How to create ringtones in iTunes 10

If you have upgraded iTunes to version 10 you might have noticed that it is no longer possible to create ringtones as easily as you could in earlier versions. We’ll show you how to create ringtones in iTunes 10 from start to finish.

Step 1 – Pick a tune

Launch iTunes 10 and pick a tune. Once you have picked the tune you want to use as your ringtone you will need to figure out which part of the track you want to use as your ringtone. A ringtone is usually 30 seconds long, so you will need to figure out which 30 seconds of the track you would to use. Take a note of the beginning and ending time of the section you picked.


Step 2 – Trim the tune

Right click on the track you selected and pick the Get Info option in the menu. Now select the Options tab. Towards the bottom the the Options pane is a section with two options – Start Time and Stop Time. Enter the beginning and ending times of the section of the track you picked. Hit OK to finish the step.


Step 3 – Create AAC Version

Right click on the track again and click on the Create AAC Version option. iTunes will now convert the a copy of the track to AAC format. Wait for iTunes to finish converting the song.


Once the conversion is done you should be able to see the details of the new file by right clicking on the file and picking the Get Info option. See the details of the new file under the Summary tab. After the completion of the AAC conversion return to the Get Info pane’s Options tab and uncheck the Start and Stop times to restore the track back to it’s original state.


Step 4 – Delete the song

In the previous step iTunes created a duplicate version of the song you picked, in AAC format. You need to now delete the duplicate version, but carefully. Right click on the duplicate version of the song and click on Delete. iTunes will ask you if you want to keep the file or move it to the Trash. Make sure you select the Keep File option.


Step 5 – Rename file

If you are using a Mac launch Finder and go to Music -> iTunes -> iTunes Media -> Music. Here you will find a folder of the artist whose track you picked for your ringtone. Go into that folder. In this directory look for a file with the .m4a extension. Select the file and hit the Return key. Now you can rename the file. Rename it and replace the m4a extension with .m4r.


Windows users will have to go to My Documents -> iTunes -> iTunes Music and then the album to locate the file. Now go to Tools -> Folder Options -> View in Windows Explorer and uncheck the Hide extensions for known file types option and hit OK. Now you should be able to see the music file with its m4a extension. Rename the file to the .m4r extension. Drag and drop it into the iTunes application to add the newly created ringtone.

Step 6 – Import into iTunes

We are almost done. Now you need to import the newly renamed file into iTunes. Double click on the file to import it into iTunes. The file will get automatically allotted to the Ringtones section in iTunes.


There you go. You have now created a new ringtone. All you need to go now is to sync your phone again to begin using it.

Step 7 – Fix The Original Track

Remember to re-visit step #2 and change the Start Time and Stop Time back to their original settings. Otherwise each time you play that song, you’ll only play the 30 second clip of it.

NOTE: This method should also work on versions older than iTunes 10.

2 thoughts on “How to create ringtones in iTunes 10”

  1. Thanks – good lesson. One question:

    Songs – and selected parts of songs – have different volumes, making many newly-created ringtones either too quiet or too loud. I made volume adjustments to the original files at the same time I modified the start/stop times, before creating the AAC. However, after changing the extension and creating the .m4r, the start/stop modification holds, but changes to the volume and EQ settings reverted to their starting levels.

    Any thoughts on how to apply volume changes to the ringtones? If I can’t hear them I’ll miss calls, and if they’re too loud the baby cries, my dog barks, my wife is woken up, my mistress has to hide now that my wife is awake, my boss will yellow card me, the pastor will use me as an example of why to turn off phones before service, and I will lose at my daily hide-and-seek game as my phone gives away my position.


    Thanks, Gibson

  2. Pingback: HuonFM Tech News and Blues 4 Oct 2010 « David Coldrick’s Blog

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