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Mass customization and personalization news
2005-09-27 - Overland Park, Kansas, USA: Can there be anything more annoying in the World than the crazy frog ringtone? At last hope is at hand that mobile phone users may have a means to express themselves which will put a stop to the squeaking toad. US cellphone company Sprint (NYSE:S) has launched ToneMaker DJ, a new mobile Music Tone application by Sonic Branding Solutions, which allows Sprint PCS customers to easily create original Music Tones, right on their phones.
With ToneMaker DJ's library of thousands of interchangeable music parts, customers can produce and save their own personal Music Tones for use on their Sprint PCS Vision Phones. In addition, the application's "DJ Lounge" community offers powerful features that allow the best ringers to gain recognition, be heard and even purchased by the application's subscribers.
To create custom ringers, customers can use different mixing methods, or 'Modes', offered by the application. With 'Step Mode', sounds for the Drum, Bass, Rhythm and Lead tracks are chosen in order, and a Music Tone is built piece by piece. With 'Jam Mode', the user begins with a complete Music Tone and can swap sounds in and out at will. There's even an 'Auto Mode' where customers only have to press a button and a unique Music Tone is generated, although this creates the nightmare possibility of something similar to crazy frog emerging.
In each Mode, customers choose sounds from the application's sound library, which is organized by style. Part of the fun is mixing the styles together - HipHop, Rock, Funk, Electronic and Dancehall - and creating unique ringers that reflect the individual style of the maker. Customers can also subscribe to regular SMS notifications that provide updates on new celebrity DJs, artists, music styles and other content as they are added to the ToneMaker DJ library.
Along with the ability to produce original Music Tones, ToneMaker DJ offers a community experience, providing customers with access to the DJ Lounge where custom-made ringers are ranked and shared. Within this community, customers can view, listen to and purchase Top Tones, Latest Tones, Favorite Tones and Celeb Tones or Browse by DJ.
The service costs $4.99 a month, which in comparison to the price of individual ringtone downloads is relatively inexpensive. Customers can put their own spin on six quality audio ringers (i.e., Music Tones) every month, along with a seventh custom ringer to share with a friend each month.
The service is powered by Sonic Branding Solutions which provides mass market wireless and Internet games and entertainment applications.