Tutorial: iPhone Ringtones for Free!
I’ve seen literally hundreds of sites advertising their rss feed, podcast, or immediately downloadable ringtones for your iPhone.
I also found a few sites (for example: http://theappleblog.com/2008/08/07/free-custom-iphone-ringtones-using-only-itunes/) on how to create ringtones. (amazing tutorial by the way, works like a dream)
But what if you don’t have the song in your library? I like having video game music as my ringtone, especially obscure ones like “Mario Kart Wii – Star Man”
So, what I did is found a copy of Mario Kart Wii – Star Man in MP3 format. (http://www.vgmusic.com)
After downloading it, I could just import it into my iTunes library, convert it, and insert it on my iPhone like the tutorial suggests.
But, I’m difficult. I don’t want to mess up my library, and I wanted a slightly lighter process than the one listed.
I also wanted to be able to do it on ANY operating system, for free and with no legal ramifications.
My favorite tool (lately) for converting media formats is VLC. (http://www.videolan.org/)
Other than being able to play any format known to man (and some that aren’t), VLC can convert from one format to another. It’s interface isn’t very good, but it’s workable for our process.
So, now i have an mp3; it’s shorter than 30 seconds which is the maximum length the iPhone accepts for a ringtone, so I can use this one out of the box. If it WERE larger than 30 seconds I would probably trim it using “SoX” (Sound eXchange) (http://sox.sourceforge.net/)
Now load up VLC.
Select “Media -> Convert / Save”.
Now, the tricky part.
On the “Encapsulation” tab select MP4. Set up a “File” while you’re here.
Then select the “Audio codec” tab, and enable it. Set the Codec to “MPEG 4 Audio (AAC)“. Ensure the bitrate is 128 kb/s and the 2 channels.
That’s it. Press Save.
Change the extension to “.m4r”, and import it into iTunes, sync it with your iPhone and select your new Ringtone from the Settings screen.
For the lazy, I wrote a batch file that should do this for you: