your first post? You're setting a dangerous precedent for yourself...

I'd recommend pacing yourself, or you're going to burn out.

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Re: "Tones" Discussion

Postby le_sacre » Mon Sep 22, 2008 1:29 pm UTC

my 4-year-old phone plays [a midi file i made myself of] the opening to Stravinsky's rite of spring every time it rings, and i couldn't be happier with this scenario.

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Re: "Tones" Discussion

Postby Jebobek » Mon Sep 22, 2008 1:32 pm UTC

Yesterday at mass during the consecration someone's cell phone went off with today's equivalent of Brittany Spears music, i forget what it was. And it went off twice. So it rang once, she fumbled in her purse, got it out, hit the cancel button, put it back in her purse. So naturally that person calls again. Idiots.

Oh and my music plays the little upbeat Radio version of "Still Alive" which you hear in Portal.

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Re: "Tones" Discussion

Postby Hazmat » Mon Sep 22, 2008 1:33 pm UTC

OK, I admit I did join the forum because of this comic- I was incredibly happy when I was able to get a phone that would generate a 'ringing' sound (a Treo), and then even happier when I found an app that let me play an actual ringing sound. But then something happened. Half the people in the world with Treos started using that same damn ringer! I thought it was cool, and useful at the same time... but I've succumbed. When my phone isn't on vibrate, I stay with the 20th Century Fox intro (with cinemascope extension!) tune. Though I have switched to the one that was used in the beginning of the Simpson's movie- where Ralph sings along.

My phone is now a Windows Mobile phone (rather than a Palm based Treo) It has plenty of problems, but one thing I can say in its favor- it does make it really easy to use any old MP3 as a ringtone.

And I did buy a house to be able to yell at kids to keep off my damn lawn!
Last edited by Hazmat on Mon Sep 22, 2008 1:50 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: "Tones" Discussion

Postby jima » Mon Sep 22, 2008 1:45 pm UTC

I'm with Randall on this one. I can't stand for my phone to not just ring.

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Re: "Tones" Discussion

Postby rcarz » Mon Sep 22, 2008 1:51 pm UTC

AlexDitto wrote:HELL YES. And I thought I was the only one.

I cringe every time someone's phone erupts with a violent fanfare of the latest pop hit craze. I DO NOT WANT TO HEAR YOUR QUESTIONABLE TASTE IN MUSIC. A phone should RING. End of story!

Using your favorite song as a ring tone cheapens its value and turns it from something special into something mundane. I do not approve!

Every new phone I get, though, moves farther and farther away from having an actual ringing tone. I hate it with a passion that burns with the white hot fires of a thousand suns!

Second that "HELL YES". I hate people with obnoxiously loud ring tones, especially when they leave their phones unattended. You want something a little less boring then a ringing sound? Fine. But PLEASE be mindful of the rest of the world. When I hear your annoying ring tone I want to stab you and then myself.

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Re: "Tones" Discussion

Postby Feirgon » Mon Sep 22, 2008 2:09 pm UTC

Oh man, I love ringtones and realtones. I prefer music to ringing, but this comic made my day.

Kudos on a very hilarious comic.

P.S. I even use ringbacks! I try to customize my ringtones and ringbacks for each person I know (or at least for each person who calls me enough to make it worth it), yea, I need help.
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Re: "Tones" Discussion

Postby brendan » Mon Sep 22, 2008 2:17 pm UTC

:D big lols on this comic
I've only subscribed to xkcd since about the reverse bel air comic, but today the strip has warmed my heart
this is because i am a ringtone designer, of just that, 'goddamn ringing sounds.'

here's a bunch of our creative commons mp3 tones. for those who dig this strip as much as i.

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Re: "Tones" Discussion

Postby GreaterSteven » Mon Sep 22, 2008 2:19 pm UTC

Codec ringing sound from Metal Gear Solid for the win.

I recently bought a bluetooth headset for when I'm driving (cell phone + driving = illegal in NYS).

Whenever it rings I randomly crouch behind nearby objects.

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Re: "Tones" Discussion

Postby Alsadius » Mon Sep 22, 2008 2:20 pm UTC

I'm amazed nobody has said this yet, but Randall, your methodology just doesn't scale. One guy having a ring is fine, but what if everybody did? You hear a ring and 100 people reach for their phones. That's a massive waste of attention and effort. People getting random funky ringtones actually serves a purpose, because it identifies whose phone is ringing. Bells are great when there's only ever one phone in an area(and when bells are the extent of what you can reasonably build in that will have an appropriate volume), but cell phones in crowds are fundamentally different.

