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Summary:

Create free ringtones for your iPhone using only iTunes and songs you already have on your computer (This method only works with songs that are DRM free. To create ringtones using DRM protected songs please use this method). This method has been tested and works with […]

Create free ringtones for your iPhone using only iTunes and songs you already have on your computer (This method only works with songs that are DRM free. To create ringtones using DRM protected songs please use this method). This method has been tested and works with iTunes 7.7.1 and iPhone 2.0.1 firmware.

To create custom ringtones using only iTunes:

  1. Right click on the song you are going to make into a ringer and select “Get Info.”
  2. Go to the options tab and go down to the “Start Time” and “Stop Time” check boxes. Check both boxes and input the time you want your ringer to start/stop. The ringer has to be 30 seconds or less. Click OK when you’re done.
  3. Right click on your newly “clipped” song and select “Convert Selection to AAC.” The song will be re-encoded using the start and stop times determined (If your menu item does not read “Convert Selection to AAC” and reads “Convert Slection to MP3″ (or some other format) please go to iTunes > Preferences > Advanced > Importing and change the “Import Using” drop down menu to “AAC Encoder”).
  4. After the song is done encoding navigate to your iTunes Music folder, locate your song, and drag it to your desktop. After the song is on your desktop go back to iTunes and delete the clipped version from you iTunes library (It won’t delete it from your desktop, it will only remove it from iTunes).
  5. Go back the song on your desktop and right click on your song and chose “Get info.” Go to the name and extension section and change the extension from .m4a to .m4r (or you can just change the extension right from your desktop)
  6. After the extension is changed simply double click on the file to add it to your iTunes library under the ringtones section. Sync your phone with iTunes and you’re done!

Remember to go back into iTunes and uncheck your custom start and stop times for the original version of your song.

Other Ringtone Posts

Here are a few other posts about creating ringtones for your iPhone that you might find interesting.

  1. ah, boogie

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    1. i have the newest iphone (came out june 19) and this didnt work for it.

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      1. Same here i got the iPhone4 and i could only go up to the part where were suppose to convert it from .m4a to .m4r

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      2. Yeh and me, i have iphone4 and itunes 9.1, I have the file in my ringtones folder on itunes and it says my iphone4 is syncing, but i cannot find the ringtone on my ‘ringtone’ section? wtf?

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    2. Worked for me i.e. on my iPhone 3GS… :o) Thanks for the tip and excellent instructions.

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      1. On newer iTunes and iPhone 4, make sure to find the AAC converted file on your hard drive, then delete it out of iTunes but keep the file. Then drag the file from finder into the ringtones folder. Then it will work.

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    3. Worked for me i.e. on my iPhone 3GS also.Thanks for the tip and excellent instructions, great to know i don’t have to settle for the installed ones.

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      1. tell me what you did step by step to put ringtones from the library to the iphone 3gs

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    4. Using iTunes 8.2 with my iPhone 3GS this worked a treat, much better than the rubbish “free” converters out there.
      Great guide :)

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    5. I’ve got 32bg 3g(s) and iTunes 8.4 and I did it all up till changing it to m4r. when I right click I can’t change it

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      1. Neither can I. Did you get it to work?

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    6. This works on the iphone 3gs. Thanks heaps :)

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    7. i have done this, it is in my ringtones folder on itunes but when i go on my phone it is not in sounds… ?

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    8. worked for me on my 3gs! im stoked on this! i hated paying for songs and ringtones!

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    9. awesome, thanks for the info man. works great on my iphone 3gS – much appreciated!

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    10. does this only work on mac , or can i do it with my pc ??

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      1. Haha! Sorry, this is a mac only. Maybe instead of taking the time to dream about doing this, you should just go ahead and buy a mac. Totally worth the $$$. Trust me. ;D

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      2. And by that comment, Jessica just confirmed that she indeed is a rotten apple… It works just as well on both PC and Mac… I have done it on both…

        So Jessica, go ahead and buy a clue… Trust me, it’s worth it…

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    11. did not work for 3gs…. old version… this is from 08 article

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    12. I just did this at it works….

      just change stuff in my comp… and it works
      Adeel on August 7th, 2008 at 5:38 pm

      This rocks. Thanks Jenny.

      RaniLT – to change the extension on your desktop you will have to first configure Windows to show the file extention (it is hidden by default). To do this follow the instructions below:

      1. Open My Computer
      2. In the menu bar, choose Tools and then choose Folder Options
      3. Click the View tab
      4. Uncheck the box for “Hide extensions for known file types”
      5. Click on “Apply to all folders”
      6. Click OK to close window

      Now you should see the file extension of every file. Simply right-click the file and choose rename to change the extension from m4a to m4r. Finally, follow the same instructions to hide the exetensions.

