Music Media Watch has reported that the polyphonic ringtone is dead. While we didn’t even know it was sick, we felt we need to say a few words:
The polyphonic ringtone had a good life. It allowed countless mobile phone users the ability to annoy fellow co-workers, movie patrons and just about anyone else that was around when the overly used Mozart tune, theme from Rocky or other simple musical cue would suddenly start to alert an incoming call. The polyphonic ringtone was a workhorse of the mobile industry, and much like SMS was developed despite the fact that it was never really needed.
However, polyphonic ringtone managed to make great headway. It was the first time that a mass-market industry was created for selling music directly to individual customers nearly independently of major record labels. More importantly it took advantage of the technology of the era, including MIDI-like file sizes, and finally polyphonic ringtones gave work to musicians would probably would have otherwise been reduced to playing in wedding bands.
We don’t know what will take the place of polyphonic ringtone entirely. Already it has many (illegitimate) children in the form of MP3 ringtones, ringbacks and other annoying audible cues. Polyphonic ringtone will be missed by some. And more importantly we know that as long as there are those cheapsakes who keep their aged handsets, we know that somewhere, someone will get a call and we’ll hear you polyphonic ringtone!