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Old Sep 7, 2007, 05:28 AM   #1
Cleverboy
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Talking new iTunes - How to Add Ringtones for FREE

UPDATED!
HEY, YOU! YEAH, you! Apparently iTunes 7.5 and iPhone firmware 1.1.2 makes this work again! TUAW, just reported this. Combinations of past firmware and iTunes versions had caused problems, but the ability has returned. U.S. users are still waiting for 1.1.2 as I write this.
THANKS!

Not sure if someone has shared this, but like every other audio "distinction" in iTunes, "ringtones" are no different. They are AAC files with a special name. In this case, the extension is "M4R".
  1. To add a ringtone to your iPhone, using Windows Explorer or the Finder just duplicate and rename any AAC file to be "M4R", then double-click on it. This file will be added to your iTunes library automatically.
  2. Now, click on your iPhone in iTunes, and go to the ringtone section. You should now see your new ringtone. If you want to be sure about the sync, feel free to click "selected ringtones" and check off the file explicitly, though this shouldn't be required.
  3. Now SYNC your phone. You're Done!

This works on the PC, I'm still downloading the Mac version, but its the same principle. Sorry Ambrosia, Apple totally made your product iToner unnecessary as you gambled it might. Thanks for the week though. It was fun.


~ CB
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Last edited by Cleverboy; Nov 11, 2007 at 05:43 PM. Reason: I guess this works again!
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Old Sep 7, 2007, 06:02 AM   #2
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Thumbs up

I just posted the tip to my blog:
http://www.digg.com/apple/iPhone_iTu...tones_for_Free

I'm kind of happy. iPhone haters can now stop complaining about the price of the phone, AND iTunes ringtone support. Check and... check!

~ CB
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Old Sep 7, 2007, 06:02 AM   #3
bertpalmer
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Surely there has to be more to it than that?
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Old Sep 7, 2007, 06:06 AM   #4
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Surely there has to be more to it than that?
I agree. That is almost scarily simple. Even with an iTunes sync? Good news if true.
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Old Sep 7, 2007, 06:06 AM   #5
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got this to work just need to export it thru quicktime on the mac. thanks great find
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Old Sep 7, 2007, 06:13 AM   #6
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Expect iTunes 7.4.1 any second now. This is a schoolboy error.
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Old Sep 7, 2007, 06:19 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Southernboy View Post
Expect iTunes 7.4.1 any second now. This is a schoolboy error.
No, I really think its intentional. Molly Wood from the Buzz out load podcast was going OFF on Apple lately (so much I may have dropped them as a podcast), and I'm sitting back thinking... yeah, Apple doesn't really have a choice. Ringtones are considered a different "right", and they have to acquire and pay for those separately. But, once they put the provision into the system, there is NOTHING to stop you from creating your OWN ringtones and managing them through iTunes, just like you do with audiobooks. Makes sense. I don't think its going anywhere.

My assumption with iToner up to this point, was that Ambrosia had discovered the internal controls for allowing iTunes to sync ringtones using Applescript or something, and that they were doing this in the background. Whether or not this was true, I'd only starting thinking about a cross-platform implementation of these "hooks" I thought were there, when I thought to check my Windows filetype list, and there it was. I knew it'd have its own extension in iTunes.

There's NOTHING that says Apple can't allow users to take advantage of the hooks in their system, so long as Apple is responsible for them actually doing it. Nice job.

Good on ya Apple!

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Last edited by Cleverboy; Sep 7, 2007 at 06:25 AM.
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Old Sep 7, 2007, 06:22 AM   #8
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Okay, here's a freeware file typer app on the Mac, called FileInfo:
http://www.panix.com/~shopsinm/

Can someone confirm this works on the Mac version of iTunes?

Other than grabbing photos, my iPhone won't show up on my Mac right now, I don't know why (I'm assuming it has to do with my use of it on my PC, but its annoying).

