back to article Nokia offers $10,000 for new ring tone

Nokia is looking for a new ring tone, and offering $10,000 to anyone who can come up with something the next Dom Joly can use to annoy people. The tone can't be entirely original, it must be a variation of the familiar Nokia tones, but the company is hoping for something a little updated and hip to go with its new identity …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Are they serious?

    Oh come on Nokia. You told us that we need to cut back on expenditure. You are closing the UK to ave money and you go and offer $10k for a piece of music? You don't have anyone in the company that can do this?

    Insanity ruled by stupidity.

    1. J 3


      I suspect they did not see this as paying for music, but paying for very cheap marketing.

  2. Anonymous Coward



    1. Z 1


      They could do a variation on the Clash's "London's Burning"...

  3. big_Jim


    A tune for the Nokia shareholders meeting?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Surely, if they asked around their office, they could get a suggestion for $500 or less.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Office suggestions

      ...but not an article in El Reg.

      Remember when GoldenPalace was buying tons of ridiculous stuff at insane prices? Advertising your gambling site was illegal... and the thousands of articles about how absurd it was for them to spend that kind of money on a piece of toast with the image of Jesus on it seemed to miss the point that *they* were delivering the value from that Jesus toast purchase.

      Hey, I should do that. "Small motion simulator business will give free simulator to the first person who has its logo tattooed on that fuzzy bit between the top lip and the nose, whose name is a constant subject of trivia questions."

      Grammar nazi because the last sentence deserves one.

  5. Rich 2 Silver badge

    Must evoke chaos, despair, impending doom



    Maybe the sound of a McD burger being unwrapped?

    Ooo... ooo... - I know! - A recording of a parliamentary debate on the state of the economy?!

    1. Suburban Inmate

      Debate != tune, but....

      I was thinking along those lines.

      NuLab cabinet doing a cover of "Things Can Only Get Better"?

  6. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Could it be a remix of "Nearer, My God, to Thee"?

    You know, the same music that the string band played on the Titanic as it went down?

    Curse you, Elop.

  7. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge


    Specifically the bit at the begining with the manic laughter

  8. Anonymous Coward 101

    "Must evoke chaos, despair, impending doom"

    Something atonal is needed. Somebody blowing on a trumpet, and somebody else banging on a drum - without any apparent coordination. Ending with cymbal crash.

    Seriously, why are Nokia bothering with this rubbish? All of their marketing efforts in the last few years have been lamentable.

  9. Gio Ciampa

    "Must evoke chaos, despair, impending doom"

    I'd have thought a funeral march would be appropriate

  10. MJI Silver badge

    I completely ignore phones unless

    They go ring ring.

    People asked why didn't I answer their phone, I said it didn't ring.

    So whenever I get a new phone I have to find that tune, but a lot don't have it, so how do I answer?

    So a phone can sit there playing silly little tunes as long as it likes but will NOT be answered unless it goes ring ring.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I can't bring myself to believe

      that anybody calls you

      1. MJI Silver badge


        I mainly use real phones on a cable, they ALL have the decency to go ring ring. My mobile phone goes ring ring.

        If a mobile phone doesn't go ring ring it gets ignored.

        Why is this difficult to understand?

        If a phone wants to be answered make sure it makes the correct noises.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Just out of interest

          how much do you pay the fellow who walks in front of your automobile with the red flag and the half coconut shells?

        2. Mike Moyle

          Re silly

          If you work in the sort of offices I've worked in for the last umpty-ump years, the desk phones don't go ring ring, they go breeep breeep.

          Do you not answer those either?

    2. craigj

      Re: I completely ignore phones unless

      I completely understand, how could you be expected to know how to answer, without a ring-ring?

      But then you probably also didn't realise it was a phone, as it wasn't plugged into a phone socket in the wall, and didn't have a rotary dial that you turn round and a curly cord connecting the headset to the base unit.

      1. MJI Silver badge

        I think you will find this is all about mobiles!

        Nokia makes mobiles (at present) not proper telephones

        Workmate goes to the loo, his company mobile rings - it is ignored - they get told it was playing a tune.

        Could be a text, could be an alarm.

        So we ignore them.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I never answer a phone.

      That's what the butler is there for.

