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Apple unleashes iPhone ringtones feature via iTunes (first look)

post #1 of 49
Thread Starter 
Making good on its promise, Apple on Tuesday unlocked a new feature of iTunes that allows iPhone owners to create their own custom ringtones, though an initial pool of compatible songs appears to be extremely limited.

The iTunes Ringtone Service

In announcing the service last week, Apple chief executive Steve Jobs said customers would initially be able to create custom ringtones from over 500,000 participating songs on the iTunes Store. An ensuing press release from the company, however, promised "over a million" songs.

Once you've purchased a participating song from iTunes, including previously purchased participating songs, it costs 99 cents to make up to a 30-second segment of that song into a ringtone and then sync it onto your iPhone.

Selection Limited

But when the service went live early Tuesday morning, tracks from many of the music industry's biggest names -- such as Dave Matthews, Jay-Z, U2, Black Eyed Peas and 50 Cent -- were not available for the ringtone feature. Albums from other artists were similarly fragmented in terms of which tracks could be used with the service.

For instance, a 14-track "Greatest Hits" album from punk rock band The Offspring revealed 10 songs that could be made into iPhone ringtones. However, the 4 omitted tracks comprised the group's most popular singles, including "Self Esteem" and "Come Out and Play."



How it Works

In order to use the ringtone service, you'll need the latest version of iTunes (7.4.1), which includes a ringtone column to indicate which tracks are available for conversion. Compatible songs will display a small ringtone "bell" icon in the column, which you can then selected to begin the creation process.



Users who own an iPhone but don't immediate see the ringtone column under iTunes track listings may first need to manually enable the column through iTunes' "View Options" dialog located until the application's "View" menu. Users will also have to agree to Apple's Terms & Conditions for ringtone sales before proceeding.



Once you've found a compatible song and agreed to Apple's terms, the process of creating the ringtone is relatively painless. iTunes displays a ringtone editor containing the source of the selected track where you can then select between a 3 second and 30 second sample to make into the ringtone.



Options to fade the beginning and end of the clip are available, as is a drop down menu to select the duration of the gap between loops. iTunes will also recommend that you preview your selecting before confirming your purchase.



Purchased ringtones will appear under a new "Ringtones" playlist in your iTunes library, as well as under a new "Ringtone" tab that displays in iTunes when your iPhone is docked and selected in the application's list of connected devices. The next time your iPhone syncs with iTunes, the purchased ringtones will appear in alphabetical order under the handset's ringtone selector, which is located under the "Sounds" preference.
post #2 of 49
Gosh, it must be so terrible to have such a limited selection of songs to choose for your iPhone ringtones.

I wouldn't know since I don't own an iPhone.
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post #3 of 49
eh.


whats there to say?
post #4 of 49
If I purchase a ringtone and later I want to change the particular 30 second section, do I have to purchase it again??????
post #5 of 49
Yeah out of my 500 songs only 10 have an option to convert to a ringtone. Needless to say what if i don't want all my ringTONES to be songs? This is a failure... I hope freeware apps start popping up like weeds!!
post #6 of 49
Just imagine a world where the ringtones are only the ones that the phones comes with.... We would still answer our calls, still have a t least a dozen tones to choose from and the world would same hundreds of millions of dollars for more important stuff....
post #7 of 49
Depeche Mode - Dream On.

So Kasper, which part did you loop?

"Can you feel a little love" or the guitar riff?
post #8 of 49
Why doesn't this work with audio imported from CDs or your hard drive? I can see why publisher participation is needed to unlock DRM, but why wouldn't it work with audio that doesn't have DRM? I don't use musical ringtones but I like to use sound effects, usually the sound of an old-fashioned mechanical bell ringer.
post #9 of 49
Do you have to purchase the song first before playing around with the ringtone editor? I was wondering in case I wanted to make sure I liked the ringtone before I commited to purchase the song. Of course with Audio Hijack you could piece the song together from the 30 sec sections for free if you didn't have to buy the song itself first. Not that I would do that too much trouble.

m

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post #10 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by EagerDragon View Post

If I purchase a ringtone and later I want to change the particular 30 second section, do I have to purchase it again??????

Yes.

