A reader asked about creating ringtones from her iTunes library and adding them to her phone. She didn’t mention what operating system she was using or the make of her phone. These instructions work in Mavericks and on iPhones running iOS 7.
Note: Be sure and select songs you have purchased through iTunes otherwise this won’t work for you.
1. Find the song in iTunes that you want to turn into a ringtone. For this example I’m using “Hello Darlin” by Conway Twitty. Right-click on it and select Get Info.
2. In the window that opens, select the Options tab.
Choose the part of the song that you want to use and select a start time and an end time. There are limits set on the length of ringtones so stick with a maximum of 30 seconds to make sure your’s works.
The easiest way to do this is to start your ringtone with the beginning of the song. That way you can set a start time of 0.00. If that is not what you want you just have to figure the start of the section you want to use, such as a fancy guitar riff.
The best way that I know to do that is to start the song playing and watch the timer at the top of the window.
When the timer gets to the point you want to select, enter that specific increment in the start time and add 30 seconds to that number.
3. Right-click on the song that you have just edited and then choose Create AAC Version. This will create a shortened version of your song in Apple’s AAC format. Don’t worry that you are cutting up your original song. It stays just the same. The new short version will be listed under the original version. You can pick it out because the time will show 0:30.
4. Drag the new ringtone version to your desktop. If it doesn’t delete from iTunes at this point, just delete it because the new version won’t go into Tunes if it is still there. Find it and change the file ending from .m4a to .m4r. You might also want to add the word ringtone to the file name just to keep everything clean.
5. Drag the file that is now named .m4r back into iTunes and drop it in the Tones folder.
Open the Tones folder and you should see your new ringtone. Before you proceed to upload the new ringtone to your phone, you should go back to the original version of the song, right-click, and open the Options tab again. You need to remove that 30 second end time you put in place or your original song won’t play through to the end.
Get It On Your iPhone
Now all you have to do is sync your tones to your iPhone.
Connect your iPhone to your Mac and open iTunes. Navigate to the Tones tab. Be sure to click in the box next to Sync Tones and mark the ones you want on your phone.
Then click on the Apply button and you should be all set. Open your iPhone and choose settings > sounds > Ringtone. In the listing of possible ringtones you should see the ones you just added at the top of the list. Click next to the one you want to use and it is a done deal.
Assign The Ringtone To A Specific Individual
If you like to assign different ringtones to individuals the process has not really changed. Choose your phone list and select the individual from the Contacts list. Click on the Edit option and scroll down to “Ringtone”, select your ringtone of choice, and tap the “Done” option in the upper right corner.