    4. Anonymous Coward


      1) You are completely free to make *your* phone "go ring ring"* if that's what you like.

      2) You shouldn't be answering *my* phone, so why do you care what my ringtone is (conversely, I don't care about your opinion of my ringtone).

      3) Customized ringtones can be extremely annoying, but are handy to differentiate which phone is ringing (granted, often not necessary in the cases where your phone is on your person, but useful when multiple people/phones are in close proximity).

      4) Ringtones tied to caller ID can also be very useful (if I'm in traffic, some calls should just go to voice mail, some callers will get answered *NOW* because if they're calling me on my cell, it is indeed urgent).

      * I am assuming you mean the novelty ringtone that has an annoying voice saying "ring.. ring ring.... ring ring ring" over and over. Why you're so tied up on that is beyond me, though.

      1. MJI Silver badge


        Company mobiles - not private ones!!!!

        It is just that nearly 40 years of using phones that funny tunes do not equal phone ringing.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    while Espoo burns

  12. mccp

    Useless titbit of information...

    The original Nokia ring tone was composed by a Spanish Guitar composer back in the day. It's an excerpt from 'Gran Vals' Francisco Tárrega. I only know this as my son played it at my sister in law's wedding last Saturday.

    You can find it here: (not my son playing btw).

    My coat's the one with a guitar pick in the pocket.

    1. M Gale and

      A little Googling and I found these mp3 and wav versions of the monophonic Nokia classic. Well, I have a 7 inch Galaxy Tab. I just HAD to set it as the ring tone.

      Well okay, no I really didn't have to. But I did anyway.

      I don't know if Nokia could ever repeat the instant success of that ringtone. Not even for $10,000.

  13. Andy Blackburn

    Francisco Tárrega

    What's wrong with Tárrega's Gran Vals? It's been the staple for long enough, I say let them keep it!


    1. Ilgaz

      2 reasons

      First, Nokia guys must think there is an amazing magic in that melody, something more like e=mc2 , simple looking but genius! It isn't. It is a cool tone but it became to this degree because Nokia itself was a cool company, inventing whatever they feel like and managing to get it to market before anyone else. Also managing to sell it, from teens to old people. Remixing that ringtone won't really help to get back its coolness since Nokia itself isn't cool anymore.

      Second is: MS is known to re-invent wheel, "fix" working things and it just shows another proof that Nokia completely lost control and focus to MS.

  14. hplasm

    How about-

    the Windows shutdown tune?

  15. William Towle

    Variant with "..., impending doom"?

    Grande Valse for the first nine notes (since they want a variation of something they've done before) and then ... tack on the theme from Jaws?

    // yeah yeah, going!

  16. Anonymous Coward

    Catchy, yet bland.

    Way back when phones didn't come with colour displays, some allowed you to input, through the numpad, your own ringtones. Hopelessly clunky, but arguably more creativity-inspiring than "personalising" through fetching (and paying for) some bit of top of the pops mass produce.

    Now you'll just have to get an mp3 of a 70s porn movie midi score run through a sid chip for that retro thing. Hm, wonder if nokia'd fall for that. It'd make a nice change from their usual, like that new font of theirs.

  17. Anonymous Coward

    What the fuck is wrong with...

    Ring, ring.

    That's what people seem to be going back to.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      My favourite

      Never had a phone, land line nor mobile which doesn't

  18. Tim #3


    In view of their tie-in with MS nowdays they ought to get Robert Fripp to create something for them. I'm sure it would be creative enough.

  19. JimC

    Something involving major sevenths...

    Or some such unresolved harmony... would make people want to pick it up to stop it without actually being as irritating as a stupid noise...

    1. Naughtyhorse


      sounds lovely all etherial and suchlike. make me look for a swirly special effect to signal a dream sequence...

      now your basic flattened 9's and flattened 5ths (devils interval) that'll do the trick...

      or anything covered by jedward of course (assuming the geneva convention is not a problem where you are - you know, UK, USA, Lybia in the old days....)

  20. hamcheeseandonion

    For zis, ve will need.....

    ....ze bottomless wetsuit and ze bucket of soapy frogs, non?...Too much was it?...OK then, let me seeeeee...aha!