      Hope this helps!

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      1. Thank you.

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      2. I realize this is old, but THANK YOU!

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      3. thanks you helped me ALOT!!! i appreciate it

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    13. How do you change it to .m4a to .m4r . Once it is on my desktop I don’t see the option “get info”

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    14. awesome! works great on iphone 3gs!

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    15. Go to the name and extension section and change the extension from .m4a to .m4r (or you can just change the extension right from your desktop)

      how would i do this?

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    16. With iTunes 8.0 the option to change the import settings to AAC is in iTunes>Preferences>General>Import Settings.

      Otherwise, this is SPOT ON. Works like a charm!

      THANKS

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    17. Rob McMillin Tuesday, July 7, 2009

      Works for me. Woot!

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    18. Rob McMillin Tuesday, July 7, 2009

      Oh, and BTW, my iPhone is the newest 3GS version (less than a week old now) and using the latest version of iTunes (I *think* 8.2.3) on the Mac under the current release of OS X.

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    19. Robin Crawford Thursday, July 9, 2009

      Everything was fine up until I had to change the ext on the file to .m4r. When I rightclick on the file, it doesnt give you the option to get info. I wonder if it has something to do with Windows Vista. hmmmmm

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    20. Thanks to the info and tip from “mk” and it worked for me. ;-)

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    21. i have the 3gs this worked for me and made me extremely happy. :)

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    22. This works for me and I have the new iPhone 3GS

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    23. followed instructions but still cant corvert music in 2 ringtones any help please

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    24. nothings working got the new iphone s and new itunes someone please help

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    25. Thanks for the tip! Worked for me on iPhone 3GS connecting to Mac OS X 10.4.11 running iTunes 8.2. Make sure you remember to “delete the clipped version from you iTunes library” as described in step 4; I neglected to do that that and was therefore unable to drag the file from my desktop into Ringtones until I deleted the clipped version of the song.

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    26. This isn’t working for my 3gs and itunes 8.2 do you have to be on a mac? I’m a PC. HELP! I want me free ringtones back

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    27. Everything worked, but when I go into my iphone to try and make my custom ringtone my general ringtone it is not under the sounds menu. The only way it works is if I go under contacts and add the custom ringtone for a specific contact. Anyone know how I can make my new custom ringtone an option in the sounds menu or how I can have it played as my general ring?

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    28. Excellent!! Works for my iPhoneGS..

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    29. Thanks so much! Worked perfectly for my new iPhone.

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    30. i TRIED BUT I DON’T SEE CONVERT TO AAC IT’S JUST CREATE AAC. I DID TRY CREATING AAC THEN FOLLOW THE NEXT STEP BUT WHEN I BROWSE THE MUSIC FOLDER IT ONLY ALLOWS ME TO RENAME BUT WITHOUT THE EXTENSION. IT’S STILL UNDER MP4 RATHER THAN M4A. HELP… REALLY WANNA TRY THIS.

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    31. Hi all,

      Works very well with tunes purchased on Itunes store but not at all with other tunes!
      Actually all ringtones appear on iTunes but when you sync them, it works only for purchased ones!!!
      Does anybody has a tip?

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    32. Why does it not show up on my sounds?

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    33. after you move the clipped song from itunes to your desktop, you are meant to right click and choose more info. this option isnt there for me. any ideas???

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    34. Great and simple instructions. I can convert the songs and put them back into a ringtones folder on itunes but they don’t appear on my iphone 3gs.
      Can anyone out there help?

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    35. I am able to make ringtones for some songs, but having trouble with a few… error states, ” song cannot be converted because protected files cannot be converted to other formats”. How can I fix this???? I have the iphone 3G, latest version of itunes.

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    36. I am able to make ringtones for some songs, but having trouble with a few… error states, ” song cannot be converted because protected files cannot be converted to other formats”. How can I fix this???? I have the iphone 3G, latest version of itunes

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    37. Mine Kinda works.

      It uploads correctly to itunes and i can even import to Iphone (3gs) but i cant find them

      please help

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    38. How do you drag your song to your desktop?? I did the “Get Info” and select “Convert Selection to AAC.” But can’t figure out how to drag to the desktop please help.

      Thanks
      Jeremiah

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    39. Works like charm on my iPhone 3G(OS 3.0.1) Thanks a LOT!!

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    40. once i put it on the desktop, “get info” did not show up when i right clicked on it. I have windows vista and i tried following just the windows XP directions but it didnt work. Help?

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    41. ALbert McCormick Thursday, August 6, 2009

      How Do you carry out this procedure on a mack?

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    42. worked on my 3gs

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    43. Thank you!

