In my digital entertainment column this week, I wrote about the niche application of DIYtones -- or "do-it-yourself" ringtones.

There's something to be said about letting music fans mix their own tones. It's not for everybody, but people with a real passion for music would likely jump at the chance to hand-pick the 30-second clip of their favorite song themselves.

For instance, my ringtone is "Spoonman" by Soundgarden. The carrier-purchased version of the ringtone starts with Chris Cornell singing the chorus and ends with a few riffs of the guitar jam. Now what I'd really like is just the guitar bit.

So I'm checking out the various DIYtone sites to clip in on my own, like mobile17.com, Xingtone, ToneThis and funformobile.com. I'm sure there are more, but these give you the basic idea.

I think every artist Web site should include some kind of DIYtone technology to let their uber-fans customize their ringtone. They could charge more for these tones, and they'd not have to share quite so much of the revenue split with the mobile operators.

Even the content folks are into it. Check out the blog posting by MTV's SVP of Mobile Media Greg Clayman. And for those curious about Steve Jobs' "angelic tinkling" tone, you can find it here.

Until next week...

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

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