How to create a ringtone in iTunes

Why pay for a ringtone when you’ve already paid for your favourite song? Turning your top tune into a ringtone is as easy as following these steps.

By Heather Camlot

For years, I’ve had a standard ringtone on my BlackBerry. Nothing fancy, just an option that was available directly from my smartphone. Then I changed it to my daughter singing a favourite song. No one really had my number anyway and my phone rang rarely. Her rendition of 5440’s Where Did the Money Go was pretty cute – until her charming little voice rang throughout the office I was working at.

It was time for a change, again. I have been listening to Alexandre’s A Million Years a lot lately and thought the beginning notes of the song would make a nice ringtone – familiar, personal and smile-inducing. But how to get it from my iTunes to my phone? It was easier than I imagined. Follow the instructions for BlackBerry and other smartphones as well as for iPhones below.

For BlackBerry and other smartphones:

Step 1: Open iTunes and play the song you want to turn into a ringtone. Watch the timeline at the top of iTunes and note the start and stop times of your bit of music. Don’t go any longer than 30 seconds.

Step 2:  Select your song and right-click Get Info. Under the Options tab, change the Start Time and Stop Time to the ones you noted above. Make sure the boxes are both checked. Click Okay.

Step 3: In the Edit menu, select Preferences and then General. Click on Import Settings. From the Import Using dropdown select MP3 Encoder, and select Custom from the Setting dropdown.  A new window will pop up entitled MP3 Encoder. In here, tweak the settings to:

  • Stereo Bit Rate: 80 kbps
  • Sample Rate: 22.050 kHz
  • Channels: Mono

This step sets up the ringtone into a useable format for BlackBerry and other non-Apple smartphones. Click Okay on all the windows when done to return to your iTunes library.

Step 4:  Right-click on your song again and select Create MP3 version. You’ll see a new, shorter version appear under the original.

Step 5: Return your iTunes settings to their original form: go back to the Import Settings window and select AAC from the Import Using dropdown and then iTunes Plus in the Setting dropdown. In Get Info,  uncheck the Start and Stop Times.

Step 6: Drag the ringtone onto your desktop.

Step 7: Plug your BlackBerry or other smartphone into your computer and open its desktop software.

Step 8: Drag the ringtone from your desktop into your device’s ringtone folder (For Blackberry: Device > home > user > ringtones > mine).

Step 9: To set your new ringtone as your default, for BlackBerry go to Media on your device > Ring Tones > My Ring Tones > select your song > click the menu key > scroll to Set As Ring Tone > Okay.

For iPhone:

Step 1: Open iTunes and play the song you want to turn into a ringtone. Watch the timeline at the top of iTunes and note the start and stop time of your bit of music. Don’t go any longer than 30 seconds.

Step 2:  Select your song and right-click Get Info. Under the options tab, change the Start Time and Stop Time to the ones you noted above. Make sure both boxes are checked. Click Okay.

Step 3: Right-click the song and select Create AAC version. A new, shorter version will appear below the original. Return the iTunes settings to the original song by returning to Get Info and unchecking the boxes.

Step 4: Right-click on the new version and select Show in Windows Explorer.

Step 5: Go to Tools > Folder Options > View and make sure Hide extensions for known file types is NOT checked. Uncheck it if it is and click Apply.

Step 6: Right-click your new version, which likely has a 1 at the end to differentiate it from your original, hit Rename and change the extension to m4r. Don’t worry about the pop-up window about an unstable file.

Step 7: Connect your iPhone to your computer. In iTunes, drag your ringtone to your iPhone’s ringtone folder.

Step 8: To set the ringtone as your default, on your device select Settings > Sounds > Ringtone then choose your song.

Happy calling!

First published October 11, 2011, on WorkLivePlayCafe.com.

 

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