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Function then Form

Making Ringtones from Songs Purchased in the iTunes Store


My dad just got an iPhone, so he’s got a few tech questions for his “number-one-son.” Here’s the latest: he bought a song on the iTunes store and now wants to make it his ringtone. Pretty cool, Pop. Here’s the best and easiest way I could find to do this.

What you need to know.

  1. Neither iPhone nor iTunes will automatically let you do this, you’ll need an app or creative manipulation of the iTunes software to make your ringtone.
  2. Ringtones can only be 40 seconds or less
  3. You have to sync your phone with your computer, even if you create the ringtone on your phone with an app.
  4. iTunes (the app and the store) no longer calls them “Ringtones,” instead they opt for “Tones.” This is presumably because you can set them for sounds other than the ringer of a telephone, such as your alarm clock. While adding a ringtone for a contact or changing the default ring on your phone, however, they still refer to them as “ringtones.”

Making Custom Ringtones:

1. Get the App
Download the “Ringtone Maker App” from Limit Point Software. Don’t worry, it’s free. You can either navigate to this from the App Store application on the iPhone or visit the app’s page online.
2. Download Your Song
If you don’t already have a song, go ahead and buy one from the iTunes store on your phone. I’ll be using “Pimp Juice” by Nelly. Though, I’m not really quite sure why.
3. Launch Ringtone Maker
Pretty simple, really. Only three options, here. Let’s choose the top one to select the song we just bought.
4. Select Your 40 Seconds
Use the white slider bar in blue sound spectrum to drag the start point of your song to the appropriate place. The “hook” of Nelly’s “Pimp Juice” song starts right around 6.9 seconds, but your song may kick off with a bang right from the beginning. Use the Play button to test it out. Using the slider can be a little tricky, to get the selector just right (down to the tenth of a second) use the left and right arrows.
5. Save Your Ringtone
Once you have it dialed in, tap the “save icon” which will create an M4R (ringtone) file onto your phone.
6. Transfer Your Files
Plug your phone into your iTunes connected computer and sync your phone.
7. Save Your Files via File Sharing in the App Tab
Make sure your phone is selected under the Devices list in iTunes (on the left hand column). After your Sync has completed. Click the “App” tab in iTunes and scroll all the way to the bottom of the pane.You should see a list of apps that are available for file sharing. Select the Ringtone Maker app from that list. Your new ringtone (.m4r) should appear in the right column.Select your song from the list and click the “Save to…” button in the bottom right corner. Save the file to a familiar location on your computer, such as your desktop.
8. Add Your .m4r Song back into iTunes
This part seems ridiculous, but it’ll make sense eventually. At no point so far has your ringtone actually been a part of your music library (which is what’s required to have it work on your phone). Now that you’ve saved your ringtone song to your computer all you have to do is literally drag it into your iTunes library.With iTunes open, drag your song onto the word Library in the top left corner of the screen. Once that’s done we can add the file back over to your phone.
9. Configure Your “Tones” and Sync
Click the Tones tab in iTunes and make sure the “Sync Tones” checkbox is ticked. If you want to be more discerning with the tones you’re sharing with your phone, click the “Selected Tones” radio button and individually pick the songs you want on your phone.Once you have it configured, once again click the Sync button.

10. Let’s Go Back to Your PhoneWith your phone synced, your Tones should be accessible via the Settings app on your iPhone.

10a.Select Sounds
10b. Then Ringtone
10c. Select your song from the list. Custom ringtones will be listed at the top.

That should do it. Your custom ringtone will now fire up whenever someone calls you. Alternatively, you can set up a custom ringtone for your contacts. Just go in to Contacts, select someone you want to apply a custom ringtone, tap “Edit” and then change the settings for the ringtone.

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