screenshot_04I’m sure you’ve seen many ways to do this, already, but I have never shared my way, on my blog. I’ll be showing you a very simple way to create your own ringtones on a Mac, from any song or sound clip, all within iTunes. Absolutley free. You do not need to jailbreak or unlock your iPhone for this method. Once the ringtone is created, you simple sync with iTunes. I’ll be using OS X v10.5.7 and iTunes v8.1.1.

– First thing you need to do is choose an MP3 you want to have as your ringtone. It can be any type of song or sound that you have NOT purchased from the iTunes Store, unless you have purchased a DRM free MP3. If the song or sound you want to use is not already in your iTunes library, simply hit File > Add To Library, and then point to where ever your MP3 is saved.

screenshot_01– Next, we need to get that ringtone chopped down to under 30 seconds. The iPhone ringtone cannot be longer than that. If your MP3 is already less the 30 seconds, you do not need to worry about this, and just move on the the next step. In iTunes, select the MP3 you’re going to use. Right click on it, then in the drop down menu, click on  “Get Info”. Click the “Options” tab. You should see “Start time” and “Stop time”. Just determine which 30 seconds of your MP3 you want to have as the ringtone. In my example, I have it starting 30 seconds into the song, and finishing at 1 minute into the song. This may take you a few tries to get it just right, depending on where you want the ringtone to stop and start. You do not have to stick with exact seconds, for example if you just want the chorus of the song, but it doesn’t start right at 30 seconds, you can adjust your start time to 0:30.7, or what ever it needs to be, to start it just at the right moment. Same for the ending of your ringtone, just keep in mind that it must be less than 30 senconds.

screenshot_05– Next step is to convert your clip to an ACC, or .m4a file. In iTunes, go to Preferences and click the “General” tab. You should see a button labeled “Import Settings…”. Click it. A new window will come down, showing what type of encoding iTunes can do: ACC, AIFF, MP3, and WAV. You need to select ACC. Everything else here can stay default, so just click “Okay”, then “Okay” again, to exit Preferences. Go back to your MP3, in your library. Rick click on it again, but this time click “Create ACC Version”. iTunes will then create an ACC version of the MP3, but only the section of the MP3 you set the Start and Stop times for. This should only take a second, then you’ll here the iTunes “doodle-dee” sound, letting you know it is complete. It will pop up right below your original MP3. If you want to keep the original length of your MP3, go back into the options and just un-click the start and stop times, and hit Okay.

– Next thing we need to do is make iTunes think your new ACC file is actually a ringtone. Right click on your new ACC file. In the drop down menu click on “Show in Finder”. A Finder window will open to the location of your ACC, or .m4a file. Once you locate your new file, you can rename it what ever you want, but the important part is the extension. Instead of .m4a, you want the new extension to be .m4r. Once you change the extension and hit “Okay”, OS X will ask you if you’re sure you want to change the extension. Click “Use .m4r”. Leave this Finder window open, as we will need it in the next step. That’s it. There’s your new ringtone.

– Now we need to get this new ringtone into you Ringtone library, in iTunes. Go back to iTunes, to your ACC file. We need to delete this from your library, or the new .m4r version will not import properly. Right click on it and select “Delete”. You will get 2 pop ups here. On the first one click “Remove”. On the second one make sure you click “Keep File”, or all your hard work will be gone. Next, go back to that Finder window we left open, earlier. Simply double click the .m4r file and it will automatically open up in your Ringtones Library in iTunes, and start playing.

– All that is left, is to get the ringtone on your iPhone. Just sync your iPhone. If it doesn’t syn automatically, just simply click and drag the new tone to your iPhone, iTunes. On your iPhone, go to Settings > Sounds > Ringtone, and then select your new tone from the menu. This will now be your default ringtone. You can also use it for specific contacts. You can create an add as many of these as your iPhone’s memory allows. You could create personalized ringtones for each of your friends! Try it out, and enjoy the freedom.

Here’s a short video tutorial I put together. Hope this helps: