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STREET LEVEL

Sounding a ring tone retreat

March 04, 2007|Mayrav Saar

HEAR that? "Doo-doo-da. Doo-doo-da." The simple, completely identifiable cellphone ring tone?

Of course you do.

It's everywhere. At Trader Joe's. At Easton Gym. "Doo-doo-da. Doo-doo-da." The latest must-have ring tone is the one that came with your phone.

Downloadable tones "are cool for about two calls and then you're just the person with the loud ring tone," said Jessica Payne, 26, who stopped irritating her downtown co-workers when she switched from the "Bonanza" theme to vibrate.

L.A. is ringing with the boring sound of standard-issue, or "native," ring tones -- a trend in tune with the rest of the nation, according to mobile research firm M:Metrics. People who once downloaded ring tones by the dozen say they're skipping those tinny tunes to save money, save time and save themselves from embarrassment.

"I used to have four or five U2 ring tones," said Greg Imler, 28, who opted for a staid ring recently, after broadcasting "Elevation" from his pocket at a Mid-Wilshire bookstore. "There were three other people in the small foreign language aisle, and they all diverted their attention to me. It was too much attention I didn't want."

What these basic tones lack in distinction they offer in discretion.

"Doo-doo-da. Doo-doo-da."

Are you gonna get that?

*

-- Mayrav Saar

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