Do you remember when you first heard a custom ringtone? Man what a concept! A few bars of your favorite tune to summon you to a waiting call. How can any bad news possibly arrive over your phone with a rintone like that?
Back to the Late 90s
So, who originally came up with the first rintone? True credit for this feat can be dealt out to a Finnish phone operator in 1998. It could be downloaded from the Internet and was a basic monotone ringtone.
A Monster is Born
It’s doubtful that this first ringtone creator had a true inkling of what he had unleashed. Sure he or she probably knew that they had something on their hands but no idea of the monster it would blow up into in such a short period of time.
Back to the 60s and 70s
In my opinion, the actual original concept of a custom ringtone can be traced back to the first custom car horns. They were popular in the 60s and 70s. You had your choice of ?oooga? or ?wolf whistle? and they were sure fire head turners.
Custom Door Bell Tones
It was the same basic concept, that allowed someone who saw their car horn as having far greater potential for individualism to put their thoughts into action. Also, back around the same time custom musical door bell tones caught on for a while.
Out With the Old and In With the New
When you rang one of these door bells you had to sit and listen for around 10-15 seconds while their custom ding-dongers did their thing. I think the digital age did away with that, because now all door bell tones are pretty much generic.
Back to 4000 BC
But perhaps the whole thing goes even further back than that. Back to ancient China when the new conquering warlord had his own set of custom ?gongs? to keep his minions mesmerized and intimidated. Or maybe it all started in the ancient stone age when the Neanderthal dude who played the tightest drum attracted all the hottest Neanderthal babes.