If you’re an Apple user, you already know how easy it is to purchase and download songs for your iPhone using the iTunes Store app. The procedure for obtaining iPhone ringtone is very similar, in fact, you can buy digital music and other audio products such as audio books on the Apple store.

This procedure may be useful for occasionally downloading a favorite ringtone, but what if you want your ringtones to be only abbreviated versions of songs already in your iTunes library? You have already bought these songs from Apple, so why should you pay them a second time just to extract a part of them? Normally, you need to pay for every single ringtone obtained from the iTunes Store, but in this guide we will show some excellent alternative ways to create iPhone ringtone that will not cost you anything – just your time of course.

How to create iPhone ringtone for free

If you are reading this guide, it is because you want to create free iPhone ringtones using the songs already in your library (provided they are not DRM). In the first section of this guide we’ll show you how to use iTunes software to generate M4R files that you can sync with your iPhone. But this is not the only solution, you will also discover other methods to create ringtones for iPhone that do not require Apple Store or software.

Create iPhone ringtone using iTunes

As mentioned earlier, you might get the impression that the only way to get an iPhone ringtone would be to buy them from the iTunes Store. But in this section you will also discover how to create ringtones for iPhone easily, extracting them from the songs you already own, using Apple’s iTunes software. Let’s see the steps to follow.

  1. Start iTunes and go to your music library.
  2. The first thing to do is to listen to the chosen song to become your ringtone. To do this, identify the part of the piece that will become the sound clip. Then identify the start and end points (in minutes and seconds), ensuring that the total time does not exceed 40 seconds.
  3. To start creating a ringtone from the selected song, right-click on it and then choose Get Info from the pop-up menu.
  4. You should see a screen showing track information. Click on the Options tab.
  5. Next to the Start and End fields, place a checkmark next to each one. Now enter the duration value of the clip that should not exceed 40 sec. Click OK when done.
  6. Now you need to create a ringtone file. To do this, select the song with your mouse, click on the Advanced tab at the top of the screen, then choose Create AAC Version from the menu. For Mac OS X, you can find this option by going to File> Create New Version> Create AAC Version.
  7. Now you should see the abbreviated version of the original song in your iTunes library. Before continuing to the next step, you will need to delete the changes you made earlier in step 5, so that your original song remains unchanged.
  8. For Windows, right-click on the created music clip and choose Show in Windows Explorer. For Mac OS X use Finder. You will notice that the file created has the extension .M4A. To be correctly identified by iPhone it is necessary to rename this extension in. M4R.
  9. Double-click on the renamed file and iTunes should now automatically import it into the Ringtones section.

Tip: If you’re having trouble getting the ringtone in iTunes, drag it to your desktop first and rename it with the .M4R file extension. Delete the music clip in iTunes and then double-click the file on the desktop to import it.

Websites that offer free and legal ringtones

If you want to venture beyond the limits of the music library of the iTunes Store, a good source where you can find ringtones are the websites, which allow you to download ringtones for free. But often the problem with these sites is that it can be difficult to find ringtones that are free and legal.

Before opening this guide, you will surely have already visited countless websites that seemed to offer free ringtones until you tried to download them. At this point you may find yourself having to pay a subscription, or even find yourself addressed to another unrelated site full of ads.

What we offer below is a list of websites that really offer free and legal content to download (or send to the phone in some cases). Some of the following services also offer other content you may be interested in, such as videos, games, apps, wallpapers, etc.

Keep in mind for the ringtone websites:

While downloading from a website, it is important to verify that everything is legal. The content offered, usually gives you a clue. If a site hosts free ringtones of the latest songs released on the market, it is probably best to keep away.

Create iPhone ringtone using Audio Editing software

You can do many things with audio editing software, but they are also great tools for creating iPhone ringtone. Using them may seem difficult to use, but all you need to do is import a song from the library and then export a small 30-second audio loop.

One of the most popular audio editors to use is Audacity. With Audacity you can create free ringtones from mp3 music files. Here’s how to do it.

  1. Download and install Audacity on your computer.
    Although the following tutorial uses Windows, Audacity is available for Mac OS X, Linux and other operating systems. Once downloaded and installed, you will also need to download and install Lame MP3 encoder to export MP3 files.
  2. Import the MP3 file
    Before working on one of the MP3 files it is advisable to make a backup so that the original is not overwritten. Once you’ve done this, click on the File menu tab and choose the Open Menu option. Explore the contents of your hard drive until you find an MP3 file you wish to edit; highlight it and click Open to import.
  3. Create a ringtone from MP3
    Once imported, you will see a visual representation in blue on the main screen. Use the zoom tool (magnifying glass icon) in the upper left corner of the screen to make it much easier to find the portion of the song you like. Once enlarged, click on the selection tool (above the zoom tool) and highlight a section of the song using the mouse; the typical length of a ringtone is 30 seconds or less. Click the Edit menu tab and choose Cut to isolate the highlighted section.
  4. Export your MP3 ringtone
    Finally, to save the ringtone on your hard drive, click on the File tab on the main screen and choose the Export as MP3 … option. Type a name for your file and click the Save button. Now you can use your newly created MP3 file as a ringtone by transferring it to your mobile phone.
  5. Once you get the MP3 file, you can convert it to .M4R quickly, even without downloading software, just go to the web on the M4ROnline online service.

Which apps to create ringtones from songs

You could rightly assume that using an audio editor is too complex to create only ringtones. So, if this is your case, the advice is to consider a simple tool that cuts audio files. There are so many free to choose from, and the biggest advantage is that they are easy to use.

There are applications that also allow you to use this feature to cut an audio file. For example, GarageBand is an application to create music that you can download on the App Store, but you can also use it to create ringtones. If you need to make short sound clips, then this app is worth considering.

It may be useful to know how to download free mp3 music to make your iPhone ringtones.

Read Also: Download MP3 songs online for free


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