Apple Users: Make Your Own Ringtones

Variety is the spice of life, right? So, because of this, in this article I will show you how to make your own ringtones, using ONLY iTunes, for your iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

Worth noting is that once you have correctly made the ringtone, it will be usable on your iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

Making your own ringtone is done in 3 main steps:

  1. Specify time
  2. Duplicate
  3. Sync

For this you will need the following:

  • A computer with iTunes installed
  • iTunes Open

If you don’t have iTunes on your PC, you can download it by clicking here.

*Please note that throughout the steps below, you can click on the image to enlarge the photo, if needed.

Step 1

Once you have opened iTunes, find the song you want to use as a ringtone. Then find the section of the song you want to use as the ringtone and make a note of the start and stop time. This will make more sense in Step 3. If you are unsure, check Step 3 to see what I mean and then make a note of the time.

*NOTE: An iPhone ringtone can’t be longer than 40 seconds, so keep that in mind when choosing the section of the song you want to use and when choosing the start and stop times…

Right click on the song you want to use and select “Get Info”:

Right-Click and Select "Get Info"

Right-Click and Select “Get Info”

Step 2

Once you have clicked on “Get Info”, click on the “Options” Tab:

Click on The Options Tab

Click on The Options Tab

Step 3

Now that you are on the song “Options” tab, tick the boxes next to the “Start Time” and “Stop Time” and fill in the start time and stop times of the section of the song you want to use. It should look something like this:

Specify Start And Stop Times

Specify Start And Stop Times

Once you have done this, click on “OK”

Step 4

To complete step 4, make sure your import settings are set to “AAC” to make the next steps a bit easier… To do this, click on “Edit”, go to “Preferences”, next click “Import Settings”, click on the drop down menu next to “Import Using” and choose “AAC Encoder”. Click on the drop down menu next to “Setting” and choose “Custom” if you want to set a higher song quality setting(This is so that the song sounds clearer when the ringtone plays). Once you have clicked on “Custom”, a window will open, Click on the drop down menu next to “Stereo Bit Rate” and choose “320 kbps”. Click on “OK” on the 3 open windows to save the settings. If this sounds a bit tricky, please see the article “What Everybody Ought to Know About Music Formats and Sound Quality” and read the steps on how to change to MP3, but choose AAC instead.

Right, back to the action…

Right click on the song you have just specified the start and stop times for, and select “Create AAC Version”:

Create AAC Version

Create AAC Version

Once you have done that, you will see the song appear in your library, and it’s duration will only be as long as the time span between the start and stop times you specified:

New File With Shorter Time

New File With Shorter Time

*IMPORTANT: After you see this new file appear, be sure to go back to the song you used(The one you specified the start and stop times for) and un-tick the “Start Time” and “Stop Time” to make sure it plays correctly again in the next time you listen to it!

Step 5

Minimize other open windows/programs running so that you can see your desktop, then make the iTunes window smaller so that you can see part of the desktop or something similar to how I have done in the picture below. Then click and drag new file you want to use as the ringtone onto the desktop to make a copy of the song.

Drag File To Desktop to Duplicate

Drag File To Desktop to Duplicate

After doing this, right-click on the song in your iTunes library and delete it. If prompted to remove to recycle bin, select “Yes”. If you don’t do this, iTunes won’t recognise the new file you will be adding into your iTunes Library as a tone.

Step 6

Right, so here the “conversion” of the file from a format iTunes picks up as a song, to a file type that iTunes picks up as ringtone is going to happen.

As I am using a Windows Computer, the next step is slightly more complex than that of someone using a Mac…

If you are also using a Windows PC, you will first need to un-tick the option to “Hide extensions for known file types”… The easiest way to do this, is to open Control Panel, find “Folder Options”, Click on the view tab, and un-tick “Hide extensions for known file types”. The screen to do so, should look something like this…

Untick Hide Known Extensions

Un-tick Hide Known Extensions

For more info on this, please see read this article on the Microsoft website.

Once you have done that, you will notice on the file you dragged onto your desktop that it will now say the song name or however it was saved, then ” .m4a ” at the end… For example songname.m4a

Right click on the file that is now on your desktop, and select “Rename”. Change the “a” in ” .m4a” to a “r” so so so that it reads songname.m4r:

7. Pre-Ringtone Format, Replace "a" With "r"

7. Pre-Ringtone Format, Replace “a” With “r”

After doing that, press enter or click anywhere on your screen. You will be prompted to confirm that you want to change the fine type, click “Yes”:

Accept to Change File Type

Accept to Change File Type

The song file name should look something like this:

Now Ringtone Format

Now Ringtone Format

Step 7

Double click on the, now ringtone format, file that is on your desktop, so that it opens in iTunes. Once you have done so, you will see it appear in the “Tones” section under “Library” in iTunes:

Song Added to iTunes

Song Added to iTunes

Now all you have to do is plug in your iDevice, make sure tones are set to sync and you’ll have a new, custom-made tone to play when you get a call, text, new voicemail, new email, for when your email was sent, a new Tweet, calendar alert or reminder alert.

ALSO REMEMBER: If you haven’t done so yet, un-tick the start and stop times for the original song you used to make the new tone. If you are unsure how, refer to step 2 and 3. Also, refer back to step 6, if needed, and re-tick the “Hide extensions for known file types” option to restore your desktop and file names as before and prevent any accidental file type changes in the future. Or, you may choose to leave the setting as is…

Always remember, give a jackass an education and you’ll have a smartass!

Signing out.

G™

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