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Nokia is offering $10,000 to anyone who can create a new ringtone to replace the iconic Nokia Tune, which has been annoying movie theater-goers since 1994.

 

To accompany its new Microsoft operating system, Nokia has offered up $10,000 to the person who can create an iconic new jingle to serve as the handset maker’s next go-to ringtone. In addition to the cash prize, Nokia says the winner of the “Nokia Tune Remake” contest will also have the honor of having their ringtone heard “over one billion times a day.”

Kicked off yesterday, September 5, the contest gives jingle-makers until October 5 to submit their ringtone to nokiatune.audiodraft.com. Ringtones must not exceed 30 seconds in length. While Nokia provides a “Nokia Tune Remix Kit,” which contains past versions of the classic “Nokia Tune,” the company says that this “is not simply a remix competition.” Entrants “are welcome to create a truly new and unique version. Boy choirs, ukuleles, trash cans, opera singers, steel drums, finger pianos, dusty synthesizers… anything and everything can be used to create an interesting version of the Nokia Tune,” according to the contest website.

On October 5, ten finalists will be selected. Five of those will be chosen by public vote (those who get the most “Likes” on their ringtone); the other five will be chosen by a “professional jury” from Nokia and its partner, AudioDraft.

“The winning tune will be selected by the jury featuring some of the most respected names in the audio branding industry,” says the contest overview. “An overall winner and five runner-ups will be selected on 7th October 2011.”

The five runner-ups will receive a cash prize of $1,000, and have their ringtone available for download from the Ovi Store. The grand prize winner will receive $10,000 cash, and have their ringtone pre-loaded in more than 100 million Nokia devices, and be available for free from the Ovi Store.

If you’re interested in entering, it’s obviously better to get in sooner rather than later, as you’ll have more time to get public votes on your ringtone. As of this writing 184 ringtones have been submitted, and the contest is less than 24 hours old.

Just remember, whatever you create, the rest of us may have to hear it over and over, so try to not make something that immediately elicits feelings of violent rage. (A task so many ringtone makers before you have utterly failed.) Believe us, the world will thank you.

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