While you can always buy an iPhone ringtone from the iTunes store, why not explore the possibility of creating your own ringtone? In this post we are providing you a step-by-step guide to set any of your favourite songs as a ringtone on your iPhone.
Set Any Song As Ringtone On iPhone
The procedure to turn a song into an iPhone ringtone is a bit long and it involves the following 5 broad steps.
- Pick a song from iTunes and edit its start and stop times.
- Convert the music file to AAC format.
- Rename the music file extension type from .m4a (music) to .m4r (ringtone)
- Add the edited file to the Tones section of iTunes.
- Sync iPhone with iTunes
Tip: Instead of using a song, you can also record the voice of your pets or kids, using the Voice Memos app and set that as a ringtone.
Follow the steps below on a computer to turn a song into an iPhone ring tone. We used a Windows computer to run these steps (the overall concept and steps would be the same on any computer).
1. Pick A Song and Edit its Start and End Times On iTunes
In these steps below, you will be choosing a song from iTunes and editing its start and stop times to exactly match the portion of the song that you want to use for the ringtone.
The idea is to pick a 30 second clipping from the song for the ringtone. In order to do this, you may need to listen to the song a few times and note down the exact time where your chosen portion of the song starts.
1.1. Open iTunes on your computer by double-clicking its shortcut on your computers desktop.
1.2. Once iTunes is launched click on My Music to view the songs that you own and to select a song that you want to use for creating a ringtone.
Note: Apple restricts ringtones to 30 seconds max, so make sure that you select a song that would make a good ringtone.
1.3. Right-click on the selected song and select Get Info (See image below)
1.4. Next, select the Options tab and then tick on the Start Time and Stop Time boxes.
1.5. Enter the times at which you want the ringtone to start and stop. As you can see in image above, we have chosen the start time as 15 seconds from the start of the song and ending at 44.5 seconds.
Note: The stop time must be within 30 seconds to match the maximum length ringtone allowed on iPhones.
1.6. Press OK, when you are done entering the start and stop times.
2. Convert The Music File to AAC Format
Now that you have selected a 30 second clipping from your favorite song, the next step is to convert this clip into the AAC format, which is the preferred file format for music files on iTunes.
2.1. Right click on the Song
2.2. Choose Create AAC Version from the menu. (See image below)
iTunes will convert the song to its AAC version and save it as a duplicate file. You will now have the original and the AAC version in My Music.
Tip: You will be able to identify the new song file by its short track length (in seconds).
Now that you have a separate AAC version of the song, change the original song back to its regular start and stop time by un-checking the boxes next to Start and Stop. Otherwise, when you play that track, it will only play the section between your start and stop times.
3. Rename the File Extension From .m4a to .m4r
In this step we are trying to rename the AAC song clip file extension from .m4a (song) to .m4r (ringtone).
3.1. Right-click on the new AAC song clip and choose Show in Windows Explorer
MAC Users: Right-click on your new AAC song clip and select Show in Finder.
Once the file is visible in the Folder, make sure that you are able to see the file extension. For example you should be able to see “songfile” as songfile.mp3 (with a file extension).
The renaming will not work if you are unable to see the file extensions on your Windows computer. In case you are unable to see the file extension, click on the View tab (top ribbon Menu on your Windows 10 computer) and tick the File name extensions option (See image below)
3.2. Next, right-click on the AAC song file and choose Rename.
3.3. Now change the extension from .m4a to .m4r (See image below)
3.4. Click on Yes when asked “Are you sure you want to change it”.
3.5. Once the file name is saved, drag the file from its folder to your desktop (for your convenience)
4. Add the Renamed (.m4r) File to iTunes
In this step we will be transferring the file from your desktop to the Tones section of iTunes.
4.1. Connect your iPhone to your computer
4.2. Open iTunes on your computer.
4.3. On iTunes, select the three dots icon (next to phone icon) and click Tones in the drop-down menu. (See image below)
4.4. Now drag the ring tone file from your desktop to the Tones section in iTunes.
5. Sync iPhone With iTunes
Now you need to transfer the ringtone from iTunes to iPhone by syncing your iPhone with iTunes.
5.1. Click on the Phone icon in iTunes
5.2. From the side menu click on Tones (See image below)
5.3. Select Sync Tones and you will be presented with 2 options: All Tones and Selected Tones (See image above)
5.4. Click on Selected Tones and then select the Tone that you want to sync to your iPhone (In this case the tone that we have selected is a file named Dial up)
5.5. Finally, click on the Apply button to save your changes (you will see this at the bottom of your screen)
Wait till your iPhone finishes syncing and then disconnect your iPhone from the computer.
6. Set New Ringtone on Your iPhone
6.1. On your iPhone tap on Settings > Sounds > Ringtones
6.2. Select your new ringtone from the list. As you can see in the image below, the ringtone file named “Dial Up” is right at the top under Ringtones section.
This completes a somewhat lengthy process to set any song as ringtone on iPhone. However, once you get a hang of it, you should be able to repeat this process and add as many custom ringtones as you want to your iTunes library.
Common Errors While Creating Custom Ringtones from Songs
We are providing below solutions to two common errors that users encounter while trying to create custom ringtones from music files.
I don’t see an option to Create AAC version on iTunes
You may run into this problem due to your rip settings on your iTunes account. Follow the steps below to change rip settings.
1. Click on Edit from the iTunes menu bar and choose Preferences
2. On the next screen, click on Import Settings
3. Next, choose Import Using: AAC Encoder.
iTunes Error Code -54
We came across iTunes error Code -54 while trying to run tests in order to write this article.
Apparently, this error is due to a bug in Windows 10 operating system and can be resolved by fixing file permission errors. You may take a look at – How to Fix iTunes Error Code -54, in case you too are encountering this error.