A ringtone is a segment of a song or sound effect that you can designate as the sound you hear when your cell phone rings or when a message is received. The industry of ringtones is responsible for a growing market and share of a recording artist’s revenue. If you have already purchased a song, many wonder why you have to pay again for the use of that song as a ringtone. You don’t have to. If you have a song that you already own and an iTunes application on your Mac or PC, you can create your own ringtone to be used when you receive a call or text message on your cell phone.
First you have to choose a song and a section of the song you wish to isolate as the ringtone. Most mobile phones will accept a portion of a song that is 30 or 40 seconds long.
Once you have chosen the song and the section of the song you’d like to use as a ringtone, you have to chart the time in track that contains that section. For instance, if you want the chorus of the song, launch iTunes and play the song. Pay attention to the counter at the top of the screen to find the beginning of the chorus and the end of the section you choose. Let’s say the portion of the track that is the chorus is between the 1:30 mark and 1:55. Write those exact numbers down as you will need them later.
Right-click on the song and choose “get info” from the menu that appears. Choose “Options” to reveal the menu that allows you to alter the time of the song.
In the Options menu, in the lower middle portion of the window, you will see “start time” and “stop time”. Change the values in those respective fields to reflect the start and stop time for your chosen ringtone. In our example above, you would input “1:30” in the start time field and “1:55” in the stop time field. Click “okay” at the bottom of the window when you are finished.
Next, you have to create an AAC version of the song to change it from a song to a ringtone. Right-click on the song again and choose “Create AAC Version”. An AAC version of the song will be created and listed directly below the song you’ve chosen. You will hear an alert when the copy is completed.
Right-click on the copy and choose “Show in Windows Explorer”. This is the process for changing the characterization of the song into a ringtone. When the menu opens, you will see the song in a list by itself. You have to change the format of the song by changing its suffix. Right-click on the song and choose “rename”. Change the ending suffix of the song from “M4a” to “M4r”. Once you have changed the suffix hit “Enter”. The song will play the section you chose and signify that the ringtone has been created and stored in iTunes.
Go back to iTunes. You will now have to return the time counter on the song back to the original length and delete the ringtone from your library. Don’t worry; it will still be saved as a ringtone. Right-click on the shortened copy and choose “delete”. Right-click on the original song, choose “get info” and then “options”. Go down to the start and stop times and enter zeros for both fields. This will return the time counter to the original values.
The next time you sync your phone, check the box next to “Ringtones” and your newly made ringtone will be added to your phone.