How to bung your own ringtones on the iPhone, with just iTunes… Works in iTunes 9 / 2010.

14 02.Aug.2010
(1) Pick the song you want.

I’ve had a few people ask me this, so I thought I’d write it up. I was supposed to do this a few days ago, but I forgot all about it until watching the film “I love you, man” on the telly box. The main bloke has the default iPhone ringtone, which means when-ever his phone goes off, I turn to my phone and be all like “Oh man, someone loves me and wishes to contact me”, alas, no love for me yet. I can’t take the rollercoaster ride of emotion on this one, so instead I’m going to change my ringtone for different groups of people, such as “Hawt Chicks Who Dig Me”, “Clients who want to give me money”, “Do Not Ignore This Call*”, everyone else… oh’, yeah’, Ma’ gets her own one too.

I’m on an Apple computer, so things might look a bit different to those of you in Windowsvile, but the menus and stuff are more or less the same. One of the problems with these is a quick Google on “Custom Ringtones iPhone” shows up loads of apps, and I’m sure a lot of them are great, but I’ve seen a few flooded with spyware and crap like that. Don’t get me started on that.

Ok, let’s get on with it. Setting up the ringtone.

  • First up, each ringtone needs to be 40 seconds or less, any more and it won’t work. Find the first song you want to do, and find the start time and end time (a lot of time you’ll want the chorus, which means you don’t want to start from the beginning). Play the song and you’ll see the time on where to start and end at the top where it’s playing. For my first one, I’m going to do Dizzee Rascal’s song “Sirens”, for calls that I shouldn’t ignore. I want to start at 58 seconds into the song, and end at 1m17s.
  • Right click on the song, and go to ‘Get Info’, then the tab ‘Options’, and enter the start and end time, then click OK. Just to make sure you’ve done it right, try playing the song again by double clicking on it, if everything went right, you’ll have the ringtone you want.
  • Right click on the file and go to the ‘Create AAC’ option, this’ll make a copy of the song but only the timeframe that you set before. Right click on this, go to ‘Get info’ again, go to the ‘Summary’ tab, and you’ll see where the file is stored. Right click on this and you can go to “Show in finder” (or I think if you’re in windows, ‘show in explorer’).
  • Now you want to rename the file, make sure you can see the extensions (the bit after the ‘.’, so in this case, it says ’03 Sirens.m4a’), Change it from a ‘m4a’ to an ‘m4r’. You’ll get a warning about changing the file type, click ‘ok’ on that. Now you want to copy this into iTune’s default Ringtones directory (in windows it’s “c:Documents and Settings[your username]My DocumentsMy MusiciTunesiTunes MediaRingtones”… in OSX it’s “Macintosh HD/Users/[user name]/Music/iTunes/itunes Media/Ringtones”). Once you’ve copied it there, you can import it into itunes by just dragging the file we’ve created into it; Wallah ! It’s in the Ringtone’s section now in your library. Just now while testing it out, iTunes, or OSX, kept on moving the file back into the other place, don’t know why or how, but I found if I copy rather than move the file, it doesn’t do that.
  • Now we want to bung this file back into iTunes, so click on File at the top, and ‘Add To Library’, and find the file.

Now let’s get that iPhone set up !.

  • Now it’s a simple case of going to your Ringtones section in your library in iTunes, plugging in your iPhone (if you haven’t already) and dragging the ringtone onto your iPhone.
  • You can assign each contact a different ringtone, go to your Contacts section on your iPhone, edit it, click on Ringtone and select the one you want =)
  • To edit the default one for everybody, go into ‘Settings’, ‘sounds’, ‘ringtone’, select the one you want =)
  • (1) Pick the song you want.

    (1) Pick the song you want.


    (2) Get the start and end time for your ringtone (less than 40 secs)

    (2) Get the start and end time for your ringtone (less than 40 secs)


    (3) Right click on the file and go 'Get Info', set the times in the 'options' tab.

    (3) Right click on the file and go 'Get Info', set the times in the 'options' tab.


    (4) Create ACC version

    (4) Create ACC version


    (5) In the summery tab of Get Info, you can right-click on path and 'Show In Finder/Explorer'

    (5) In the summery tab of Get Info, you can right-click on path and 'Show In Finder/Explorer'


    (6) Change the extention to .m4r instead of .m4a

    (6) Change the extention to .m4r instead of .m4a


    (7) Move it to your iTune's Ringtone folder

    (7) Move it to your iTune's Ringtone folder


    (8) Add the ringtone into your iTunes libery, it'll appear in the Ringtones section.

    (8) Add the ringtone into your iTunes libery, it'll appear in the Ringtones section.


    (9) Copy it over to your iPhone

    (9) Copy it over to your iPhone


    On your iphone - Go to Contacts

    On your iphone - Go to Contacts


    Click on the + next to where it says 'ringtone' on the contact you want to edit.

    Click on the + next to where it says 'ringtone' on the contact you want to edit.


    Select the ringtone you want.

    Select the ringtone you want.


    All done !

    All done !

    * Yes, Debs, you’re on this list =P

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