Remember those good, old days when creating an iPhone ringtone was as easy as renaming a song in your iTunes library to a “.m4r” extension and then syncing it back with your iPhone? No? Well, trust us when we say that iPhone ringtones were never easier (or free-er) to create.
That is, until iTunes 8. With the release of iTunes 8 – which brought with it Genius Playlists – creating iPhone ringtones has once again become a painless process. iTunes 8 allows the user to customize a particular song’s start- and end-time, paving the way for an iPhone ringtone creation “hack” that requires nothing more than iTunes itself.
Keep in mind that iTunes will allow you to create a ringtone from a song downloaded through the iTunes Music Store, but those ringtones come with fees… and no one likes fees. Follow this guide to create free iPhone ringtones for free using nothing more than iTunes.
To create simple, free iPhone ringtones from your iTunes library, follow these steps:
- Note: This process works with MP3, ACC, and AIFF files.
- Note: Only DRM-free songs can be used with this ringtone creation process.
- Any song downloaded from iTunes Music Store will have DRM (Digital Rights Management), so don’t use those songs.
- Any song ripped from a CD or downloaded from DRM-free sources (P2P, Amazon, your friend) will work just fine.
- Fire up iTunes 8
- Find the song you’d like to turn in to a ringtone
- Right click on the song
- Select “Get Info”
- Hit the “Options” tab
- Check both the “Start Time” and “End Time” boxes
- Specify what time interval you’d like to use as your ringtone clip (Make sure your ringtone is 30 seconds or less!!)
- Click “OK”
- Make sure the song you want is still highlighted
- Click on “Advanced” in your menu bar
- Select “Create AAC Version” or “Create Apple Lossless Version” (Make sure your iTunes “Import Settings” are set to “AAC” or “Apple Lossless” and not “MP3”)
- A duplicate copy of your song will appear in iTunes – this new song will have the same filename but shorter “Time”
- Go back to the original song and uncheck those “Start Time” and “End Time” boxes
- Drag the duplicate song to your Desktop
- Once the duplicate song is copied to your Desktop, delete the duplicate file in iTunes
- On your Desktop, rename the file with the “.m4r” file extension – Use the new extension
- This turns your song file into an iPhone ringtone file
- Your “songname.m4a” file should now be named “songname.m4r”
- Drag the newly renamed .m4r (songname.m4r) file back into iTunes
- Drag the file over the “Library” column and release when “Library” becomes highlighted
- You have to delete the duplicate song file (Step 12) otherwise iTunes won’t import your new .m4r file
- You should see your new ringtone under “Ringtones” in iTunes
- Sync your iPhone to get jiggy with your new iPhone ringtones!
Enjoy your free iPhone ringtone library!