How to create ringtones for the iPhone – Annoyrring!


Face it, each and every one of you has wanted to annoy your neighbours with songs from your teeny-bopping iTunes collection. Imagine: Oprah soundboards, talk-show clips, John Denver singing about farm life: each available for every call at the behest of  your phone’s over-amped speakers. There are a couple of simple and legal methods to do this without purchasing additional ringtones. But if you are lazy and filthy rich, Sony have something to help you unload your unneeded dosh.

Follow the gap for the how to and 3rd-party links:

Method 1: Do it yourself (DIY) approach. Advantages: No extra software needed. Disadvantages: lots of right-clicking.

  1. Find a DRM-less song in your iTunes library, listen to it, noting the start and stop times of the bit you want to listen to.
  2. Right click the song and click, ‘Get Info’.
  3. Tips-MakeRingtones-getinfo

  4. Navigate to the ‘Options’ tab. Under Start and Stop time, enter time values from step 1, making sure to use the following input format: mm:ss:ms. In my example, I cut the song off after 30 seconds. Note: ring tones must remain less than 40 seconds.
  5. Tips-MakeRingtones-options

  6. Click ‘OK’.
  7. Right click the song again and click, ‘Create AAC version’. AAC encoding settings can be changed from iTunes preferences under import settings.
  8. The resulting file is the one you will need. Right-click yet again and select ‘show in finder’. Finder will navigate to the file.
  9. Replace the ‘a’ in .m4a of the file title with, ‘r’, so that the file reads name.m4r. Finder will ask if you are sure you want to use the extension “.m4r”. You are sure, click ‘Use .m4r’.
  10. Back in iTunes, remove it by hitting ‘delete’ and when iTunes asks if you want to move it to the trash, select ‘keep file’.
  11. Tips-MakeRingtones-save

  12. Go back to the finder and drag and drop that file to iTunes.

Voila, DIY ringtones is done. You just need to sync the new ringtone with your iPhone, and you are done. It is really simply and can be done in about a minute or two, but this method gets cumbersome with many files.

Method 2: Use the Make Own Ringtone website. Advantages: No headaches with 3rd-party software; lots of option. Disadvantages: slower than method one and not as precise or safe as using 3rd-party software; requires you to upload and download files – time consuming depending on your network connection.

The fancier way is to use Make Own Ringtone, an excellent website which basically goes through the same steps, but allows you to add EQ, tones, fade effects and a few other items to your ring tones. All instructions are imbedded and you can select from three appropriate levels: easy, advanced, and expert.


Both methods are good, but method one keeps everything neatly packaged in iTunes. To fade in and out, normalise, etc., Audacity can be used for real editing and is much more robust than even the expert mode at Make Own Ringtone.

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