Welcome to the Wisdumb Guide, where I am giving you those handy tips that will make you get the most out of your iPhone, iPad or Macbook or any other devices! Today I am going to give you the chance to create your own ringtone on your iPhone.
Imagine yourself sitting in the office and your phone rings: tring tring tring tring!! Boring and annoying right? Then your colleague’s phone rings: I’m blue da ba dee da ba die… (repeat). And you think, damn I wish I had a funky ringtone like that. Problem is that you do not want to pay for one through the iTunes store and/or they do not offer the song that you want. Cannot stand to hear the song ‘Happy’ by Pharrell any longer!! Then how on earth can I get a custom ringtone on my iPhone you might think? On an android phone there are apps where you can download them from, upload them directly from an SD card or transfer them easily from computer to phone via usb. Damn Android! But Apple likes to challenge us.
So before you surrender in despair. There is a way, not the easiest or most user friendly of ways, but hey that is Apple after all right?! Let me show you. After you have done this 2-3 times it will feel natural to you.
For the non-tech-wizards amongst us let me clarify the hardware first. I am doing this on a macbook running Mac OS Sierra and the latest version of iTunes. This also works on older software and iTunes versions. You can do this same procedure on a windows computer. If you struggle leave a comment!
First up let us go to the iTunes icon and open the application. The icon looks like this:
Let us find a song that we wish to convert into a ringtone. I am feeling funky and girly tonight so let us go with Taylor Swift’s – Shake It Off. Go into your Library and press the Songs section which bring you to a long list of songs (depending on the size of your library of course). Below in the picture you see the blue highlighted section ‘Songs’ and the selected song Shake It Off by Taylor Swift. So far so good folks! I hope I have not lost you yet.
Next up you want to hover your mouse over the song and right-click your mouse.
Please make sure you use this mouse,
and not this one, that could lead to very different results. Fun though! Damn you Jerry!
Once you have right-clicked your version of the ‘mouse’ you will get a menu looking like this and select the header called ‘Get Info’:
Very good everyone! Now we get to the trickier parts, so hold on to your seats.
After clicking ‘Get Info’ we are shown a menu that looks like this:
Move to the header called ‘Options’ and you will see the following screen of options:
Now please pay attention to the fact that Apple has implemented a 30 second limit for any ringtone and I mean to the millisecond exactly. So up next we are going to have to decide which part of the song we want as our ringtone. Best way to go around this is to play the song and pause it at the very second you want it to start and then remember that exact moment. For this exercise we are going to keep it simple and pretend we like the intro of the song and thus the first 30 seconds. My fiancee is behind me laughing on the floor as I am playing Taylor Swift, here goes my street cred!
So in the menu we are in we are going to set the box next to the word ‘start’ to 0:00 and make sure the box is ticked. Then we go one below to the ‘stop’ box and enter 0:30. Now you should have a screen that looks like this:
Last but not least you can decide to increase the standard volume. I however advise against this as it often makes songs sound tinny and stretched. So now you can go and press ‘OK’ at the bottom and the menu will close.
Ok now for the hard part (ahum) make sure your song is still selected and go to the top left of your screen to the menu header called ‘File’ then follow to the header ‘Convert’ and select ‘Create AAC Version’. Excellent work!
You will have noticed that there has now appeared a duplicate of the Shake It Off song, but this one is only 30 seconds long. Now unfortunately that is not it. You can double click it to play it and verify whether it is exactly as you wanted it to sound. Then we right click on the 30 second version of the song and select ‘Show In Finder’. This will lead you to a Documents or Finder screen like this:
Before we continue make sure you go back into iTunes and delete the 30 seconds version from your library. When selecting ‘Delete From Library’ make sure you select ‘Keep File’, DO NOT SELECT ‘Move To Trash’!!
As you can see in the above finder picture, there are two versions, one ending in .mp3 the other in .m4a. We are going to click on the .m4a version upon which the title will become editable. Now pay close attention to this next part, change the ending of the title from .m4a to .m4r. When you press enter to confirm a pop-up window will appear asking you whether you want to keep .m4a or use .m4r, select ‘Use .m4r’.
Almost there now! We are about to drop the ring into Mount Doom, do not fail me now Frodo’s! Now we double click the shakeitoff.m4r version and it will start playing in iTunes. Before you panic and cannot find where it has gone. The song has now officially according to Apple terms been converted into a ‘Tone’. To get to it go to the ‘Music’ tab in the left top corner in iTunes and click it. You will get the below menu:
Now we select the header called ‘Tones’ and look at that our Shake It Off song is right there!!
Now the tone is in your iTunes we should connect our iPhone to the macbook or windows pc with the Apple provided lightning to USB cable. Wait for your phone to sync and then select the tone from the list of tones and start dragging it to the left. Do so by clicking the song and holding the mouse button down, then start dragging the file to the left and you will see a side menu pop out from the left with the name of your connected device. Then hold it over your device and the let the mouse button go and the file will be transferred to your device immediately.
Now go onto your device, say iPhone and go into the ‘Settings’ app. Scroll down to ‘Sounds & Haptics’ and look for the term ‘Ringtone’. Once you select this you will see your personally created tone appear in the list. Select it and that ringtone is now assigned to your phone!! Yes you did it!!
Congratulations you are now the cool person in the office with the funkiest ringtone! But before we finish one minor check you need to do. Go back into iTunes, go to Library, Songs and then look for your song, in this case Shake It Off and right click the song. Go into ‘Get Info’ as described in Steps 3 and 4 and go to the Options section. Here we have to verify that the original song is no longer limited to 30 seconds of course. Now a lot of modern versions of iTunes automatically revert to the original duration of the song but if yours does not, do not despair. Simply go into the Options section as mentioned earlier and untick the boxes next to ‘start’ and ‘stop’, press OK and VOILA you are good to go!
Should you have questions or suggestions please do so in the comment section. Now enjoy a bit of Shake It Off! I actually hate her, but this song is kinda okaish…shhh.