~ CB
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Old Sep 7, 2007, 06:27 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Cleverboy View Post
Okay, here's a freeware file typer app on the Mac, called FileInfo:
http://www.panix.com/~shopsinm/

Can someone confirm this works on the Mac version of iTunes?

Other than grabbing photos, my iPhone won't show up on my Mac right now, I don't know why (I'm assuming it has to do with my use of it on my PC, but its annoying).

~ CB
yes it does, really good find again.
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Old Sep 7, 2007, 06:37 AM   #10
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yes it does, really good find again.
Awesome. Thanks. Btw, what did you export to in Quicktime (or what did you do there)?

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Old Sep 7, 2007, 06:53 AM   #11
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actually, the rename thing works fine.

just have to make sure you are changing the actual extension.

arn

Last edited by arn; Sep 7, 2007 at 07:06 AM.
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Old Sep 7, 2007, 07:05 AM   #12
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Pretty cool.

I think the thing that's never fully made sense to me is the explanation of why Apple can't "officially" offer this function for existing non-purchased tracks from your iTunes library. I understand their explanation about iTunes-purchased music (i.e. they do have to negotiate with the rights holders to sell songs to be used as ringtones), but there doesn't seem to be an explanation for why they can't let you make ringtones out of your other music (unless it is pressure from the labels, or even if just Apple wants to make more money from ringtones).

Definetely cool though if it's simply a matter of changing the file extension.

When you do this, does it use the whole file as a ringtone, or does it still have the stuff built into iTunes to let you choose a 30-second segment of the song to use as a ringtone?

-Zadillo
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Old Sep 7, 2007, 07:07 AM   #13
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Do you have to have an iPhone synced before you get the Ringtones tab on the menu?

I've tried changing to .m4r but to no effect, but I guess this is because I don't have an iPhone as of yet.

ARRRR!
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Old Sep 7, 2007, 07:08 AM   #14
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I dig it and I don't have an iPhone. I did find it hilarious that it was supposed to be a good thing that you can't just use your very own MP3s as ringtones. Even that can happen on a cheap free phone half the time. But wait, there's more. Apple, as always adds a reason for deeming it necessary to pay for something that should be free. That is you can edit the ringtone yourself.
Well that was close...good thing there was an edit feature otherwise it'd be lame to have to pay.
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Old Sep 7, 2007, 07:10 AM   #15
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I dig it and I don't have an iPhone. I did find it hilarious that it was supposed to be a good thing that you can't just use your very own MP3s as ringtones. Even that can happen on a cheap free phone half the time. But wait, there's more. Apple, as always adds a reason for deeming it necessary to pay for something that should be free. That is you can edit the ringtone yourself.
Well that was close...good thing there was an edit feature otherwise it'd be lame to have to pay.
Did someone actually say it was supposed to be a good thing that you can't (or at least couldn't) use your own MP3s as ringtones?

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Old Sep 7, 2007, 07:15 AM   #16
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I can also verify that this works. I took a .wav ringtone I used on my last phone and converted it to AAC via itunes. Then I renamed the the extension to .m4r. I do have to note at that point I did have to remove the file from my itunes library then reopen the file via the finder. Before I removed it, it would not show in the ringtones tab. After readding the file to the library, it showed in the tab and sinc'd fine.

I figured once apple added ringtone functionality it would be fairly easy to add you own. The ringtones have to be saved in someway that the phone and itunes can see the files.

I also have to add that I haven't tried any drm'd itunes music since I do not have any on my system. They may still be locked down somehow. Anybody tried one?

Edit:Thought I'd state what equipment I used...
Macbook running fully updated 10.4.10 and itunes
Fully updated 4GB iphone I purchased on Wed.
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Last edited by Yoursh; Sep 7, 2007 at 07:20 AM.
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Old Sep 7, 2007, 07:16 AM   #17
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Only half way there

Ok - I changed the files to m4r and get the ringtones showing up in iTunes, but they do not appear on my ringtones list on the iphone after I sync. Anybody else have this problem?
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Old Sep 7, 2007, 07:17 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Zadillo View Post
Pretty cool.

