Gathan Beaga

tones for all

I can’t even remember where I found it: was it Slashdot or BoingBoing? – but you have to try this.

It’s WolframTones, where you go to generate random polyphonic ringtones for your phone. And then modify them. It’s another product of Stephen Wolfram’s company.

But what if you want one that sounds a little like country music? Click there. Want to change the midi instruments? The pitch? The tempo? Go.

Now defy me by failing to play with it for at least five or ten minutes. And then, once you’ve found the perfect ringtone, download it for use on your phone (US$2). And you are now the only one, in the whole world, with that tone.

I wrote a little about Steven Wolfram a while ago, and maybe I should try and get hold of that book. It’s amusing that his vast and mighty intellectual endeavour is being used to generate ringtones, of all things. But really this is just popular science, truly popular. No shame in that.

And of course if this catches on it could be a massive moneyspinner for Wolfram. The only problem is that if everyone else is like me, they’ll spend all their time trying to generate the perfect tone rather than actually downloading anything.

But in the meantime I can’t stop playing with the website. I’m liking the sound of the “Experimental” and “Signalling” buttons, and playing around with the instrumentation should hopefully lead me to a tone with bell-like simplicity but at the same time utterly unique.

I’ve wasted an hour already.

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