    <Tomas De Torquemada sound effects dept>

    <snap of rubber glove being fitted>

    <squeek of lid being removed from Vaseline jar - buggrit...empty>

    Now Mr Smith ...if you'll just bend over please?.....this won't hurt at all...

    <extended Tarzan call, with added tremelo, length adjustable>


    alternatively, my choice for a ring tone, apart from one that goes "ring, ring", would be a discreet cough.

    Friday icon on a Tuesday?

    WTF...why not..

    1. Piro Silver badge


      Only drinking on a Friday?

      News to me..

  21. Alan IE

    Thanks Nokia...

    Now ripping the soundtrack off that youtube video as my new (android) ringtone. Everyone else seems to have the old analogue bell tone and no-one has nokia anymore!

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just get on...

    ...and release the new phones Nokia. New ringtones aren't a priority!

    1. Ilgaz

      Oh you can use them right away

      Install Windows developers tools for Windows Phone, fire up its emulator. There, future Nokia phones for you.

      What else are you expecting from people wasting a state of art framework like Apple webkit and a naturally mobile kernel as Symbian?

      You better pray they won't try to "enhance" it with people who couldn't abandon the ship.

  23. pctechxp

    May I suggest

    A remixed version of Papa Roach's Last Resort with the Nokia tune somehow included?

  24. Ilgaz

    here is an idea

    Mix windows 3.1/95/98/2K/XP/Vista/7 sounds with original nokia tune.

    That will pretty sum up the "eXPrience" poor victims will get with a Nokia winphone. Cacaphony.

  25. Paul RND*1000

    For the classical music lovers

    Chopin's Piano Sonata No. 2 in B-flat minor, Op. 35, 3rd movement ought to sum their "new identity" up rather nicely.

  26. Suburban Inmate

    My only custom ringtone ever...

    South Park movie's "Uncle Fucker" and I programmed it into my 3210 by hand.

    Icon: Well I didn't pay for it!

  27. Captain DaFt

    Evoke chaos, despair, etc, etc.

    How about my current ringtone; four blasts from a klaxon alarm?

    Then again, no. I chose that one so I could tell it was my phone ringing, and not somebody elses in the crowd.

  28. Mike Moyle

    There can be only one...

    I'd suggest John Cage's 4'33".

    I wish more people would use it.

  29. Sam Therapy

    Dead easy

    Just use whalesong samples.

    Where's me 10 grand?

  30. Mr Floppy

    Give the money to me

    1. record

    2. take a nokia phone

    3. play the Gran Vals tune and drop it in the toilet

    4. Flush

    5. Stop recording

  31. Nigel Brown


    I thought everyone used horrid little samples of R&B songs as their ringtones these days, certainly the vast majority of phones I hear do.

  32. Andus McCoatover


    That 3 'shrieks' from a violin from Psycho invokes terror in me even now. Particularly as the display could simultaneously put up El. Reg's "shower scene" still...

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    If the new Star Trek movie has taught me anything...'s that the Nokia ringtone lasts for at least another few hundred years. What gives, Nokia?

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Thanks TheRegister

    This is definitely a bit of fun. I went ahead and created a few ringtones myself... but they are nothing compared to some of the truly awesome professional-sounding tunes others have put up there!

  35. Paul Ireland
    Thumb Up

    What the hell, it seems like a bit of fun...

    Read the article today, got the guitar out, and added my own Nokia tone variation to the contest. So if you want to listen to an entry by a fellow The Register reader, the link is:

    click on # column header to order by entry, and the entry is 662 Nokia Foot Tapping Acoustic Guitar

    or the direct link is:

    Be careful with the audio volumes on that site, I cannot work out where the volume control is on their player (so some tunes might be loud).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      What the hell?

      Nice strumming but... I don't hear anything resembling the Nokia theme...?

  36. Paul Ireland
    Thumb Up

    a bit of fun

    "Nice strumming but... I don't hear anything resembling the Nokia theme...?"

    Thanks for the feedback, perhaps I made it too subtle.

    I quite like someone else's entry 665 Gran Vals Pub Gig - which isn't subtle at all!

    It's a fun contest, and a popular one. I uploaded my entry mid-afternoon yesterday and it was entry 662, mid morning today and the entry count is 1027.

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