I think the thing that's never fully made sense to me is the explanation of why Apple can't "officially" offer this function for existing non-purchased tracks from your iTunes library. I understand their explanation about iTunes-purchased music (i.e. they do have to negotiate with the rights holders to sell songs to be used as ringtones), but there doesn't seem to be an explanation for why they can't let you make ringtones out of your other music (unless it is pressure from the labels, or even if just Apple wants to make more money from ringtones).
Well, we don't know what the contracts with the music labels say. But do you really think Apple would offer a feature that wasn't available to their own customers? Imagine if you could use any song as a ringtone on your iPhone... EXCEPT those purchased from Apple? There would be an outcry for sure.
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Old Sep 7, 2007, 07:18 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chucho View Post
Ok - I changed the files to m4r and get the ringtones showing up in iTunes, but they do not appear on my ringtones list on the iphone after I sync. Anybody else have this problem?
On the Mac

You have to make sure the actual extension is changed. The easiest way to make sure you are changing the extension is to use Command-I to "Get Info" on the file in Finder. Then change the extension in the "Name & Extension" field to "M4R". Finder may ask you if you are sure you want to change the extension. Once you double click, the file should show up in the Ringtone area in iTunes.
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Old Sep 7, 2007, 07:22 AM   #20
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You gotta figure that Apple did this on purpose. They know people don't want to pay twice for the same song to use it as a ringtone, and they know people really don't want to pay to make a song that they've ripped from they're own CD into a ringtone.

This way they pay lip service to the labels by protecting their rights and by technically not allowing you to just use any song as a ringtone, but at the same time they leave the back door wide open.

This seems to be Apple's philosophy with a lot of new products, actually!
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Old Sep 7, 2007, 07:23 AM   #21
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Ok - I changed the files to m4r and get the ringtones showing up in iTunes, but they do not appear on my ringtones list on the iphone after I sync. Anybody else have this problem?
As I stated in my post I had to remove the ringtone file from my itunes library after changing the extention then readd it to get it to show up in the ringtones tab.
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Old Sep 7, 2007, 07:23 AM   #22
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On the Mac

You have to make sure the actual extension is changed. The easiest way to make sure you are changing the extension is to use Command-I to "Get Info" on the file in Finder. Then change the extension in the "Name & Extension" field to "M4R". Finder may ask you if you are sure you want to change the extension. Once you double click, the file should show up in the Ringtone area in iTunes.
I have changed the extension and the ringtone does show up in the ringtones area of iTunes. My problem is that they don't appear on the phone after I sync. Thanks for any suggestions anyone can offer... (also I'm on a PC).
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Old Sep 7, 2007, 07:24 AM   #23
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Wow this totally works (on Mac).

Now all I need is:

1. Someone who extracted all the iPhone default ringtones, so I can adjust the gain like 9 million percent, and add back to the phone.

2. A site filled with great free NORMAL ringtones, for those of us who aren't 12 year old girls who want Justin Timberlake crooning whenever grandma calls.

Good find, original poster!
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Old Sep 7, 2007, 07:25 AM   #24
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Do MP3's have to be re-encoded as AAC? Can we just change the extension to MPR? I almost all of my music is in MP3 format.
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Old Sep 7, 2007, 07:28 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chucho View Post
I have changed the extension and the ringtone does show up in the ringtones area of iTunes. My problem is that they don't appear on the phone after I sync. Thanks for any suggestions anyone can offer... (also I'm on a PC).
Sorry... I must have read too quickly. Sorry. it seems to work fine for me with ringtones appearing on the iPhone. Not sure what might be causing the discrepancy... obviously make sure you the Ringtone sync checkbox is checked off in iTunes.

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