Also, I use the intro of Come As You Are as my ringtone - simple, distinctive, sounds good off a cell phone speaker, and a good song. I might go for vibrate, except that none of my phones has ever vibrated enough to actually notify me of anything, even when it's in my pocket.

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Re: "Tones" Discussion

Postby quintopia » Mon Sep 22, 2008 3:01 pm UTC

I came here to read what Felstaff wrote about this subject, one which I know he feels strongly about. Turns out he hasn't posted here yet. I'm waiting, Felstaff. And yes, I'm waiting on your front lawn.

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Re: "Tones" Discussion

Postby Some 'Splainin' to Do » Mon Sep 22, 2008 3:11 pm UTC

I'm sorry to say that I've got to respectfully disagree with the idea that making cellphone rings sound like normal phone rings would be a good idea.

I'm old enough to remember the days before ring tones. Whenever one person's cellphone got called, everyone with a cellphone would immediately reach for their pocket to check if it was theirs.

That was amusing the first couple of times it happened, but it got really annoying really fast.

Now as much as I hate stupid ring tones (and there are an insane amount of them), generic rings are not the solution.

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Re: "Tones" Discussion

Postby The1exile » Mon Sep 22, 2008 3:19 pm UTC

I don't like the plain rings for mobiles because I'll get easily confused if I leave it to charge and it's next to the landline. Besides, although currently I just have some default stuff Motorola put on my handset I used to have a great time putting on ultimate air guitar songs for my ringtone (which prevents me from answering immediately, but if it was that important that it requires my immediate attention they shouldn't have time to ring me).

Some 'Splainin' to Do wrote:I'm old enough to remember the days before ring tones. Whenever one person's cellphone got called, everyone with a cellphone would immediately reach for their pocket to check if it was theirs.

Isn't that partially what the vibe is for?
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Re: "Tones" Discussion

Postby tedthemusician » Mon Sep 22, 2008 3:22 pm UTC

mine is a rickroll.

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Re: "Tones" Discussion

Postby Ubik » Mon Sep 22, 2008 3:27 pm UTC

I have considered using the piano piece of 2g1c - though definitely not as a video ringtone even if my phone supported them. However some people lacking (a bit distorted) sense of humor could get wrong impression of me if they heard it. Funniest real song I've heard as ringtone was I want to hold your hand sang by Wing. There's a sample of it on her site, it is from her Beatles CD of course.

Edit: One..err two errors out of ??? corrected

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Re: "Tones" Discussion

Postby Fledermen64 » Mon Sep 22, 2008 3:36 pm UTC

MacGyver theam song.
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Re: "Tones" Discussion

Postby Alpha Omicron » Mon Sep 22, 2008 3:41 pm UTC

When I saw the title, I thought this one would be about phreaking.
But no. :(
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Re: "Tones" Discussion

Postby SirMustapha » Mon Sep 22, 2008 3:54 pm UTC

Jebobek wrote:Yesterday at mass during the consecration someone's cell phone went off with today's equivalent of Brittany Spears music, i forget what it was. And it went off twice. So it rang once, she fumbled in her purse, got it out, hit the cancel button, put it back in her purse. So naturally that person calls again. Idiots.

Something nearly identical happened about two months ago - except I wasn't in a church, but in a concert from our local symphonic orchestra. They were just beginning a very quiet, gentle waltz and the goddamn thing goes off with a justified, LOUD tone, VERY close to the stage. FOR AGES. TWICE. If the maestro's gaze could kill, the phone's owner would have been in real trouble. Once is fairly passable, but twice??

Oh and my music plays the little upbeat Radio version of "Still Alive" which you hear in Portal.

Thank goodness I'm rarely around Portal addicts. If a phone went off with that goddamn fucking song anywhere close to me, I'd scream in agony.

On the topic of tones, when I eventually get a cell phone, I will definitely follow Randall's choice. I go by the principle that NOBODY else is obliged to unwillingly be in contact with my musical taste, just like I am not obliged to unwillingly be in contact with someone else's taste. If I had to choose a tune or melody, I'd stick with the opening bars of Tubular Bells - simple, memorable, wonderful, distinctive. Anything other than that is a no. If I want to hear music, I'll listen to music.

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Re: "Tones" Discussion

Postby Armadillo Al » Mon Sep 22, 2008 4:08 pm UTC

Zer088 wrote:I've got mine to play the "victory fanfare" from FFVII.

