July 28, 2008

ZipClip: Ding, dong, the ringtone is dead


The most interesting person I met at the Stanford Summit last week was Turkish-born Babur Ozen, whose business card says he’s the "boss" of ZipClip, which has offices in Palo Alto, Calif.

Babur gave me and Valerie Cunningham a test drive of the free service. ZipClip lets you add video, images or music from the open Web to your cell phone or mobile device.Above is Babur downloading a photo of Valerie and Steve Gillmor from my Flickr page to his phone.

Ding, dong, ringtone sales are doomed

I’ve long been put off by the locked-down, closed, proprietary devices put out by the big mobile carriers. It’s been difficult or impossible to swap photos or music clips with your friends, or even to download them from your own site. ZipClip changes the equation by routing around the carriers. (Other services may do the same things ZipClip, but I’m not familiar with them.)

I asked Ozen about sales of ringtones, now a billion-dollar marketplace. "That’s dead," he declared briskly.

Glad to hear it. I still want a ringtone for my phone, but I want to choose my tone from my musical collection.

Babur Ozen

It couldn’t be easier. Just add ZipClip as an add-on to your browser. Then Just right-click your mouse while browsing the web. Videos, photos, images and text are sent instantly to your phone. That’s it! No fiddling with controls or software.

I’ll be spending a lot of time with ZipClip and my Nokia N-series phones and the iPhone 3G I plan to get next month.

JD Lasica, founder of Socialmedia.biz, is now co-founder of the cruise discovery engine Cruiseable. See his About page, contact JD or follow him on Twitter or Google Plus.

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