How-To : Make an iPhone Ringtone….Basic Edition

When I got my iPhone for Christmas, one of the things I really missed from my BB and all my past phones – was the long list of ringtones I could choose for folks. Then I learned you could buy them from iTunes. Which sounded GREAT! Then, I realized, it was not so great..You pay a buck for a song (now $1.29), THEN you gotta pay another 99 cents for a ringtone of that song…No bueno.

So I scoured the net and pieced from different sites that I could make my own through Garage Band on my Mac. Oh, I should preface this that if you don’t have a Mac, this probably won’t help you….But shouldn’t EVERYONE own a Mac?? (the answer is yes).

So, here’s what you should know first. First, you must have the unlocked version of the song. If you try using this from iTunes, you’ll quickly learn that you can’t do it as they’re all protected. But, if you have the original cds, or…if you use other means to get songs…. you can use this blog post! PS. this is the simple ringtone guide. Later on I’ll do the more advanced with editing and blending songs. It’s fun!

First – Figure out what song you want from iTunes. This could take awhile…

Then, open up GarageBand and Create a New Music Project

Then, you’ll need to call it something…You can change the name later by doing “save as” and giving it a new name. And whatever it is called when you’re done, it’ll export to iTunes as such…

Once you got that all said and done, drag the song file from wherever you have it (it can be from iTunes) and drop it into Garage Band and it’ll do the mixdown, or mixup, whatever, and then the song will be in there like this…

I’m using Kelly Clarkson’s I Do Not Hook Up song

Ok, so once you have that song in there, you’ll see at the bottom another toolbar that has the play, pause, record, etc buttons. There’s also one that makes a loop. Click that. And also, to the right of that, is the different ways the song will show it’s duration – time, measures, etc. Be sure to click to have it be a little clock (time).

When you click on the loop symbol, above the song you’ll see a new yellow bar. This is the duration of the clip that you’re using as the ringtone. I have some that are 15 seconds, some are 10, and some are longer. It basically depends on how much of the song you want to play. If it’s too short for a ring, it’ll just loop through on your phone. For this song, I wanted a good chunk of the chorus.

Drag that yellow bar to where you want the ringtone to start.

Once you have that, Save the file, and then you’ll need to export the ringtone to iTunes! It will only export out the selected timeframe of the ringtone. It won’t move the whole song.

And now if you go to your iTunes, you’ll see it’s already in your library under your ringtone file! Just put it on your iPhone and you’re good to go!


  1. says

    THANK YOU! I’m going to try this because I really really really need a ringtone that I recognize and that’s not so boringggg!

    plus, I’m cheap. I don’t want to pay for one.

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