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Monday, May 21, 2001
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Birdsongs hit mobile phone users

MOVE over Ricky Martin and Britney Spears, mobile phone aficionados in Finland have spotted a new sound to groove to birdsong.

Birdlife Finland, an association for bird lovers, last month launched bird songs that can be downloaded to mobile phones as ringing tunes and have had 20,000 mobile phone users purchasing the various bird sounds.

"I wanted to get a personal tune in my phone," Raimo Kurki, sales manager at Mobile Avenue, the firm that produces the tunes for Birdlife Finland, told Reuters. "That is why I started to research whether bird singing would be possible to realise."

Each tune costs five Finnish markka ($0.74) to download from the site www.birdlife.fi, with one-fifth of that going towards wild bird protection.

Currently the most popular ringing tune is finch, with newcomer nightingale in a strong second place. Meanwhile, lilting tunes set to the numbers of pop stars have found a new way to reach the audience.

 


It is happening in Europe and Asia where the cell phone usage is more than the USA and specialised ring tones is becoming a big business.

Such cell phone rings are becoming so common that bus shelters, train coaches and movie halls have started resembling the TV room. In Scandinavian countries, CD album covers are providing Web addresses and telephone numbers from where listeners can buy the ring tones for each song on the record.

Though there are those slick operators who usually sell ring tones without authorisation yet most dealers pay licence fee to the singer for each tone sold.

When in London call a telephone number and pick the song you want; the tone is then automatically sent to your phone. The price that may vary from 50 cents to $ 3.50 is then added to the monthly phone bill. Another approach is to go to a Web site, such as www.mobiletones.com, listen to the songs available, pick one and enter the phone number and a credit card number. Reuters

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