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    44. yes it works on on iphone3g 3.0 i love it

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    45. Excellent work. It work on my 3GS. if you have problem with change extension to .m4r then follow this step. Control panel> Folder options>View> deselect the Hide extensions for know file type.
      Now you can change the file type by right click on the file ( like change name )

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    46. I just got my 32g 3Gs iphone yesterday and this works fine. thanks alot mate

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    47. worked great thanks

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    48. Thanks mogreen88.. now I can do it!!!!

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    49. yeah! it’s was a little more convoluted for saving it from a m4a to a m4r, but what I did was this. Right click from the desktop copy, select send to email recipient, but then from there I double clicked on it while it was in the email and selected save, then was able to change it to an m4r… then like it says double clicked and it went to my ringtone folder! awesome! thanks for sharing.

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    50. New to apple products, this is brill, thanks

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    51. yeah boyi that sh!# worked

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    52. This is just not working with my 3gs. Any suggestions?

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    53. It works beautifully. LOVE IT!
      Thanks for the help.

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    54. STEP BY STEP video for PC & MAC for itunes 8.2.1

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    55. I did as instructed and it didn’t work. when i double clicked it put it in Itunes but not in the ringtone section and thus i was unable to download the ringtone.
      any advice?

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    56. I have an iPhone 3GS and this worked perfectly. Thank you so much for your very simple instructions. For those of you who are having trouble changing the file extension, All I did was right click and click on rename and changed the “a” to “r”. And presto, it worked just the same. Hope that helps.

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    57. Amazing! an Yma Sumac song as a ringtone is just absolutely fabulous. Thank you for sharing.

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    58. THANK YOU!! Great instructions, worked perfectly!

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    59. Awesome- Thanks

      Adeel’s steps on how to change file name was very useful (posted on August 7th, 2008 at 5:38 pm)
      Thanks all

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    60. Worked like a charm on my iphone 3GS.

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    61. I have iphone 3GS and this worked perfectly. Thanks!

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    62. excellent! thanks for the tip!

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    63. Awesome, this works well, now to find out about message alerts!!

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    64. Great tip! Worked like a charm for my 3GS and iTunes 9.

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    65. Unfortunately it does not work. There’s no way to change extention from m4a to m4r :-(. Could someone please advice on how to do it by snapping a pic and post it? Thank you in advance…..

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    66. Have i-Tunes 9.0.0.70 & i-Phone 3G 3.1.
      This guide worked like a charm.
      dunno about correct wording for clicks, have a german version, but it works fine.

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    67. This method works with Itunes 9 on my 1st gen iPhone (2G) with jail broken 3.1OS. Will update in a few weeks if it works with my 3GS.

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    68. Why does this have to be so difficult. It is only ringstones. This should be simple like using the ipod.

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    69. Hi!

      I followed your instructions, but i cant change the file to .m4r.

      im currently using windows, but it should work…

      Anu 1 know anything about this?

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    70. Just FYI I did this on my iphone 3GS which is about a week old and it worked flawlessly. Very happy i didnt have to jailbreak to change a ringtone!

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    71. Thanks for this! Works like a charm!

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    72. spoke too soon. worked once. now it doesn’t :-(

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    73. iPhone 3GS owner as of 2 wks ago. Thanks so much for the step-by-step education! Works great…Really appreciated

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    74. wont let me change it to m4r. doesnt even give me that option. can i have a picture step by step or something else that would work. thanx

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    75. everything is great up to the part i have to change the extension name……. it doesnt let me do it on my computer i try to and it just scans the song i dont knw what i might be doing wrong help anyone ??

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    76. Worked on most tracks for my 3Gs, sweet and simple solution, cheers. My Leisure Society, Cars track sounds great.

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    77. Awesome instructions man! you helped me out so much thank you!

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    78. Go back the song on your desktop and right click on your song and chose “Get info.” Go to the name and extension section and change the extension from .m4a to .m4r (or you can just change the extension right from your desktop

      when i right click there isn’t a “get info” link, and it doesnt say m4a anywhere either??

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    79. I used your advice and it really helped!!
      thank you so much
      can i just say though that first i needed to go to
      My computer> Tools> Folder options
      and unhide the ext file types
      anyway thanx again!!

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    80. Oh my god it freakin worked & to think i doubted it was gonna work you guys rock my ear pussy now
      thanks lots

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    81. Worked well for me, Thanks!

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    82. I was able to follow the step without problems until I synced the iphone, my custom ringtone didn’t show up in the custom section of the ringtones, only the puchased ringtones was there. Then I finally figured out that the original file that you are converting to aac (eventualy to m4r) must be over 30 seconds so you can chop it down. I had a 7 second mp3 file which I converted to a ringtone m4r, it didn’t show up on my phone. When I looped the 7 sec sound 10 times in wav editor and make the file 1m10s. I went back into itunes then checked the start and stop times to under 30 sec, converted to aac, then m4r and presto it worked!!! I finally got my ringtone that I want after 2 days of fustration.