K
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post #11 of 49
I just discovered that the App Tapper (hack, extremely easy to install) has a new package / application you can install called SendSong, which allows you to take any music on your iPhone and email it, or...gasp, send it to your ringtones folder.

buy ringtones? i think not.

http://iphone.nullriver.com/beta/
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post #12 of 49
This ringtone stuff is of limited importance. All it really does is annoy everyone else that hears them.

Oh well.
post #13 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandau View Post

I just discovered that the App Tapper (hack, extremely easy to install) has a new package / application you can install called SendSong, which allows you to take any music on your iPhone and email it, or...gasp, send it to your ringtones folder.

buy ringtones? i think not.

http://iphone.nullriver.com/beta/

It's actually so easy to hack the ringtones thing without any outside software. Look around the web for the instructions. It's literally a matter of creating a "Ringtones" folder inside your iTunes music folder and dropping in the AAC files you want to use. (I'm sure Apple will be clamping down on that soon, though.) There's a few minor restrictions, and you may have to rename the extension from m4a to m4r and back once or twice to get it to recognize the files, but it definitely works.

As much as I hate the whole concept of ringtones, I'm even more opposed to the idea of paying for them. I'm just happy now that I can use ANY sound file on my computer (sound effects, etc.) as a ringtone. Just convert it to aac, drop it in the right folder, and you're done.
post #14 of 49
This whole paying separately for iTS ringtones is absurd anyway since all purchased tracks were already licensed to be played on any iPod we own. Whatever event causes those tracked to be played is completely irrelevant.
post #15 of 49
When I first heard about the iPhone I thought, hey I can finally use my own sounds as my ringtones. I am sound designer and I make my own music too, big whoop, but I thought that because Apple Inc. is all about making sounds music and video, custom ringtones would certainly be in my hands with this new iPhone thing.

Ringtones certainly arent the most important issue in my life, but in my job I make little sound effects, I want to use my own sound effects for my $600 phone damnit.

So I used iToner, and the sound upload was simple.

What a slap in the face. Apple has seen to it to go ahead and erase my sounds from the ringtone collection on my iPhone. Here is what happened, I paid for the iPhone, I put my sounds, that I made, on my iPhone, and Apple decided that I should not be aloud to do such things, and sent me an update containing a block of code that, very much like a computer virus, seeks out and these erases my files on my iPhone. The only ringtones I am allowed to have on my iPhone are ringtones that Apple and the record companies have approved. I am not allowed to use my own home made sounds.

I wonder if Apple will now start searching my G5, looking for files that they think I should not have on my hard drive. And, if they find data that is perhaps getting in the way of their profits, they could just go ahead a erase those files too. I have some home movies on my hard drive, maybe Apple thinks that I should buy and watch an iTunes movie instead. Why not just erase my home movies and offer to me the chance to buy some piece of hollywood crap.

Before anyone tells me that there is an update to iToner, I already know this. Its the principle of the matter. I shouldnt have to fight with Apple to have my own damn sounds on my own damn iPhone!!!!!

Apple, you have deeply disappointed a loyal twenty year customer and Steve Jobs should be embarrassed. Fix this now!!!
post #16 of 49
People are going to eat this shit up, I tell you. It's one of things that people will complain about mercilessly...as they hit the BUY RINGTONE button.
post #17 of 49
Well, out of my 5381 songs, I have ZERO that are available as ringtones. And yet I still have the three ringtones that I rolled myself.

Yawn.
post #18 of 49
I wonder if AT&T gets any of the ringtone revenue. Maybe part of the deal too.

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post #19 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by PantENoiz View Post

When I first heard about the iPhone I thought, hey I can finally use my own sounds as my ringtones. I am sound designer and I make my own music too, big whoop, but I thought that because Apple Inc. is all about making sounds music and video, custom ringtones would certainly be in my hands with this new iPhone thing.

Ringtones certainly arent the most important issue in my life, but in my job I make little sound effects, I want to use my own sound effects for my $600 phone damnit.

So I used iToner, and the sound upload was simple.

