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How to set a custom ringtone on Apple iPhone via iTunes v12?

by on August 9, 2015
 

Ha! No, Bitsnapper is not turning into some shaddy “How-to” site. It still remains a blog influenced by personal opinion. There is a reason I decided to post this tutorial. So, if you are a regular reader, you must know about the Apple iPhone 6 I got from work. It’s been around 6 months now and it’s my daily driver now. (Sold my Lumia 1520, looking forward to the next gen flagships).

So, I got bored with the default ringtone and decided to put up my own custom ringtone. As you know, In Android, it’s as simple as long press a audio file and choose “Set as ringtone option”. Oh, wait. Google changed this with Android Lollipop. It’s more in sync with the Windows Phone way now. How so? You have to simply copy paste the audio file in ./Ringtones folder in root of your Internal storage or SD card using a file explorer app or a computer. But it’s not so trivial with the Apple!

You see, Apple is at fault here as they want you to buy even ringtones from their iTunes store which IMHO is pure evil and greedy. I had to skim multiple guides, tutorials and YouTube videos to understand how to do so. It took me huge amount of time to get it right first time. After that, it became simple. So, in case you have an iPhone and you want to set up your own custom ringtone, here’s what you need.

Prerequisites:

  • iOS Device (preferably iPhone unless you use ringtones on iPod or iPad) 😛
  • A PC(Windows) / Mac
  • Lightning usb cable (or else if you are more of a wireless guy, check this)
  • iTunes v12.x installed on your PC/Mac
  • A kickass song to make ringtone from. (I chose True Detective Theme song)
  • Common sense (ain’t that common) 😉

Now that, we have all the ingredients, let’s start with the process. Here are the 6 simple steps to set a custom ringtone on Apple iPhone via iTunes v12:

Step #1 – Connect your device!

Steps to set custom ringtone on your Apple iPhone 6

iSync

  • Fire up the iTunes and connect your iPhone with your computer.
  • You can use Lightning USB cable or wireless network approach.
  • Whichever you use, make sure that iTunes detects your iPhone.

Step #2 – Find a kickass song and..

  • Right click the song and click on Get Info. 
  • Click the Options tab.
  • Set the duration for the needed part of song as the Ringtone by modifying the Start and Stop fields.

Here is how you should do it:

Step #3 – Creating the AAC version

  • After Step #2, you will notice that the music file duration remains the same but when you will try to play it, it will only play that selected part of 30 seconds for Ringtone.
  • Right click the file and chose “Create AAC version” option from context menu.

Step #4 – Dirty rename the *.m4a file to *.m4r

  • Rename the AAC file obtained in the last step’s extension to *.m4r.
  • Press Enter to save it.
Steps to set custom ringtone on your Apple iPhone 6

Manual ringtone rename

*Make sure you can see the extension of the file. If not, please refer to screenshot #4 in Step #3 above.

Step #5 – Drag N Drop | Back to the iTunes

  • After renaming the file in previous step. Switch to iTunes window.
  • Open the Tones panel as shown in screenshot below.
  • Then open the Explorer window side by side.
  • Drag and drop the freshly renamed *.m4r file to iTunes.
  • The ringtone will be added to iTunes.

Step #6 – Sync it up!

Final step!

  • Just go to your connected iPhone in iTunes.
  • Select Tones from the Left pane.
  • Make sure Sync Tones is checked and Hit Sync.
  • It will sync your brand new ringtone to your device.
  • After that, just go to Settings > Sounds > Ringtone and *presto* you will see you ringtone there.

Just select it and you are good to go. 😉


This may seems like a hectic process for the first time but it get easy on successive tries. One thing worth noting is that Apple has not made this process known anywhere officially. You can see how we have to manually generate, rename and drag n drop the file to simply let our device set a custom ringtone which is BOLLOCKS! But that’s how it is.

Let us know what do you think Apple’s dictatorship in some areas the way it tries to control user’s behaviour? Also, if you face any problem with the process above, let us know in the comment section below. I will try to help you ASAP! Cheers. 😎

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  • Vikas
    August 9, 2015 at 7:17 am

    Dude AAC compression format is the most advanced and follows lossless compression algorithm which certainly maintains the quality of the audio file …. Now coming to the conversion part and changing the extention to .m4r its the default format of the sound files of ios. But about the blog good one many iphone user don’t know how to set a custom ringtone. They say we have to root the phone and go for jail break. They are not totally incorrect because in the earlier version of iphone this thing was not available. So good share, if you can than i ll be delighted to have a look about what you feel about the healthkit tool of iphone its also quite nice.

    Reply

    • August 9, 2015 at 12:59 pm

      Yes Vikas, I agree on your premise about AAC format, but it is only valid if you are creating AAC from the original file of music (mostly FLAC), not when you are ripping some poor quality 128kbps MP3 files. It won’t matter. AAC is a audio coding standard for lossy digital audio compression but is yet to be widely adopted.

      Precisely! I decided to blog about this just because of the process of renaming and adding back and stuff involved. Thanks for your appreciation. As per my views on Healthkit, well TBH I am not much of a iFanboy but yes, I know that it allows apps that provide health and fitness services to share their data with the new Health app and with each other.

      You are very much welcomed to enhance my knowledge on same! 🙂

      Reply

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