Why pay for a ringtone when you already have the song or an .mp3 audio file.

Yes, you can turn any mp3 or m4a file into a ring tone, For example you can record a personalized ringtone for a special person in you life, or maybe create a happy birthday or happy anniversary message and make it you personalized message for the day. Yes you have to have access to the phone, but think of the fun you can have!

Now on to how to create a ringtone.

With just a few clicks in iTunes you can turn any unprotected song in iTunes for this to work (that is, a .m4a or .mp3 file, not .m4p). To turn it into a ringtone:

  1. Find the song or file you want to use.
  2. Determine what 20 – 30 second section you want to use and MAKE NOTE  of the start and stop times you would like. You are limited to 30 seconds.
  3. Right click on the track and hit “Get Info”. Under the Options tab, set your Start Time and Stop Time to the correct values you determined in step 3, and hit OK.
  4. Right click on the song and choose “Convert Selection to AAC”. If it says “Convert Selection to MP3” or “Apple Lossless” instead, head to iTunes’ Preferences, hit Import Settings, and switch it to the AAC Encoder, and try again.
  5. You should see the newly converted file pop up in iTunes, and it will be shorter than the original. On a Windows machine Right click on it and pick “Show in Windows Explorer” for the MAC “Show in Finder”. Change the name to append RINGTONE to the file name AND change the extension of the file from .m4a to .m4r.
  6. Then go to File > Add File to Library and navigate to the .m4r file you just created. It should show up in the Ringtones section of iTunes.

The next time you sync your iPhone, your new ringtone should show up in Settings > Sounds > Ringtones. If you want to set different ringtones for specific contacts, you can head to the Contacts app, edit the contact you want to change, and choose a ringtone for them under “Ringtone”.

If you want finer control over when your ringtone starts and ends, you can use GarageBand or Audicity.