One of the defining characteristics of the iPhone and other iOS devices is their ease use and how simple it is to manage your media on them. However, what Apple doesn’t tell you (although it is fairly easy to guess) is that the easiest media to manage right from your iPhone is the one you buy from Apple’s App or iTunes Stores.
Ringtones are no exception to this, and Apple let’s you buy them right from your iPhone, which is (sadly) the only way to have them seamlessly installed on your iOS device from your iOS device.
However, while Apple might not advertise it, there is quite a simple way for you to create your own ringtones on your Mac or Windows PC using iTunes.
Let’s take a look at how to do it.
Step 1: Open your music library in iTunes and from it, select the song you want to create a ringtone from. Listen to it and use the timeline at the top center of the application to write down the exact times at which you will want your ringtone to start and to end. Once you do, right-click on the song and choose Get Info from the menu.
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Step 2: With the information panel for the song open, click on the Options tab at the top of it. Among the information displayed here, you will find the Start and Stop times for the song (both of which should be unchecked).
Check both checkboxes and change both the Start and Stop times to the ones you wrote down respectively. Feel free to set any length you want, although 30 seconds is more than enough for your average ringtone. When you are done, click OK
Step 3: Right-click on the song again and this time select Create AAC Version. This will create a second song file of the length of just the amount of time of your future ringtone.
Step 4: Right-click on the newly-created file and select Show in Finder to reveal the original file’s location on your Mac or PC.
The revealed file should have the extension “m4a”.
Now here is a tricky part: Leave that Finder window open and head back to iTunes. There, go to the new file again, right-click on it and Delete it. When the Delete dialog box appears, make sure you click on Keep File.
Important Note: By doing this, you ensure that just the name of the file will be deleted. If you just leave it on iTunes, the app will not allow you to import your ringtone later.
Step 5: Now, back to the Finder window you just opened. There, change the extension of the file from “m4a” to “m4r”, which is the extension for ringtones.
When you are done, double click on the ringtone file and it will open in the Tones section of iTunes automatically.
Your ringtone is now ready!
After that, all you need to do is to sync your iPhone with iTunes to transfer your new ringtone. Alternatively, you can also use other applications to transfer them, like we showed you in an earlier post. Enjoy!