October 4, 2008

iPhone ringtone annoyance

Okay, so, there's two things that annoy me about iPhone ringtones.

One, you can't use them for SMS message alerts. WHY, APPLE?!?

Two, if you make a ringtone out of a song file (see bottom for how to do this) and that song file still exists in iTunes - as far as I can tell, if a songfile with the same name and/or metadata exists, that is - then iTunes will refuse to import the ringtone, and just play its existing song when you double-click on the ringtone file.

If you manage to get a short song into iTunes as a ringtone, and the actual song exists on your iPhone (say, as part of an album) then the ringtone won't sync over from iTunes, even if it shows up in the Ringtones section.


Oh yeah, the howto.

How To Make iPhone Ringtones

  1. Find a nice clip you'd like to ringtone. If it's not the right length, use a sound editor to snip it to the right length. Let's assume it's mp3, which is easiest to find an editor for.
  2. Once you've got the mp3, get it into iTunes (drop it in, it should import) and then right-click it. Select 'Make AAC version' from the pop-up menu.
  3. Take the new AAC version and drag it back onto the desktop. Once you've verified it's there, delete both versions out of iTunes and have it trash the files. You'll still have the AAC file where you just dropped it, and (if you were s-m-r-t) you'll have the original mp3 file somewhere still as well.
  4. Change the extension of the AAC version on your desktop from .m4a to .m4r.
  5. Double-click the .m4r version. It should bring up iTunes, and bring up the 'Ringtones' section (if you didn't have one until now, it'll pop up) with your file in it. You can play it from here or whatever. Make sure its entry is checked.
  6. Dock your iPhone. Go to the iPhone in your device list. One of the tabs for sync items should now be 'Ringtones.' Make sure your new ringtone is selected.
  7. Sync.
  8. et voilà. Your ringtone should show up in the iPhone's 'select ringtone' menu under the 'custom ringtones' section. Whee!
Posted by jbz at October 4, 2008 12:29 AM | TrackBack
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