Monday, February 18, 2008

Fido is in the Doghouse

We get reminded again and again that we are Canadian. Not in the patriotic proud kind of sense, but in the sense that yet another corporation, business, government... is going to get their cut.

(If you recall, I had posted about Grey's Anatomy, and the fact that Canadians can't watch missed eps online because of "licensing"... whatever. )

Today it's ringtones. And ringtones may be a rather inocuous subject, but it's annoying just the same.

Rogers, now owner of Fido, has got the corner on ringtone downloads. The rest of the world can download ringtones... even some free ones are available out there. The world can even download from their own phone manufacturers. Sure. We can't.

So, like the clever people we are, with Larry's assistance, took a file, and uploaded it to the phone. We could listen on the MP3 player of the phone. We had a file right there on my computer, no downloading necessary. It was created by my very own better half. Sure, I could upload, but could I set it as a ringtone? Nope.

After some research into the matter, some application downloads from the Sony website, and several failed attempts, it turns out that Rogers/Fido just won't allow it. Seems they have to be specially formatted and encrypted into special format, so that their hands go deeper into my pockets.

Apparently the only way to get a ringtone is to download a Fido-approved tone, often at a charge (even the Fido website charges $3 per download, plus a 75 cent download fee) and then pay Fido the download charges per kilobit. Isn't that special?

So in the meantime, I have written to Fido, not expecting an answer, and will suffer the crappy default ringtone. Perhaps no big deal. It is a ringtone after all. But it's the principle - if I have a file, and the phone has the capability, I should be able to do it. It shouldn't be like this.

Rogers... Fido... are you listening? There are other options out there, and I do have a long memory when it's time to renew.
Contributed by Jamie Naessens

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