Join Garrick Chow for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating ringtones, part of iTunes 9 Essential Training.
This is a movie for iPhone users who are interested in customizing the ringtones of their phones with song clips. These days it seems like you can't find a cell phone that has ringtone that sounds like a phone anymore. Ringtones these days seem to be all about playing clips of your favorite songs. So if you are one of these people who likes to have music play as their ringtone for your iPhone, you'll be happy to know that you can create a ringtone from any song in your library. Now that said, there are two very different ways of doing this. One method is for converting songs you have purchased from the iTunes Store into ringtones and the other is for songs you didn't purchase from the iTunes Store. Unfortunately the easy way is reserved for the purchases and you do have to pay an additional fee for the privilege of converting a song you already paid for into a ringtone.
So I am going to show you this method first and then I'll show you a way to do it for free. Earlier I purchased a song from the iTunes store by the Jellybricks and I can find that under the Purchased section of the Store heading. It's called Brand New Sunglasses, and I want to turn this into a ringtone. To do so, I just right click on it and choose Create Ringtone. Now, if I tried to select Create Ringtone on a song I didn't purchase from the store, I am going to show you here, I will get this message telling me that ringtones can only be created from songs purchased from the iTunes Store, just like I told you. But on a song that I did purchase from the store, let me choose that again, you can see what's happened here is a waveform is opened at the bottom of the window.
The waveform represents the entire song from start to finish. This lets me visually determine which portion of the song I want to use and of course, I can also listen to the clip. So this blue area represents the portion of this song that will turn into my ringtone. I can click the Preview button to give it a listen. (Music playing.) If you want to adjust the length and position of the ringtone area, you can click and drag it anywhere in the song you like and you can drag the front end to the left and right to make this longer or shorter.
You can go all the way up to 30 seconds long or down to 3 seconds long. So maybe I want to move this to about 10 seconds and I'll drag the front out again back to the beginning of the song, right where the waveform starts. Give that a listen. (Music playing.) Okay, so you can hear that we have these fade in and fade out on as well.
So that way, we don't just cut off abruptly at the end of the clip before we go back to the beginning. I don't think we need the fade in because the song does start pretty abruptly, so I am just going to uncheck that. We also have the option of adding additional gaps of silence between the time when the clip ends and when it starts again, but I think about half a second is right. Now, once you are happy with this clip and definitely make sure that is the clip that you want because once you buy, you are going to pay 99 cents for this ringtone, and if you change your mind on the portion of the clip that you want to use, you are going to have to come back here, create another ringtone, and pay 99 cents again.
But I'm pretty happy with this. So I'll click Buy. Saying are you sure, you want to do this? I'll say Buy. And now the ringtone portion of my library has appeared and is selected and in here I see Brand New Sunglasses as my ringtone, 10 seconds long. So that's pretty easy and convenient to do. But again, you can only create a ringtone with this method from songs that you purchased from the iTunes Store and you do have to pay a dollar for the ringtone. Now, you could create your own ringtone simply by editing one of your songs in a music editing program like GarageBand on the Mac or maybe Soundbooth on Windows. But I am not going to teach you how to work with those programs here.
Let me instead show you a quick workaround for creating a ringtone with only iTunes. First you want to locate the song you want to turn into a ringtone in your own library. I'll come in here. I find The Jellybricks. Let's go with Goodnight To Everyone. Then you want to listen to the song and figure out which portion of the song you want to use as your ringtone. So when it's playing you want to keep an eye on the time code here. (Music playing.) So I think right about 15 seconds right before the vocal comes in.
I am going to start from the beginning of the song, 15 seconds in and out. That will be my ringtone. Next I am going to right-click on this track, choose Get Info, here under the Options tab, we have our Start Time and Stop Time options. Normally you use these to cut out portions of songs that you don't want to listen to, whether it's the beginning or the end. For instance if you are listening to a live album and the track you like starts with the artist talking on for maybe 2 minutes at a time before the song actually starts. So without editing the track itself, you can actually come in here and say start the song at 2 minutes at all times.
So anytime this track comes up, you can skip the talking and go right to the song. But that's not what we are doing this case. In this case, we wanted to just put in the time codes that represent the portion that we want to turn into our ringtone. So now I am going to start at very beginning of the song, which in this case is 0 seconds, and I know I want to stop 15 seconds in. So this will be 0:15. Click OK. So now I have limited this song to just 15 seconds. I am going to have to remember to go back and turn that off, because I don't want this song to only play 15 seconds each time it comes up. But before I do that I want to convert this into an AAC file and if you recall how to encode songs in our library by going to Preferences, under the General section, to Import Settings and here you can choose which encoder you want to use.
I do have AAC Encoder selected. Click OK. So I am going to right click on this song and choose Create AAC Version. Just like that because it's only 15 seconds long, I have a second version of the song that's only 15 seconds long and this version of the song really is only 15 seconds. None of the song is actually still there, but hidden. Even if Goodnight To Everyone, the original track, was an AAC file, I definitely want to create a copy here because I don't want to risk permanently messing up the original one in any way. I eventually will have to delete this file.
So before I forget, I am going to go back to Get Info on the original file and just turn off that Stop Time options, so the stop doesn't just stop at 15 seconds the next time I listen to it. But as far as this one goes, the next thing I want to do is to write click on this and choose to find this in my Finder or if you are on Windows, you want to choose Show in Windows Explorer. That's going to show you the file itself sitting here. I'll just move my iTunes window a little bit to the side. Now, what I want to do is copy this file to my desktop. I am going to hold down Option on the Mac, if you are on Windows you'll hold down Ctrl to copy this to my desktop.
The reason I am making a copy outside of iTunes is because I am going to have to re-import this file into iTunes. And before I re-import it, I am going to change its extension. m4a is the extension for AAC files. I am going to change this into m4r for ringtone. Make sure that it does that for me. So that really is the trick. As long as it's m4r and encoded as an ACC, it will turn into a ringtone. Now before I bring this back into iTunes, iTunes will sometimes not re-import this because it might think it's still the same file as the one here in my library.
So I am going to select the 15 second clip that we created, hit Delete, remove it from my Library, move it to the trash so it's completely gone. And now I can grab this file and bring it back into my library and now if I go looking ringtones, there is my 15 second Goodnight To Everyone clip. (Music playing.) So there's my brand new ringtone.
Now, I can't do anything fancy like the fade in and fade out that we could with the purchased ringtone and I can't clip it as precisely as I can when I edited the purchased song either. But the price for this ringtone suits me just fine. Now, if you are a Mac user and you have GarageBand, you can create your own ringtones and you do have the ability to do things like fade in and fade out and precisely edit your tracks and then with the added bonus of being able to export them directly into iTunes as a ringtone. So if you have a Mac and GarageBand you might want to look into how to do that and we do have training on GarageBand on lynda.com Online Training Library.
If you are on Windows and you are using another sound editing program, after you are done editing your ringtone, just be sure to export your clip in an iTunes compatible format, maybe a wav file or aif file. And then an iTunes convert it to an AAC and then find the AAC file and give it that m4r extension and then re-import into iTunes. It takes more steps but again, it's free. So that's how you can create ringtones from your iPhone from both iTunes Store purchased and non-iTunes Store purchased music.
- Creating playlists, Smart playlists, and nested playlists
- Expanding a library across multiple hard drives
- Activating and using the Genius feature
- Setting up Home Sharing
- Understanding and utilizing the parental controls