Over the weekend, I got an iphone. It really is an amazing piece of technology. I am loving it. Hopefully it will make me more productive rather than less so because I’m playing with it so much. I thought it might be helpful for other iphone owners for me to post some tips that I discover from time to time. The first is about ringtones. It was pretty frustrating to realize that Apple wanted me to pay another $1 for each song I already own to use it as a ringtone. I knew there had to be a workaround, and there is. I would say you will need at least intermediate computer skills to do this, so if you are a novice, you may be better off just shelling out the dollar. But, I am way to cheap for that. So, here are the steps to taking a song you already own and turning it into a ringtone for the iphone…
1. Choose an unprotected song in your library (you cannot do this with a protected AAC file)
2. drag the song onto your desktop (this will create a copy of the file on your desktop)
3. Open it in an audio editor (I use audacity)
4. Trim the song to the portion you want to play when your phone rings (it must be less than 40 sec.)
5. Export it as a .wav file to your desktop (I had to export it at -9db so that it wouldn’t be too loud)
6. Drag this .wav file back into itunes
7. ctrl-click on the .wav file and choose “convert selection to AAC”
8. drag the new .AAC file onto the desktop (this will create a copy of the file on your desktop)
9. delete both the .wav file and the .AAC file from itunes (this is very important- it will not work if these files are still in itunes)
10. The .AAC file on your desktop will have a .m4a extension. Change the extension to .m4r (this effectively converts the file to a ringtone).
11. Copy the new .m4r file back into itunes (it will show up in the “ringtones” area of itunes)
I know that sounds complicated, but after I figured it out, it only takes me a couple of minutes to make a ringtone from one of my songs. Have fun bothering everyone with your annoying ringtones.