Feb. 17, 2008
-- Apple has always prided itself in developing systems and software that attract the unconventional segment of the masses. And therefore, it comes as no surprise that they have gone a long way in personalising the mobile phone ring tones for their iPhone; taking it beyond mere personalisation and giving the users complete authority with its usage and ownership. At a price, of course.
iTunes users now are the privileged ones to have been given an opportunity to customise original sound tracks and other universal tracks to be able to create their own mobile phone ring tones for their iPhone. This new opportunity has the iPhone equipped with the iTunes ring tone maker that allows the users to choose from over half million songs made available through the iTunes Store. Users can purchase any song for 99 cents from the library, that is marked with a bell indicating that it can be converted into a ring tone. Once the purchase is made, the track can be played at full length and the user has the creative freedom to choose any portion of the song, add special effects such as fade in and fade out. The final length of the desired ring tone must be of 30 seconds or less and the user is ready to download the ring tone on to his/her iPhone. The cost of purchasing this custom made ring tone is another 99 cents, thereby taking the total cost of a ring tone for the iPhone to $1.98. Apple is touting this as a cheaper option to the $2.49 for mobile ring tone purchases through other providers. The final step in the acquisition of this custom made ring tone is to sync the iPhone to the system.
Although, industry experts are continuously arguing about the cost effectiveness of this feature, users are clearly not too impressed. One of the common grouses of users is the inability to comprehend why should they be made to cough up money for a song they have already paid for before. The fact that a particular track is available in their library to purchase and convert into a custom ring tone clearly demonstrates that they have already paid for that track once and that’s the reason it is sitting in their library. At $1.98 it is unarguably more affordable than other providers, but users are miffed about the fact that Apple’s marketing gimmick requires interested users to pay 100% of the song price AGAIN for a 30 second sound clip. There is a lot being said about the legality of playing sound tracks on one’s iPhone, and according to reports some views have been expressed to the effect of just manually turning on the iPod, scrolling to a song, and hitting play on it, every time the iPhone rings or vibrates to alert a call or a message! Just because it is legally right to do so and users are not willing to shell out an extra dollar to give the computer the authority to do it.
Quite understandably, research shows several articles on the web, discussing ways to work around it. Some people have suggested just purchasing the iToner for $15 and then converting multiple songs to ring tones, rather than paying a dollar each time a ring tone for the iPhone is desired. Various forums are dedicated to such activities and one of them suggests the probability of obtaining a cost free ring tone for the iPhone directly from the iTunes by just changing the extension of the file. Purchased ring tones within the iTune library have a .M4R extension and therefore any music file with the extension AAC needs to be manually changed to .M4R before it can show up in the library. Just jump to the last step and sync your iPhone and the job is done!
With these rumours doing the rounds, it will not be long before Apple comes up with another marketing strategy that not only combats this but also placates their irate customers.
To find out more and download free ringtones please visit http://www.freeringtonesbase.com