Easy Way to Make Ringtones From Purchased Songs for iPhone

by Michael Butler

iPhone users can set custom ringtones for all of their contacts. Users can purchase ringtones from the iTunes store. Users can also create their own ringtones from purchased music. However, different versions of iTunes require users to go about the process of making ringtones from purchased music differently. Older versions of iTunes included the option to create ringtones as a menu item. The later versions removed this option, so users will need to do a little extra work.

iTunes 9.2 or Earlier

Step 1

Click on the song you want to use to make a ringtone in your iTunes Music Library.

Step 2

Click "Store," then "Create Ringtone."

Step 3

Adjust the slider to choose a song segment for the ringtone. You are limited to 30 seconds.

Step 4

Click "Preview" to listen to the ringtone. Readjust the slider if you did not get the song segment correct.

Step 5

Click "Buy" to purchase the ringtone. Apple requires that you purchase the ringtone because the license to listen to and download a song is different than the license to edit it to make a ringtone.

iTunes 10

Step 1

Right-click on the song you want to make into a ringtone. Select "Get Info" from the menu. Go to the "Options" tab.

Step 2

Check the boxes next to "Start Time" and "Stop Time." Enter the times to start and stop the ringtone in the appropriate field. There can be no more than 30 seconds between them. Click OK.

Step 3

Right-click on the song again, then select "Create AAC version" from the menu. This creates a new 30 second song. Locate this new song in your music library. Sort all songs by "Date Added" if you have difficulty finding it. Right-click on the 30 second new song. Select "Show in Windows Explorer." Mac users should select "Show in Finder."

Step 4

Rename the file extension in Windows Explorer or Finder to ".m4r."

Step 5

Highlight the file in iTunes. Click the "Delete" key. When prompted, choose to keep the file rather than sending it to the Recycle Bin or Trash. Click the file menu. Click "Import File to Library." Navigate to where the file is located on your hard drive and import it back into iTunes. It is now a ringtone ready to synchronize with your iPhone.

About the Author

A professional writer, Michael Butler has been writing Web content since 2010. Butler brings expertise in legal and computer issues to his how-to articles. He has a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from Washburn University. Butler also has a Juris Doctor from Indiana University School of Law, Bloomington.