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    83. Angel Angelov Monday, November 2, 2009

      I just got the newest iPhone and I also have iTunes 9.0.1. I just tried these instructions and it worked beautifully. Big thanks to the authors… excellent instructions.

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    84. hi, when I upload 2 ringtone into the Iphone, I was only able to see one. When I deleted the previous one, I can play the new one. Hence, I’m wondering if Iphone can accept only one custom ringtone.

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    85. i can get to the clipping part i entered my start and stop times but when i right click on the clipped song there is not “convert selection to AAC”???????

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    86. i got all the way to the “get info” part and now im stumped…..dont have that option when i right click…..help please?

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    87. DUH with the “a” and “r” thing….i feel retarded! thanks for this post it rocks since i got my iphone today and i was pissed that i bought a ringtone and couldnt use it :)

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    88. I followed every step, but where I can find the ringtone in Iphone? I checked under “setting” – “sounds” – “ringtone”, it is not there. Can someone help me?

      thanks,

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    89. It worked for me with some slight changes. I have the 3GS and the latest version of iTunes and a MacBook. You have to purchase the song in iTunes. Here are the changes:
      1. In Step #2 – I set my ringtone to 20 seconds.
      2. I did “Create Ringtone” instead of “Convert to AAC”. After it re-codes, the cut clipped appear in iTunes. So, there is no need to do any of the high-lighted portion in Step #3.

      Voila!

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    90. for some reason the ringtone is on itunes but does not sync 2 my iphone

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    91. I am able to get to the very last step where it says double click the file to add it to your itunes library under the ringtones section and when I double click it, all it does is play the song. I erased the clipped version, changed it to a .m4r and I don’t know how to get it to my ringtones to sync it… what gives?

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    92. thanks man, works perfect on my iphone3gs!! great tip!!! merry christmas!!

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    93. ok now how do i find my ring tone on my i phone?

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    94. I have managed to convert the songs and add the ringtones to my itunes but can only have one on my iphone at a time! Am I doing something wrong or can I only have one track on there at a time? Help please!

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    95. I’m facing some problem… when i choose to sync with my iphone…it clear all my music and video
      so after i put the ringtone into iphone…i hv to sync all my music again

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    96. Advice does create ringtone file, however appears to be blocked on new iPhone 3GS v. 3.1.2 and in iTunes 9. It prevents one from adding the file into the Ringtones section. If anybody knows how to negotiate around this, please update posts!

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    97. Everything was so freaking difficult until I right-clicked on the track I wanted and clicked “Convery to a ringtone”.

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    98. it works!!!!!

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    99. Victory for the wee people !! thanks for the tip to uncheck the “hide file extentions” very helpful. Cheers

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    100. well when i get to desktop it doesn’t say get info i cant figure out to change the extension

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    101. It works! Great, now I can use the songs I recorded myself on my iPhone. (Or just any cool sounds I like)
      Thanks!

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    102. I just wanted to say thanks for the information. I am not a savvy user but found this to be great. I went step by step but got a little confused when asked to find the file and move it. But figured it out eventually and it works.
      Thanks so much.

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    103. The procedure works flawlessly. Using iTunes 9 w/ iPhone 3GS

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  2. Cool method, though it seems a bit more work than just using GarageBand.

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  3. Believe it or not the process only takes a few minutes once you know what you’re doing.

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  4. Brilliant tip!

    To test it out, I just converted three tracks into ringtones in about 10 minutes.

    Thanks, mate!

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    1. how did you change the ext. when i right click “get info” doesn’t appear.

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    2. you change the extension in windows explorer?

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    3. Does it delete the full version of the original song???

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  5. I realized this method a few weeks ago and it has been great making ringtones in a matter of few minutes without paying extra bucks. So far, I haven’t hit any constraints in terms of how long the ringtone can be or how many can we store on iphone 3g… A very useful application indeed.!

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  6. I’m surprised someone hasn’t written a simple program to do all that work for you. Wonder how long before Apple shuts that concept down. I smell a new version of iTunes coming out………….

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  7. Freakin awesome! My friend on Windows was having a hard time creating ringtones with crappy ringtone makers. Can you believe it? An iPhone ringtone maker outputs the file as an MP3. Geez. Anyway, thanks for this.

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  8. how do you change the extension on your desktop??

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  9. @RaniLT just rename the file

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  10. how do you change the extension on your desktop from m4a to m4r on windows??

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    1. I did everything to the point where the file needs to go into ringtones in the library. I drag and drop but wont go. Cant copy and paste. Any ideas? Thanks

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