Indian Americans can now download Bollywood polyphonic ringtones from MastTones:
The user can browse and preview hundreds of Indian songs online at www.Masttones.com, and after deciding which song he wants, order it through his handset at prices ranging from $1.99 per song. Currently, the service is available through Verizon (on "Get It Now" enabled phones), MetroPCS and U.S. Cellular, and on several models of phones from Kyocera, Motorola, LG, Audiovox and Samsung.
Late adoption of Bollywood ringtones for US Indian consumers:
Nimish Shrivastava, CEO of eMbience, the software developing company that produces Masttones, explained why it's taken so long for the emergence of Indian ringtones in the U.S., years after Asian customers in Britain have adopted Indian ringtones there.
"Carriers here have a hard time understanding the dynamics of minority groups," he told India-West from his office in San Diego. "But some of them got it right away, and they're very gung-ho."
Is the service up to the mark?
First is the sound quality. The tones are polyphonic only in the strictest sense of the word; most of the arrangements are very minimalistic, and sound as if they were played with programmed chords and single-hand melody fingering (to be fair, the sound quality for most American ringtones is not much better).
Secondly (on my Verizon Motorola T720, anyway), I had to agree to a $1.99 song charge before being allowed to download the Masttones application; other ringtone apps I've used let me download the app and preview songs before being charged.
Masttones can become an branded service for Indian consumers in the World and can expand their service portfolio by offering Bollywood-themed wallpapers, screensavers, skins, animations, movie trailers, games. Future enhanced services could include Mastertones, ringback tone services, video ringtones and screen savers.