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Creating Customized iPhone Ringtones

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011 by | Filed Under: Hardware & Peripherals, Multimedia

The iPhone is easily the most popular smartphone on the market, but the built in ringtones are a little trite. Luckily, creating custom ringtones for the iPhone isn’t only easy, but quick.

Start by going into iTunes and picking out a song. When choosing, keep a couple guidelines in mind. It’s very important to choose a song that’s loud enough to be heard. It’s also very important to use a song that is DRM (Digital Rights Management) free. DRM free songs are ones that you imported from a CD, or downloaded from a music service such as Amazon Mp3. Songs from iTunes are not DRM free, and will not work.


With your song selected, right-click on it and choose the Create AAC Version option. This will create a second version of the song in iTunes.

Listen to the song and determine where you would like your ringtone to begin and end. It’s a good idea to write this down with pencil and paper, as it may be tough to memorize.


Right-click on the AAC version of the song, and choose Get Info from the drop down menu.


Select the Options tab on the top of the screen. The information we’re interested in is the start and stop time of the song. Using the numbers you wrote down, enter in the start and stop time of your ringtone. Select OK when you are done.

To continue, you’ll need to locate the file on your computer. The easiest way to do this, is to bring it onto your desktop. Right-click the file, and click Get Info.

To make your computer recognize the file as a ringtone, you’ll need to change the extension. Currently, the extension is .m4a, which the computer recognizes as an AAC file. Change the extension from .m4a to .m4r.

Now double click on the song, and it will immediately sort it into your Ringtones folder in iTunes.

Connect your iPhone to your computer, and open up the phone’s Ringtones tab. Click the button to sync ringtones.


Now on your iPhone, open up your Settings App, and go to the Sounds option.


Go to the Ringtone menu, and select your new ringtone.


~Michael Rabalais

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