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Making Your Custom iPhone Ringtone – With iTunes

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Ariz Suban
Ariz Suban Jul 24, 2020

iPhones come with a handful of pre-installed ringtones, but very few hit the sweet spot. What if you came across another excellent tone that you have to have as your ringtone? Why should you hold back Let’s see how you can make ringtones on iTunes.  

How to set a song as your ringtone:

To create and set your custom iPhone ringtones in iTunes, you need to have iTunes, a song in your mind and the will to follow instructions without asking relevant questions (Yes, especially the last part). Now, if you have all the required ingredients, we shall proceed to your customized iTunes ringtone.

Step 1: Drop the selected song(s) into iTunes. 

If you already have a cropped version of the song that you want to use as a ringtone, skip straight to Step 3.

Drag the song(s) of your choice into the iTunes.

Step 2: Set time constraints for your song (You do not want the complete song as a ringtone, do you?)

 Once you have the song in your iTunes bowl, right-click the song, go to song info, toggle the options tab and set the time limits. (Advisable for a max of 30 seconds. Any longer and the ringtone gets boring and incomplete)

Select Song -> Right Click to Song Info -> Options -> Start/Stop

Step 3: Convert file to AAC

 You’ll now have to convert the possibly .mp3 file to a .m4a file, i.e. an Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) format.  To do this, click on the File tab on the top of the iTunes screen, go to Convert and Create AAC Version.

Select Song -> File -> Convert -> Create AAC Version

Step 4: Change file format from .m4a to .m4r (In short, making it recognizable enough for iTunes)

 There are a couple of ways you can do this. First, you can locate the file on your disk from your iTunes, change the file name and finally the extension. Or, you can drop the file on your desktop, change the file name, and upload it again to iTunes.

Select Song -> Right Click ‘Show in Finder’ -> Change name from .m4a to .m4r -> Use .m4r

OR

Drag Song to Desktop -> Rename .m4a to .m4r -> Upload the song on iTunes by dragging again

Step 5: Your song is converted as a ringtone and ready to be synced to your iPhone. 

You can do so by connecting your iPhone to your iTunes, navigate to the tones tab and select ‘Selected Tones’, select your tone and Sync. This method is for iTunes 12.6 and below. For iTunes 12.7 and above, the tones sync automatically once you drop the downloaded tone from desktop to iTunes. And thus you’ve completed the process of creating iPhone ringtones.  

Step 6: Once your ringtone is successfully synced to your iPhone, navigate to Settings > Sounds and Haptics > Ringtones where you can see the recently added ringtone ready and waiting for you. Just select it, set ringtones on iPhone and you’re ready to go!

Settings -> Sound and Haptics -> Ringtone -> Select recently added ringtone

While iTunes might have a few complications when it comes to adding a tone as your custom ringtone, there are quite a few other ways how you can do this. One such process is through an iOS application called GarageBand. We’ll be talking about that in another article.

Meanwhile, which is your favourite stock ringtone? Let us know in the comment below.

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