Amazing – who’d ‘a thought that ringtones would be this sort of a driver? Should make one shudder to think what else we might miss out on if incumbents get to set the rules: Rapper’s New Single Features Ringtone Innovation [pdf]

The new CD single “Baby” from rapper Fabolous allows UK consumers to choose which part of the song they want to use as a mobile phone ringtone, a feature that Warner Music said on Thursday was a first for the industry.

Until now, the 30-second ringtone clips packaged with singles have been pre-determined by record companies.

The Fabolous single from Warner’s Atlantic Records, which includes built-in software that lets listeners isolate any part of the song and load it onto their phones, retails for 3.99 pounds ($7.51), the same price as other CD singles.

“It’s the next step for music lovers,” said Crispin Futrille, whose company Bounce supplied Warner with the technology. “Ultimately the idea is to get this included on all CDs.”