Monday, May 6, 2013

Blast from the Past: The Past Repurposed as Ringtones

A good bit of my weekend has been taken up getting used to my new Samsung Galaxy S4 smart phone (and don't worry, I'll stop talking about it soon). But it got me to thinking--as I loaded it up with my usual ringtones and notification sounds--that it might make a good topic for Blast from the Past. In fact, it might make a good psychological study. New phone, same old tunes and sounds.

Notification: Samantha from Bewitched's nose twitch. This is from the old days of my Windows 95 computer themes. I found that this particular sound effect was one I never got tired of. And those themes were usually tiring. Ironically, it's paired in this clip with easily the most annoying sound on earth: Fran Drescher. And here's the Bewitched theme for the sake of it. I have it saved on my phone too.

Default Ringtone:
Theme from Match Game '76. Though I can't claim I got half of the jokes (or even knew that the cast was shitfaced) on this classic, long-running game show (with PM and '74, '75, '76, '77, etc. editions), I loved it as a kid. The theme seemed to know it was cheesy, and that's what I liked about it.

The Other Half's Ringtone: Making Our Dreams Come True by Cyndi Grecco, the theme from Laverne & Shirley. I'd like to say it was because of the song's indefatigable spirit of togetherness and can-do friendship. But it's really because we both loved the show. For a while, I had Georgie Girl by The Seekers, but it seemed like a confusing androgynous tune for my husband, so even though it's a favorite of his, it had to go.

Mom's Ringtone: Is Three Dog Night's Mama Told Me Not to Come a little too on the nose? Well, at least I'm using that instead of the theme from Halloween 2 I once used!

Sister's Ringtone: Enjoy the Silence by Depeche Mode, which was always one of her favorite bands, and Brother's Ringtone: You're Driving Me Crazy by Squirrel Nut Zippers, because, well, sometimes he does. . .

Others on my custom list are my friends Dona and Lester (Puttin' on the Ritz by Taco and Green Onions by Booker T and the MGs, respectively), Jeff and Sandy (Top of the World by The Carpenters), Denny and Kardinal (Sympathy for the Devil by The Rolling Stones and Hit Me with Your Best Shot by Pat Benatar), my boss ladies (You're the First by Barry White and I Love the Nightlife by Alicia Bridges), and my other boss (Popcorn by Hot Butter). But putting all of these clips up would wreck your browser, so here's just a couple of them.

What I've found out over several phones (and others' phones) is that you have to pick songs that you'll hear clearly, you need to edit clips that have the good part of the song right at the beginning, and you need to make sure the sound level isn't too high, or the tinny cell phone speakers will distort. Also, I've found that putting songs onto an Android phone is fairly easy, and doing the same on an iPhone is a multi-step process that taxes your patience. Oh, also that downloading sound software--even from a reputable site like is very, very risky. I was up until 3:30 am on Friday night purging the gremlins from my computer.

And with that, we'll end this week's edition, and wish you all happy Monday!

1 comment:

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