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Ringtones are short snippets or clips of entire songs or audio recordings of any type, which are played when an action occurs on a telephone device (typically receiving a phone call; but Ringtones also commonly used for incoming text messages, emails, notifications, and other events).

The most common action is an outside (or internal) line calling into the telephone's number. Typically Ringtones are limited to 30 seconds, but this is not a hard limitation as there are no formal specifications in place and implementations vary from operating system to operating system, device to device, and manufacturer to manufacturer.

Mobile Ringtones


Steps to create a Ringtone (from MP3):

  1. Drag the file into your iTunes Library
  2. Right-click and go to "Song Info" then "Options" tab and set "Start" and "Stop" time for your desired snippet (Step 2 on older iTunes versions was: Right-click and click "convert to AAC")
  3. NEW Click on top-left menu bar item "File", then "Convert" and choose "Create AAC Version"
  4. Drag that AAC song out of iTunes and onto your desktop
  5. NEW No renaming required anymore - previously: Rename the file from "MyRingtone.m4a" (for AAC) to "MyRingtone.m4r" (which is a Very Special File Extension for ringtones)
  6. Back in iTunes, remove the original MP3 file from your iTunes library you just added choosing "Delete from Library" for now as well as the AAC file you created, otherwise when you add your new Ringtone file it might not get recognized as a new file due to same song name
  7. Drag the "MyRingtone.m4r" file into iTunes
  8. Ensure that iTunes is set to sync ringtones to your iPhone
  9. Sync your iPhone over USB

*NOTE: these steps have changed yet again and will likely continue to change each release... see sections in Red for old ways [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]


Android is much more straightforward. Just copy a snippet of a song (i.e. taken with a web-based tool, Audacity, etc) and after dragging/dropping it to your phone or Memory card, just point your Ringtone settings to it in your file system for certain types of calls (or all calls).



External Links


  1. Create a ringtone from a song on itunes 12.5: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/7727679?start=0&tstart=0
  2. Why Can’t Make Free iPhone Ringtone in iTunes? Here are the Solutions: http://www.simonblog.com/2012/01/05/why-you-cant-make-free-iphone-ringtone-in-itunes-here-are-the-solutions/
  3. Make iPhone Ringtones from MP3 Songs Using iTunes: https://www.labnol.org/software/make-iphone-ringtons-with-free-itunes/4738/
  4. How to get custom ringtone onto iOS 11 device?: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/8064597
  5. Use tones and ringtones with your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch: https://support.apple.com/en-ca/HT207955
  6. How to Transfer Ringtones to iPhone in iTunes 12.7: www.iphonehacks.com/2017/09/how-to-transfer-ringtones-iphone-itunes.html

See Also

Audio | Music | Mobile | Mobile Phone | Phone