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March 22, 2006 at 4:27 PM

Live from “American Idol”

Bellevue-based InfoSpace said today that it partnered with Cingular Wireless to provide ringtones based on “American Idol” performances hours after they’re on TV.

Cingular is the carrier that allows users to vote for their favorite contestants by text message. Starting tomorrow, Live Idol Ringtones will be become available based on tonight’s performance.

Typically, ringtones take months to go from recording studio to mobile. In this case, InfoSpace is turning them over in one night. As if that weren’t fast enough, Cingular customers can reserve the ringtones the night of and then be sent them the next day when they become available.

“We’re pleased to be able to partner with Cingular and Fox to offer ‘American Idol’ fans virtually immediate gratification,” said Stephen Davis, InfoSpace’s president of mobile and online media. “This process is not as simple as it may sound. Our content team deals with up to 10 individual files per tone to deliver one Live Idol Ringtone.”

InfoSpace will produce the ringtones, which cost $2.50 each, for the rest of the season and for the show’s finale in May. For more information on how to download tones, go to the Cingular Web site.

Jim Voelker, InfoSpace’s chief executive, said he’s wondering what kind of response a popular show like “American Idol” will generate. “I’m excited about tonight,” he said.

After all, Cingular predicted at the beginning of the season that its roughly 54 million subscribers were going to vote in record numbers — topping the 41.5 million text messages recorded in last year’s season.

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