iPhone Ringtones

I got an iPhone! Wheeeeeee!!!
Sorry. So, i got me an iPhone for christmas. Its great. Its an iPod, its a phone, its a pda, its the best internet appliance there is, and its a great game platform too. Really, it beats my old phone out of the water in just about every way. But, there is one shortcoming it shares with all phones. Ringtones. Stupid little 5-30 second clips that should $!%@ing be free cost up to $3.00 on other platforms and cost an additional $.99 in addition to the cost of the song for the iPhone. Its wrong. Well, i’m Jesse. I don’t pay a full freaking dollar for 20-30 seconds of music. I also don’t rebuy the music for the privilege of paying that full dollar. You shouldn’t either. You have the music, you want the clip, and i’m going to tell you how to do it.

*Update* I forgot when i wrote this that Quicktime Pro is required. Quicktime Pro is $15 and in my opinion well worth it. While i agree that its functionality should be standard, it is the same cost as dedicated tools for just iphone ringtones and it does a lot more.

First, obviously, you have to have the music. You won’t be able to use iTunes music for this unless its iTunes plus. DRM gets in the way (that’ll be another post). The song needs to be one you ripped from a cd, pirated, et al. I don’t judge. I’m going to do this as step by step as i can for the benefit of my less technically inclined listeners.

Ok, second. In iTunes, find the song you want. Right click (or control click) on it and choose “show in finder”.

Now, a finder window will pop up and the song file will be selected.


The next step is to open the file in quicktime. If you double click it, by default, the file will probably open in iTunes so right click on the file (control click) and choose open with -> Quicktime Player.


Now you’re in quicktime. Here you have a window showing the song as a bar. At the one end are little triangles that that you can drag to select the portion you want. Just listen to the song and try to select just the part you want. Its important to note that the iPhone won’t do ringtones over 30 seconds. I think iTunes might not even sync it for you.


When you have about what you want, i recommend selecting a little more on purpose, press apple+c to copy it. Now you will need to press apple+n for a new windows and press apple+v to paste your selection into it. Here you can edit it further down to what you want. A tip, you can drag the window out to get more precise with your selecting.


Ok, you’re done choosing your ringtone. Its time to export the ringtone into a format iTunes will accept. Go to File -> Export, or you can press apple+e.


In the export options, at the bottom, click next to Export: and choose “Movie to MPEG-4″.


Now click options. At the top, make sure it says MP4 and not MP4 (ISMA). Under video you won’t have to change anything, there is no video. In audio, you want Format: AAC-LC, Data Rate: 128 (or whatever you want if you know better), Channels: Stereo, Sample Rate: Recommended (or whatever, not important), and Encoding Quality: Best. Under streaming, just make sure that streaming is unchecked and click ok.


Now you’re back at the export save screen. This part is important. iTunes will only recognize your file as a ringtone if it has a .m4r extension.


Save it somewhere you can find too, i recommend the desktop. Now its just a simple matter of dragging the file into iTunes and syncing your iPhone. If you manually manage things, just drag the ringtone over. The ringtones will show up in a special place in iTunes called “Ringtones”.


Now you’re done. Just select the ringtone on your iPhone in the usual way and then enjoy your free ringtones forever. Feel pride in the fact that you didn’t let the record industry rape you with their $.99 ringtones and flaunt your newfound abilities in their faces. Also, if you’re bored, let apple know this is unacceptable the way things are. The recording industry won’t hear or listen to you but apple might. They want their customers to be happy.

One more thing, if this all sounds like too much, remember, there are for pay programs out there that will assist you. Unfortunately programs like iPhone Ringtone Maker cost the same as Quicktime Pro so i recommend just learning the routine with quicktime. Quicktime Pro can be used for a lot more than just ringtone editing too. Let me know how it goes in the comments :).

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