Converting MP3 files to iPhone ringtones.

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Ok, so you have all your favourite songs in MP3 format and you want to use snippets of them for ringtones on your new iPhone; should be simple right?  Well, unfortunately, no it isn’t.  icon_sad.gif

There are a few options that you can look at as outlined below:

  • Buy them from the Apple iTunes Store for around $2.00 a pop
  • Purchase a piece of software such as iToner for about $15.00

Neither appealed to me as a viable solution as I have just spent enough on the iPhone and all other phones will allow you to import a given MP3 file as a ringtone, but not the iPhone; it uses Apple’s proprietary .m4r format.

So without any more stuffing around, here the procedure to convert your MP3 snippets to iPhone ringtones!:

  • Use software such as Audacity to create your new ringtone from your favourite MP3.
  • Save the file somewhere on your hard disk so you can access it later on.
  • Import the file into iTunes and then right click on it
  • From the menu that pops up, select and left click on ‘Create AAC Version ‘.
  • Right click on the newly created AAC version of your MP3 and then left click on ‘Show in Windows Explorer’
  • Copy this file to another location where you have access to the command prompt to make changes.  In Vista, this is important as there can be problems doing this due to permissions and for those not too computer savvy, this is where it gets technical.
  • In your command prompt window, type in the following command:

rename ringtone.m4a ringtone.m4r

This will then create your new ringtone.  Now simply double click the file in Windows Explorer and iTunes will import it as a ringtone and next time you synch the phone with iTunes, your ringtone will then be available.

While this is simple to do, it’s a major pain for those of us who aren’t technically inclined.  Apple should have made this whole process a lot more simple, then again they wouldn’t make as much money out of people if that was the case; it’s just disappointing I guess more than anything.

Still, now you have a way to make your ringtones for that shiny new iPhone for free icon_smile.gif

Note: This works has been tested and works on the new iPhone 3G and iTunes 8 .

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