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How to Make a free iPhone Ringtone from a Song

If you have a song that you want to turn into a ringtone, there's no need to shell out money for something you've paid for already. Making a free iPhone ringtone from a song just takes a few simple steps to complete.

These steps have been tested with iTunes 8.2.0.23 on an iPhone 3GS. If you are having trouble getting a song to show up on your iPhone after converting it to a ringtone and syncing, it might have DRM. These steps only work on songs not protected by DRM.

How to make a free iPhone ringtone from a song in iTunes

  1. Locate the song you want to convert in iTunes.
  2. Right click the song and choose Get Info.
  3. Click on the Options tab.
  4. Right down the Stop Time or copy it to the clipboard and paste it in notepad.
  5. You'll have to modify the Start Time and Stop Time to choose only a 30 second (or less) clip for your ringtone. If you just want the first 30 seconds, just type "0:30" in the Stop Time. Make sure both are checked. Click OK when done.
  6. Right click the song and choose Create ACC Version. You'll see it create a new song with the same name and a Time of 30 seconds.
  7. Now, before you forget about it, right click the original song and reset the Start Time and Stop Time back to what it originally set to.
  8. This is where it gets tricky. You will need to browse to your music folder. In Vista, this is as simple as clicking the Computer icon and choosing Music. In Windows XP, it is the My Music folder under My Documents. From here, you'll need to go into iTunes and iTunes Music and then browse to the particular song. These folders are arranged by artist and then album, so it should be easy to find.
  9. Once you locate the song file, you'll need to figure out which version is correct. Hover the mouse pointer over the song and you'll see the size of the files. The one that is much smaller is the newly created file. (Remember, 934 KB is smaller than 2.54 MB.)
  10. You need to copy this file to your desktop. You can do this by dragging it to the desktop, or by right clicking the file and choosing copy then right clicking the desktop and choosing paste.
  11. Once it is on your desktop, go back to iTunes and delete the newly created song.
  12. Now we need to set the right extension, so right click the file, choose rename and change the extension from ".m4a" to ".m4r".
  13. To get it into iTunes, you should be able to just double click on the file. If that doesn't work, just drag it to where it says "Library" on the right menu in iTunes. If you don't already have a Ringtones section, it will create one at this time.
  14. Once you verify it is in iTunes, you can delete the file from your desktop.
  15. The last step is to sync your iPhone. Clcik on your iPhone under Devices, choose the Ringtones tab and either sync all ringtones or make sure the new ringtone has a check mark next to it if you sync only selected ringtones. Hit sync, and you are done.

Having trouble getting a song to convert? The most common problem is that the iTunes import settings aren't set to use the ACC Encoder. Got to Edit->Preferences in iTunes and on the first (general) tab click on Import Settings. Make sure it says Import Using ACC Encoder and then click OK.

If you are still having problems, try a different song. As I mentioned above, some songs, especially those with DRM, simply won't convert to a ringtone.

[via Examiner]

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