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iPhone 4S Custom Music Ringtones - Steps That Really Work

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 3 12

itunes ringtones

Are you frustrated by the many articles describing how to create ringtones from your songs in iTunes?  Since you won’t use a song in its entirety for a ringtone, these tutorials can be helpful in editing or grabbing the portion of the song you want.  But you might be confused after reading through some of those articles and find the author forgot to mention how to get from step A to step B.  In addition, the one important piece of information that often seems to be missing is how to make those newly created ringtones available in your iPhone, the place where you want them!  There is no one answer for everyone because some users have the new iPhone but they might not have a newer computer.  An older system may require other solutions.  This article focuses on the iPhone4S and a Mac with a 10.6 or later system. 

I’m not a Mac or iPhone expert.  I’m just a person who decided it shouldn’t be so complicated to find the ringtone answers we need.  And now that I've found them, I want to share them and hopefully lessen your aggravation. There may be other ways to achieve the same goal but these steps work.  I know because I tried them.

GarageBand and Ringtone Maker Pro App

In this article you'll find steps for using GarageBand as well as the Ringtone Maker Pro app, which costs 99 cents at the app store.  If you don’t have GarageBand, the app is worth every penny.  Ironically, as I wrote this article I went through the steps involved for using both and found that with each, it takes 21 steps to edit a song and install it in your list of ringtones on your phone.  Please don’t let that number scare you.  Several of them are baby steps, actions like “click” or “select”.  You’ll see that in the step photos. 

The initial steps in the two techniques are quite different until you get the ringtone installed in iTunes.  After that, they are identical.  Although the steps guide you in making a ringtone that will play when your phone rings, keep in mind you can also use the ringtones you create for sound alerts, or attach them to individuals in your contact list.

Garage Band

Garage Band is a little different than most other programs when it comes to opening a new page.  You normally would open a program and begin work on a page then name your document when you’re ready to save it.  But in Garage Band, you first give the project a name before the program opens a page on which to work.  If you need more clarification on GarageBand’s capabilities, you’ll find the Help files invaluable.

1.  Open GarageBand and select “New” under file menu.

2.  Type in a name for your ringtone and click “Create”. 

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3.  A workspace opens for you.   Close the Grand Piano window if it opens.  Go to your dock and open iTunes.

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4.  Choose and drag the song you will edit to your desktop.  Since Christmas is coming sooner or later, for this sample I chose Jingle Bell Rock.  It appears on the desktop.

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5.  Drag the song onto the Garage Band window.  It seems more reasonable to drag the song directly from iTunes to Garage Band but it just doesn’t work that way.

6.  The song appears as a horizontal orange strip called a region.  If it is not already flush left in the workspace, click and drag it there.  Play your song and find the spot where you want your ringtone to start.  The red vertical line moves as the music plays.  The counter (not pictured) at the bottom of the window will give you exact placement numbers.

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7.  Placing your cursor on the very bottom of the region on either end will give you right and left arrows.  You can use these arrows to drag the region left or right, changing its length.  Click to drag the region’s left edge to the right where you want the ringtone to start.  Again, the counter will help you get it precisely in the correct spot.

8.  Move the entire region all the way to the left of the work area now that the starting point has changed.  Do that by clicking in the center of the region and dragging it to the left.  

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9.  Play the song and stop it at 30 seconds.  Drag the right edge of the region to the 30 second mark.  You now have the section of the song you want for your ringtone.  If you want to piece together regions to create a ringtone, check out the really easy to follow Help files.

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10.  Go to the Share menu and click on “Send ringtone to iTunes”.  You will get a message saying the song length needs to be adjusted.  Click “Adjust”.

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11. In the workspace you will now see a short yellow bar above the song region.  Drag the right edge of it to the right edge of your region.

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12.  Go to the Share menu again and select “Send ringtone to iTunes”.

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13.  Close Garage Band and open iTunes.

14.  Connect your iPhone to the computer and click on your iPhone in devices. 

15.  Select Ringtones in the top menu.

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16.  Click “Selected ringtones” and you will see your song listed.  Select the ringtones you want to have on your phone and click “Sync”.

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17. Disconnect your phone from your computer.

18. Click “Settings” on your iPhone.

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19.  Click “Sounds”.

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20.  Click “Ringtones”.

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21. You will see your song.  Select it.

Ringtone Maker Pro App

1.  Download the app to your phone following the simple directions from Ringtone Maker Pro.  Select the app on your iPhone.

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2.  Open the app.  Using the app's microphone icon in the upper left, if you choose, you can record songs, or sounds to make your own custom ringtones.  But for this example we'll continue loading a song from iTunes by clicking the “iTunes” icon on the left.  

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3.  Your song list will appear.  Choose the song you want. 

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4 . Click the app’s “Play” button to listen to your song and find where you want the ringtone to begin.

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5.  Drag the “Start” button to where you want to begin the recording.

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6.  The app limits the song length to no more than 40 seconds.  Drag the “Stop” button to that point or  before, then click the “Disk” icon on the right.

7.  You will see the “Success!” screen.

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8.  Connect your phone to your computer and click “Send”.

9.  Open iTunes and click on “Apps” at the top to open the list.

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10.  Click “Ringtone Maker Pro” at the bottom of the page.  Your ringtones will appear in the Ringtone Maker Pro document.

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11.  Click on your new song and “Save to ”.

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12.  Click on “Desktop” in the window that appears.

13.  Your song will pop onto the desktop.

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14.  Drag the song into iTunes – seems strange because that’s where it just came from but that’s how it works.

15.  Click “Ringtones” in the iTunes window.

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16.  Choose “all” or “selected ringtones” and sync. 

17.  Eject your iPhone device icon from iTunes.  (See photos above in GarageBand for the remaining steps.)

18.  Click “Settings” on your iPhone screen.

19.  Click “Sounds”.

20.  Click “Ringtones”.

21. You will see your song.  Select it.


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Comments

Oct 30, 2011 11:42am
SharonWatterson
WCL - you absolutely write the best articles, this one is terrific! Custom ringtones for your iphones, what could better to put you in the holiday mood! Thank you
Oct 31, 2011 10:43am
divaonline
Thanks ECL! I appreciate the read.
Oct 31, 2011 10:34am
Deborah-Diane
Wonderful and detailed instructions. Sometimes it is so hard to find information on the internet that explains exactly how to do something. This one is great!
Oct 31, 2011 10:43am
divaonline
Thanks! Hope you get to use this information soon, Deb!
Nov 1, 2011 12:32am
thelyricwriter
thumbs up. A very very useful article.
Nov 1, 2011 4:48pm
divaonline
Thanks for the thumbs!
Nov 18, 2011 10:48am
Introspective
Congratulations on the feature! This is good information for anyone with an iPhone and I will refer back to it in the future, if I ever buy one. Excellent article, as usual, divaonline!!
Nov 18, 2011 11:11am
divaonline
Thanks to your comment I realized my article was a feature!
Nov 23, 2011 11:21pm
BohoGypsyArtist
This is pretty helpful and the instructions are easy to follow. Thanks for sharing the information.
Nov 25, 2011 5:42pm
divaonline
Thanks for the read and comment!
Nov 30, 2011 9:21pm
aguy
Wow - great instructions.

Even with great instructions it still seems complicated.
Dec 2, 2011 1:14pm
divaonline
Thanks! If you were to print out the instructions and have them handy as you walk through it, you'd see that it's not complicated at all!
Jan 11, 2012 3:19am
evantanski
This comment has been deleted.
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