Saturday, January 10, 2009

Apple iPhone: Personal Ringtones, How To?

Amazon has recently started to sell digital music on their site, and I must say at very competitive prices. Katy Perry's 12-song album for just $5.00 and no damn tax required? I'll take it.

At the same time Apple went off to sell ringtones for its own iPhone, naturally.

But wait a minute, this is MY phone and I've ALWAYS been able to personalize MY phone no matter what make, brand, and model. On the Nokia Communicators (have own the whole genre from the 9110, 9210i, and 9500) it was super easy to make your own. For the O2 Xphone (manufactured by HTC running Windows Mobile) my callers came up not just as tones but VIDEOS.

My instructions are for the MacBook version of iTunes but you should have no problem doing it on Windows or however. The most important thing is that file encoding should be AAC and none other.

Creation Steps:
1. Choose the track of your liking and choose Get Info with shortcut keys Control-Mouse click
2. Go to the Options tab and pick your Start Time and Stop Time that corresponds to 30-seconds of your favorite song segment; click on OK
3. Back in the song selection screen once more shortcut keys Control-Mouse click and choose Create AAC Version
4. One more in the song selection screen once more shortcut keys Control-Mouse click and choose Show in Finder
5. Rename the file extension (turn on this feature in your View Properties if you don't see it) from .m4a to .m4r

In the same open folder you can simply drag the file into the Ringtones section of iTunes, sync your iPhone, and you're done.

Optionally for cleanup you can go ahead and delete the library record for the old .m4a file (which as you remember doesn't exist anymore since it was renamed).

Have fun.


  1. I am running Mac OS X 10.5.8 and when I ctrl click on the song, which is the same as right click, (after having made my selection) the "Convert selection to AAC" or "Create AAC version" do not appear in the pop-up menu. What can I do ? Marie

  2. Hmm, its possible that your file is already AAC. If I recall its actually the default in some installations, I usually change my rip settings to MP3 every time to make it compatible with my other gadgets. So try going ahead with the rest of the instructions.