Ten Step Guide to iPhone Custom Ringtones in GarageBand ‘08 | iLounge Article


Ten Step Guide to iPhone Custom Ringtones in GarageBand ‘08

It was one of Apple’s worst decisions of 2007: even if you owned a song and wanted to use it as an iPhone ringtone, you couldn’t. Instead, the only custom ringtones you could play were ones sold at a ridiculous price through iTunes, or ones that required hacks and third-party applications to create. Today, Apple has fixed its prior bad call, releasing version 4.1.1 of the iLife ‘08 application GarageBand, an update that now lets you create your own custom iPhone ringtones. Now that Apple has released both GarageBand ‘08 and iTunes 7.5, which stopped trying to block ringtones created by third-party applications, iPhone ringtone creation has never been so easy. Our ten step guide walks you through the process.

1. After opening GarageBand ‘08, choose Create New Music Project.


2. You’ll be presented with a dialog box to save your ringtone. Type the name as you’d like it to appear in iTunes and on the iPhone; it’ll save you a step later.


3. Drag and drop a song you own from iTunes into the main GarageBand window. Assuming that it’s an unprotected track, such as any MP3 or an unprotected AAC file, it will take a moment to import. If it’s a protected track, such as an iTunes Store purchase, GarageBand won’t import it, letting you know with the dialog box below. (If you want, you can also delete the Grand Piano track that appears in GarageBand by hitting propeller and the delete key at the same time.)


4. If you try at this point to export the iTunes track as a ringtone, and it’s longer than 40 seconds, GarageBand will fail. You’ll get a dialog box telling you to adjust the song’s length. You do this by hitting the cycle button.


That’s the one in blue above.


5. At this point, iTunes will add a little yellow bar on top of your song. You can click in the center to slide it to your preferred 40 seconds of the song, or shorten it by clicking on one end of the bar and dragging it inward. Press the play button shown above to preview your ringtone.


6. We’ve shortened this ringtone to a better length that’s appropriate for looping on the iPhone. By default, the clip will play over and over until you answer the phone, so GarageBand does the same thing to give you a sense of how the loop will sound. Careful snipping can guarantee a better loop.


7. Then, go to the top of the screen to the Share menu, and pick Send Ringtone to iTunes. After a quick export, iTunes will have the ringtone ready for you to label.


It will initially be exported with some incorrect tag details. You could leave them the same, or click on each field in the iTunes main window and fix them.


8. Then it’s time to plug in your iPhone and sync the new ringtone. Once you’ve selected the iPhone in your Sources list, and the Ringtone tab, you can select all of your ringtones, or just the custom one you’ve created. Then hit Sync.


9. Voila! The custom ringtone is found under the Settings > Sounds menu of the iPhone under Ringtone. Select it.

10. Call your iPhone. You’ll hear the ringtone for every caller—unless you set individual ringtones for callers using the Contacts list, Ringtone option. You’ll find your custom ringtone there, as well; you can create different ringtones for different callers.

We’re glad that Apple did the right thing by supporting user-created custom ringtone creation for the iPhone: the earlier attempt to force consumers to pay over and over again to listen to their songs hurt iPhone users, and ultimately, Apple’s reputation as a progressive hardware maker and retailer of music. Making ringtone creation this easy with GarageBand ‘08 helps the iPhone come even closer to the product everyone hoped it would be.

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could you tell me, how i can manually fade my ringtone in garageband?
automatically it doesn’t work. a friend did it manually, but i don’t know how…..

Posted by Jacqueline in East Amherst, NY, USA on September 7, 2008 at 8:33 PM (CDT)


There is a set of five buttons at the beginning of the track. Click the little pointing triangle to bring up track automation.  About a half-second or so into the beginning of the track, click the volume line to create an edit point, than click and drag the beginning of the volume line down to zero volume.  Do the same at the end of the loop to create a fade out.

Posted by Ken M in East Amherst, NY, USA on September 17, 2008 at 5:18 AM (CDT)


I have the current version of garageband, itunes and iphone software, but there is no share menu for me to choose.  What do I do??

Posted by KBR in East Amherst, NY, USA on November 2, 2008 at 11:49 AM (CST)


The music seems fine when I’m messing around with it in Garageband, but once I send it to iTunes and play it back it seems to have taken out all the bass.  What’s going on?

Posted by Dave in East Amherst, NY, USA on June 28, 2009 at 8:57 PM (CDT)


One step is out of sequence in the screenshots above. After importing a song, you won’t get told to adjust length until after you first choose Share>Send Ringtone to iTunes.

Click on “Adjust”, then choose the Share>Send Ringtone to iTunes command a second time to actually send the adjusted loop to iTunes.

Posted by NBR in East Amherst, NY, USA on July 11, 2009 at 1:30 PM (CDT)


I am trying to do this in GarageBand 08, version 4.1 and under the Share Menu, They don’t list “Share Ringtone to iTunes” as an option.

Is this something else that Apple has taken away???

Posted by Rick in East Amherst, NY, USA on September 16, 2009 at 3:48 PM (CDT)


The ringtones made on Garageband and exported to the Iphone are so distorted they’re not worth having. Is there a fix for this or is it Apple’s way of convincing people to just purchase them?

Posted by Andrew in East Amherst, NY, USA on October 15, 2009 at 12:25 PM (CDT)


Thanks! This worked great!

Posted by Amanda in East Amherst, NY, USA on December 26, 2009 at 11:45 PM (CST)


Creating ringtones in Garageband worked seamlessly, and I am a newbie. However, when the ringtone plays on the iphone, even with the iphone volume all the way up, I can barely here the phone ring. This is with each ringtone I have created. Any way to control the volume from the front end, thru itunes, to the phone?

Posted by Rena in East Amherst, NY, USA on January 10, 2010 at 12:04 PM (CST)


When I click the “Sync Tones” box, I get a dialog box that asks if I am sure I want to sync because all songs, movies, and tv shows will be erased from my iPhone if I proceed.  Help!

Posted by Molly in East Amherst, NY, USA on May 19, 2012 at 10:05 PM (CDT)

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