Creating iPhone ringtones
Ask iLounge offers readers the opportunity to get answers to their iPod-, iPhone-, iPad-, iTunes-, or Apple TV-related questions from a member of the iLounge editorial team. We'll answer several questions here each week, and of course, you can always get help with more immediate concerns from the iLounge Discussion Forums. Submit your questions for consideration using our Ask iLounge Submit Form. We reserve the right to edit questions for grammar, spelling, and length.
Q: I just purchased an iPhone 3G. The first thing I did was download songs from iTunes on my PC to my phone. Is there a way to use my downloaded songs in my phone for ringtones?
A: The songs that are stored on your iPhone in the actual “iPod” section cannot be directly used as ringtones, however you can turn these tracks into ringtones on your computer and then sync them back to your iPhone’s “Ringtones” section via iTunes.
Note that in order to do this with purchased music you will have to be using DRM-free tracks from the iTunes Store. “iTunes Plus” tracks purchased prior to April 2009 and all tracks purchased since then are DRM-free. You can check this in iTunes by highlighting the track and choosing File, Get Info from the iTunes menu. The “Summary” tab will indicate whether the track is a “Protected AAC File” or “Purchased AAC File.” Only purchased AAC files can be converted into ringtones.
There are a number of third-party tools that you can actually use to create ringtones, including the free MakeiPhoneRingtone for Mac users and Ringtone Expressions (formerly iPhoneRingToneMaker) for Windows users. Mac users can also use GarageBand to create ringtones.
Note that ringtones are actually just AAC format audio files that are 40 seconds or less in length and have an M4R extension. Therefore, to convert a track into a ringtone in iTunes you simply need to create a trimmed AAC version of your song, rename it to have an M4R extension, and then reimport it back into iTunes. You can do all of this directly within iTunes.
To create a trimmed version of a track, first pick a section less than 40 seconds in length that you want to turn into a ringtone. Note the start and stop times within the track. Once you’ve done this, select the track and choose Get Info from the File menu in iTunes. When the track properties window appears, choose the “Options” tab.
From here, you can specify a start time and stop time for your track. Specify the start and stop times that you noted earlier, making sure that the total is less than 40 seconds in length, and then click OK. This will tell iTunes to only play this section of the track, but these are merely markers at this point. To actually create the shortened version you need to tell iTunes to convert it to a new file. To do this, ensure the track is still selected and choose Create AAC Version from the Advanced menu in iTunes.
Note that if you see “Create MP3 Version” on the Advanced menu instead, then you will need to go back into your iTunes preferences and set your default import format to use AAC. MP3 ringtones are not supported on the iPhone.
Once iTunes has created the new version of your track, you can simply drag-and-drop it onto your Windows or Mac Desktop to make a copy of the file. From there, rename the file to change the extension from .M4A to .M4R and then reimport it back into iTunes. It should appear under the “Ringtones” section and you can then sync it to your iPhone using the “Ringtones” tab under your iPhone settings in iTunes.
- Will removing a credit card from Safari also remove it from Apple Pay?
- Can I mute Handoff calls coming into my Mac from my iPhone?
- How do I keep my iPhone calls from ringing on my Mac?
- Why doesn’t Traffic show up on my Today Notifications Screen?
- Why doesn’t my iPhone reconnect to Wi-Fi after I turn it on?
- Why can’t I see the iPad-style landscape view on my iPhone 6 Plus?
- Apple files lawsuit accusing Qualcomm of withholding patent royalties
- Apple releases updated iOS Developer Design Resources
- Apple’s exclusive audiobook deal with Audible ends in Europe following EU antitrust scrutiny
- Nintendo officially announces Fire Emblem Heroes for iOS, coming Feb. 2
- Rumor: Apple working on second-generation Apple Pencil
- GarageBand 2.2 adds Logic Pro X integration, Alchemy synth, Multi-Take Recording
- FTC files complaint against Qualcomm citing royalty deal with Apple
- India mulling manufacturing regulation changes which could woo Apple
- Apple Music creative team discusses the service’s exclusives, future
- Apple raising UK App Store prices by more than 25 percent
- Revogi Smart Lightbulb, Smart Lightstrip, Smart Candle + Smart Meter Plug
- Audeze iSine10 In-Ear Headphones
- MOCACARE MOCACuff Connected Blood Pressure Monitor
- Apple AirPods
- Elgato Eve Motion
- Olloclip Core Lens Set for iPhone 7/7 Plus
- Logitech Pop Home Switch Starter Pack
- Elgato Eve Light Switch
- iHome iPLWBT5 Docking Clock Radio for iPhone and Apple Watch
- Brydge 12.9 iPad Pro Keyboard
- Top Five: The Best Products for Building a Smart Home with HomeKit
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of watchOS 3
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 10
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 10
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Photos gets Advanced Computer Vision
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Music app delivers ‘clarity and simplicity’
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Maps gets a major redesign
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 shakes up the user experience
- Inside the betas: watchOS 3 promises a real speed boost
- Inside the betas: A sneak peek at what’s new in tvOS 10