Creating an iPhone Custom Ringtone
By user12611829 on Sep 07, 2009
As a long time Palm user, the transition to the iPhone had more than it's share of difficulties. Thanks to some software updates (cut and paste) and VirtualBox, assimilation is complete and I have become a big fan of the little device. With that as a background, let's explore creating custom ringtones from items in your music library. And contrary to what iTunes tells you, it is possible to create custom ringtones from any DRM-free content in your music library - not just the items you purchased from the iTunes store.
1. Choosing the proper ringtoneEverybody in your contact list deserves their own distinctive ringtone - or at least the ones that actually call you. One word of warning though: make sure you choose an appropriate audio source and consider what happens if they accidently dial your phone while standing next to you.
True story: My first custom ringtone was for my spouse of 26 (and counting) years. We don't really have an "our song" so I opted for something instantly recognizable. In 5 notes or less. Deep Purple's Smoke on the Water is too obvious and pedestrian. What's the next best riff ? Think Ronnie Montrose.
As I am creating the ringtone, a buddy at work notices what I am doing and taps me on the shoulder. "Dude, are you like wanting to make her mad ? Are you nuts - do you only want to live with half of your stuff ?"
I guess my quizzical expression indicated that I needed further explanation.
"Frankenstein. Dude, you chose Frankenstein. ..... Frankenstein ???? Get it ?"
"Oh. OH!!!! I get it"
While Ronnie Montrose's opening riff from Edgar Winter's Frankenstein is one of the most recognizable in the rock catalog, it is clearly an inappropriate ringtone for a loved one. My bride has a great sense of humor, but I doubt that it would extend to this.
Please learn from my near fatal mistake - choose a good ringtone. In my example I will use Brainstorm from Hawkwind's third album, Doremi Fasol Latido. Another great opening riff. And no, I will not use this for my spouse, daughter, boss or any other person real or fictional.
2. Edit the source for your ringtoneA ringtone needs to be a short AAC encoded audio file. It should be at least 10 seconds in length and no longer than 30 seconds. If you are a computer wizard this is not a difficult task. Then again, if you are you wouldn't be reading this howto. Fortunately for the rest of us, iTunes can do this quite nicely.
Create an AAC encoded audio file
Right click your edited song and look for "Create AAC Version". If it is there skip over the next few steps. |
If you see Create MP3 Version instead, don't panic. A lot of the other howtos that I found skipped this - and it's not exactly obvious what to do next.
The Create setting is based on your CD Import settings. The iTunes default is AAC which is correct for creating ringtones. It is also less than desirable if you want to get the most out of your iPod listening. Or (gasp) if you want to listen to your audio files with anything other than (another gasp) iTunes.
If you see Create MP3 Version as on the left all you need to do is change your CD Import preferences. Click Edit -> Preferences and while on the General tab click Import Settings.
|Click image to enlarge|| |
What's in a name - quite a lot actually
If it is not clear from the above screenshot, the command shell dialog went something like this. My commands are in bold
Microsoft Windows XP [Version 5.1.2600] (C) Copyright 1985-2001 Microsoft Corp. C:\\Documents and Settings\\bob>cd Desktop C:\\Documents and Settings\\bob\\Desktop>dir Volume in drive C has no label. Volume Serial Number is 2CBE-1F9C Directory of C:\\Documents and Settings\\bob\\Desktop 09/06/2009 02:07 PM <DIR> . 09/06/2009 02:07 PM <DIR> .. 09/06/2009 02:02 PM 1,072,142 01 Brainstorm.m4a 1 File(s) 1,072,142 bytes 2 Dir(s) 10,997,751,040 free C:\\Documents and Settings\\bob\\Desktop>ren "01 Brainstorm.m4a" "Brainstorm.m4r" C:\\Documents and Settings\\bob\\Desktop>exit