I've wanted a phone that was capable of doing this* for years. Of course, I'm too lazy/not-in-touch-with-the-ringtone-empire to know if this is possible with my current phone, but I suspect that as long as I'm stuck with US Cellular, I'm doomed.

* Well, either this or FFVI.
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Re: "Tones" Discussion

Postby austinr » Mon Sep 22, 2008 4:09 pm UTC

Am I mistaken in noting that the animation on this one is a tribute to "A Softer World"? the whole "the same image at different focuses with captions"?


I think it's neat.

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Re: "Tones" Discussion

Postby MeisBarry » Mon Sep 22, 2008 4:20 pm UTC

Did no one mention the "A Softer World" homage?

No one?

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Re: "Tones" Discussion

Postby grocer » Mon Sep 22, 2008 4:44 pm UTC

I've had a string of motorola phones (I'm on the third, I think) and they all come with the same 16 or whatever ringtones...which was okay until everyone got RAZRs and then I could never tell if it was my phone or someone elses. After I got a RAZR (it was the cheapest replacement at the time), I found I could put ringtones on it in MP3 with Bluetooth...so I now have the Swedish Chef singing as my ringtone...and everybody looks at me funny. But I always know its my phone.

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Re: "Tones" Discussion

Postby The Scyphozoa » Mon Sep 22, 2008 4:46 pm UTC

All of the Motorola ringtones suck! And pretty much any normal ring on a cellphone hurts my ears.

This is my ringtone: http://ringtonemaneuver.ytmnd.com/
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Re: "Tones" Discussion

Postby sammyo » Mon Sep 22, 2008 4:58 pm UTC

Wouldn't it be fun to have a little hacker tool that switched around the ringtones between peoples phones at a party?

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Re: "Tones" Discussion

Postby dawidi » Mon Sep 22, 2008 5:03 pm UTC

As someone wrote a few pages earlier - a phone that doesn't have a bell in it shouldn't (have to) ring.
Just like a point'n'shoot digital camera shouldn't try to imitate the shutter of a SLR though its speaker.

That said, what disturbs me more than novelty ringtones (which I don't have to hear very often) is people setting their phone on vibrate, putting it on their desk and then leaving. Then someone calls, and the phone vibrates itself off the table :shock: , making an even more unpleasant sound than the most annoying ringtones.

My own cellphone is so old (about 8 years I think) that it can't play actual sounds, but it allows me to "compose" a melody myself, so I entered the "beep beep bEE-beep" ringtone from Kim Possible, which I think is a good, recognizable but not annoying compromise.

For IMs, I like the two slightly different "quindar" beep tones one hears at the beginning and end of NASA capcom radio conversations. 8)
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Re: "Tones" Discussion

Postby Prince Myshkin » Mon Sep 22, 2008 5:05 pm UTC

This is the one area that I'm basically a curmudgeon. Leave the damn thing on vibrate and keep it in your pocket. We all have pockets, phones are tiny, and you never miss a call when your crotch starts buzzing. Everybody wins.

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Re: "Tones" Discussion

Postby tetsujin » Mon Sep 22, 2008 5:07 pm UTC

Okita wrote:Then again, I think the Bluetooth Retro Handset is cool.

Bah! That's got nothing on the Full-on rotary cell phone...

I normally hate ringtones for a variety of reasons - people are going beyond the practical need to have a sound that tells them their phone is ringing (and, additionally, that it's not someone else's phone that's ringing...) and getting into stuff which is often pretty obnoxious... For that reason, with my phone I chose a simple alert sound - just two short beeps. I can still hear my phone ringing from across the house, I still know when to pick it up, but if I screw up and my phone rings in a public place, I know the level of annoyance I've caused those around me is minimal... Oh, and those two short beeps also happen to be sampled from the old Star Trek communicator. I just really like that sound, what can I say? :)

But for my wife's phone, I did set her up with some really great ringtones at one point - Raymond Scott's "Powerhouse" for messages and "Toy Trumpet" for the ringtone. Even though it was MIDI and not a real sample I really enjoyed it, and I miss it. We're thinking of trying to get it onto her new phone...

'Course, every new generation of phones makes it harder to install your own ringtones without buying them from the phone company. Bastards...
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Re: "Tones" Discussion

Postby omni » Mon Sep 22, 2008 5:24 pm UTC

I believe my currently rings to either the Inspector Gadget theme or the victory dance from FFVII...depending on who calls. I also have the radio song from portal thanks to my roommate.
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