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Nokia Has A New Dubstep Ringtone and That's Terrible

Nokia’s standard ringtone is a classic. Not satisfied with having a classic, however, it seems that Nokia is determined to get with the times, market to the hip young kiddos, and be fresh and relevant in the not-at-all-diminishingly-important world of ringtones. How? That’s easy. Dubstep, bro. Kids love the dubsteps. Right? RIGHT?!

Apparently they do, because the 24 second dubstep-tastic ringtone by Valerio Alessandro Sizzi won the Nokia Tune competition with 1000 likes on Facebook, winning against 6,200 other entries. In addition to having his ringtone pre-loaded on over 100 million Nokia phones (every musician’s dream), he also gets paid (actually every musician’s dream) a cool $10,000 for his efforts. Coincidentally enough, that appears to be exactly how much Nokia’s remaining dignity is worth, and judging by their comments on the winner, they seem to be glad to be rid of the pesky stuff.

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Nokia Sound Design Manager Tapio Hakanen put it this way:

The winner represents very much the sound of now with its energetic dubstep take on the Nokia Tune. It uses the 24-second running time cleverly having a clear intro, mid section and ending, all sitting nicely next to each other. This was one of the many examples of the Nokia Tune’s melodic flexibility.

Sure. Sure it does. While parts of the competition were crowdsourced (5 entries selected by the public, 5 by a panel of judges) the ultimate decision fell to Nokia appointed judges, so the blame falls squarely on them. It’s a pretty standard case of an elderly company trying to be hip so hard that they fall and break theirs, but the lack of insight with this decision is pretty astounding.

Now I actually sort of like dubstep, but this ringtone isn’t a particularly good example of the genre. The Nokia tune is already pretty non-melodic and adding an unintuitive drum beat  and some garbled, auto-tune voice clips doesn’t help. Besides, that bass isn’t wobbling nearly enough. It needs at least 25% more wub. Beyond that, Nokia’s apparent assumption that people who listen to dubstep are also people who use pre-loaded ringtones is beyond naive, venturing into delusional. In fact, the idea that the pre-loaded ringtone world warrants $10,000 in prize money and is anything other than the rotting remains of completely archaic alert system that is based around the fact that phones used to be attached to walls, is insane.

All that being said, it seems that Nokia had the presence of mind not to replace the default tone with this monstrosity. So if you hear it, it’s because someone deliberately made that choice. How many people do that remains to be heard, but I’ll be very, very surprised if I hear it around anywhere. If I do, I’ll assume it’s ironic.

(via The Next Web)

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