Radiohead was the first band to gain recognition for applying a ‘pay what you want’ distribution model to an album and despite its resounding success, not many bands have followed suit. Perhaps it was the hype that made their little experiment a success. A handful of bands have given it a shot since then but they hardly gained the media blitz enjoyed by Radiohead and results have been mixed. Surely this distribution model has its place somewhere however, right? RCP Tones, a ringtone maker we’ve covered before here on BGR when discussing our deep unrelenting hatred of lame ringtones, is giving ‘pay what you want’ a go with one of its recent ringtone album releases, Electronic Ringtones Volume 1. The album consists of 45 original studio-quality ringtones (in iPhone and standard MP3 format), none of which will cause people to give you the stink eye when your phone goes off in line at the supermarket. RCP allows you to sample several tones in the pack and if you like what you hear, the album is yours at any price you see fit – even if that price is $0. Unlike the typical ‘pay what you want’ model however, RCP caps the price at $8.99 so even if your father is the Monopoly guy and you wipe caviar from the corners of your mouth with $100 bills, the most you can pay is $8.99. What do you guys think? Does ‘pay what you want’ have a home in ringtone sales? We think Sony should give it a try with the PS3… Its revenue can’t get much worse, can it?
So the iPhone was first released about 15 months ago. We’re now on the second generation of the handset and we can pretty much all agree that the iPhone 3G is still lacking in many of the areas where the original fell short. Yes, thankfully the iPhone 3G received some much needed love from third-party developers, UMTS, GPS and Exchange support but areas that are seemingly minor details are still lacking. Where is the MMS support? Where is the copy / paste? Forget all that. Perhaps the most easily remedied of all minor flaws in the iPhone and iPhone 3G is the ringtone selection. Since the iPhone began supporting Exchange, there has been a lot of talk with regards to the iPhone as a “business device”. Sorry fellas, but it’s going to be hard for people to take someone seriously when bongo drums or submarine alarms begin erupting from a suit pocket. Sure you can dig around through your iTunes library and pay a conversion fee but are Sir Mixalot and Justin Timberlake really any better? Thankfully your buddies at BGR have done all the hard work for you. You can spend a couple of hours digging through the iTunes Store – or you can check out a handful of professional-quality “normal” ringtones put together especially for the iPhone by RCP Tones. Some are experimental and unique, some are traditional and professional and some are mellow and calming. All of them however, are leaps and bounds better than blues riffs and air horns. Our advice? Check out their tones and take your calls in public with some dignity. You can always switch it up and jam to Baby Got Back on the weekends. Hit the read link to check out the entire catalog along with a handful of free ringtones only for BGR readers.