I got tired of searching for free ways to take my existing music collection and create ringtones for my iPhone in a manor that did not cost me $19.99. There really isn’t that much involved in it, just cut up a song, and convert it to an AAC file that iPhones can play back. Seems simple right? Well I guess all the companies out there feel it’s a difficult thing to do, and so they charge you for the conversion process.
After doing some research I found that Nero offers a free set of command line based AAC tools for encoding WAV files into an AAC file. Sweet! Only thing I needed now was to cut up the song, which I can do easily with Audacity. Another free application.
What did I do? I wrote myself a quick little application called iPhoneRingtones that would use the AAC toolset and convert my WAV files exported from Audacity into AAC ringtones, rename the M4A filename to M4R (iPhone ringtone extension) and then copy the ringtone into the iTunes Ringtones folder, launch iTunes and add it to the iTunes library. It’s simple, quick and takes literally seconds to convert and add to the library.
I bundled the whole thing together in a zip file, including Audacity, the Nero AAC encoder Tools, and my iPhoneRingtones application. They can be downloaded HERE
The download includes instructions on setting it up and getting your music converted into an iPhone ringtone, for free! You can use MP3, OGG, AIF or WAV files to load into Audacity, cut the song up till you have what you want for a ringtone, and then EXPORT the song as a WAV file. Once exported run the iPhoneRingtones.exe application, browse to the neroAacEnc.exe which is found under the Encoder directory included in the downloaded ZIP file. Then you will need to select the directory of your iTunes Music Library. This MUST be the ‘iTunes Music’ folder. An example would be C:\Users\Scionwest\Music\iTunes\iTunes Music.
Once those two options have been set, click ‘Create Ringtone’ and select your WAV file. Once you have selected your WAV file, the app will launch the Nero Encoder and convert it into an iPhone ringtone, start iTunes, add it to your Ringtones library and tada! You can now select the ringtone from your iPhone Synchronize settings under the ringtones tab, and sync it.
One last note, I’ve found that ringtones longer than 30 seconds wont show up in the ringtones library. Keep your ringtones to 20~25 seconds so that iTunes will make sure it’s placed inside your phones ringtones library.