How to Make Custom iPhone Ringtones Free

Learn How to Make Custom iPhone Ringtones Free

Do you want to add a more personal touch to your iPhone? Installing a custom ringtone for each of your favorite friends and family members should do the trick.

Alternatives to the bundle of stock ringtones which come included with every iPhone sold by Apple are out there. If you restrict your search to the custom ringtones provided by Apple, each ringtone is going to cost $2 in most cases: $1 for downloading a popular song and another $1 for converting the song file into a ringtone.

But it’s possible and legal to upload custom ringtones to an iPhone. The process does involve a little tinkering though. You don’t have to be a technical whiz in order to figure everything out. With a little effort, you will be slapping scores of your favorite songs or clips as ringtones onto your phone in no time.

The method described below uses only iTunes without any other proprietary software. Also, the process described below does not require “jailbreaking” the iPhone, which voids the Apple’s Terms of Service and Warranty.

First Things First: Figuring Out Which Version of iTunes is Currently Installed

After determining which version of iTunes is running on the computer with which your iPhone is synced, it’s possible to convert normal songs to the ringtone file format.

  1. Open up iTunes on the computer which has all of your music on it.
  2. Click on the “Help” tab and scroll down to the “About Itunes” button.
  3. A box with the iTunes product information will open in a separate window. In the first line of the information is the word “iTunes” followed by a series of numbers. In later versions this line will be in bold.

For iTunes 7.7.1 Users:

This is an early iTunes version, and the mehtod for converting regular songs to iPhone ringtones is correspondingly easier.

Switch over to the iTunes Music tab and select which song or audio file you want to convert into a ringtone.

Next, right-click on the file and select the “Get Info” option in the dialog box which pops up.

While it isn’t possible to convert an entire song to a ringtone format, iTunes makes it convenient to select which 30 second clip you want as a ringtone. For this reason, check both boxes next to “Start Time” and “Stop Time.” Input the start and stop times for the desired clip. (It helps to have listened to the song beforehand and made a note of the song-times for the start and stop times of the desired clip.) If you want to make the clip less than 30 seconds that is fine; remember that the full clip can be no more than 30 seconds long.

Click “Ok” when done selecting the desired start and stop times.

How to Convert a Clip to the Ringtone Format

When making a song clip into a ringtone it is necessary to convert the audio file into the format used by the iPone. Right-click on the song file which you have clipped to 30 seconds or less and click on “Convert Selection to AAC.”

In the event that the dialog box which pops up after right-clicking on the audio file says “Convert to MP3” or some other file format, go to “iTunes,” “Preferences,” “Advanced,” and then “Importing” to change the “Import Using” dropdown menu to the “AAC encoder.”

The encoding process which follows may take a few minutes to finish converting the audio clip to the new file format.

When this is complete, navigate over to the iTunes music folder, locate the newly created clip and drag it to the desktop. An easy way to locate the file is to right-click on the new clip in iTunes and select the “Open File Location” option in the drop-down box.

Go back to iTunes and delete the original shortened clip. You do not need it anymore.

How to Get the Ringtone to the iPhone

Return to the version of the clip file on the desktop. Right-click on the song and select “Get Info” from the drop-down menu.

Navigate to the name and extension section in order to change the file extension. The extension listed should be “.m4a” These are the last few characters attached to the end of the name of the song file.

Change the extension to “.m4r” (The grammatical periods at the end of the last two sentences have been removed in order to avoid confusion. In the song name, a period should go before the extension but not at the end of the extension.)

After the extension has been changed, double click on the file to send the new file over to the ringtones folder in iTunes. Sync your iphone, and the new ringtone should be available to use.

For All Other Versions of Itunes

While the process described above only works with version 7.7.1 other methods work for later versions of iTunes. Another way to get custom ringtones without paying $2 each time is to download custom software for a small up-front fee which will do the job for you. Either way, with a little searching online it isn’t hard for any user to convert and upload any song file to the iPhone as a custom ringtone with a small bit of effort.

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