What a slap in the face. Apple has seen to it to go ahead and erase my sounds from the ringtone collection on my iPhone. Here is what happened, I paid for the iPhone, I put my sounds, that I made, on my iPhone, and Apple decided that I should not be aloud to do such things, and sent me an update containing a block of code that, very much like a computer virus, seeks out and these erases my files on my iPhone. The only ringtones I am allowed to have on my iPhone are ringtones that Apple and the record companies have approved. I am not allowed to use my own home made sounds.

I wonder if Apple will now start searching my G5, looking for files that they think I should not have on my hard drive. And, if they find data that is perhaps getting in the way of their profits, they could just go ahead a erase those files too. I have some home movies on my hard drive, maybe Apple thinks that I should buy and watch an iTunes movie instead. Why not just erase my home movies and offer to me the chance to buy some piece of hollywood crap.

Before anyone tells me that there is an update to iToner, I already know this. Its the principle of the matter. I shouldnt have to fight with Apple to have my own damn sounds on my own damn iPhone!!!!!

Apple, you have deeply disappointed a loyal twenty year customer and Steve Jobs should be embarrassed. Fix this now!!!

You need to check out this link http://www.ambrosiasw.com/utilities/itoner/ and you can have what you are looking for.
post #20 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

This ringtone stuff is of limited importance. All it really does is annoy everyone else that hears them.

Oh well.

I don't think anyone has brought that up in the previous threads, and it's probably the best reason to avoid them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Magic_Al View Post

Why doesn't this work with audio imported from CDs or your hard drive? I can see why publisher participation is needed to unlock DRM, but why wouldn't it work with audio that doesn't have DRM? I don't use musical ringtones but I like to use sound effects, usually the sound of an old-fashioned mechanical bell ringer.

I think they are probably restrictions that Apple had agreed to in order to get the service going.
post #21 of 49
I can only convert songs purchased from iTMS? LOL. It is so easy to take anything from my CD collection and crop an MP3 that works great on my phone. That's legal, isn't it?
post #22 of 49
Like I said previously >>
Before anyone tells me that there is an update to iToner, I already know this. Its the principle of the matter. I shouldnt have to fight with Apple to have my own damn sounds on my own damn iPhone!!!!!
post #23 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

This ringtone stuff is of limited importance. All it really does is annoy everyone else that hears them.

Oh well.

From what I've been hearing out there, people just LOVE annoying others.

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post #24 of 49
Alex Lindsay endorses iToner.

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post #25 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by netdog View Post

I can only convert songs purchased from iTMS? LOL. It is so easy to take anything from my CD collection and crop an MP3 that works great on my phone. That's legal, isn't it?

From CD, I think so, as long as you have a legal copy of the CD. I'm not a lawyer though.

If you bought your song from iTunes Store, no, it's against the TOS.
post #26 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by netdog View Post

I can only convert songs purchased from iTMS? LOL. It is so easy to take anything from my CD collection and crop an MP3 that works great on my phone. That's legal, isn't it?

Yes, but possibly not for ringtones.
post #27 of 49
With the iPhone connected to the computer, iTunes does not show the "ringtones" check box in View Options on my machine.

And shortly after I posted that, I quit iTunes and launched it again for the fourth time today, and now I have the Ringtones option. Of all my music, I have exactly two songs that are eligible for ringtones.
post #28 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by dssstrkl View Post

Well, out of my 5381 songs, I have ZERO that are available as ringtones....

Only 10 of my 1785 songs --a combination of ripped CDs and iTMS purchases, from a diverse (eclectic?) group of artists -- are elegible.
post #29 of 49
Capitalism has it's good points but this isn't one of them. Or to phrase it another way - just because you can make a profit out of something doesn't mean you should.

Apple, you know that clean bite out of your logo - well its starting to go brown around the edges as the flesh oxidises and it isn't looking so appealing any more.
post #30 of 49
http://www.rogueamoeba.com/utm/posts...-11-09-00.html

Totally free. Door knob easy. There is no technical reason why anyone should ever buy a ringtone. Don't be so hard on Apple, though. Many companies sell ringtones for $2.50 and up, and you don't get the song. Apple likely has the best ringtone deal on the market. And ridiculous or not, ringtones are a huge market... for suckers. Anyone willing to pay that kind of money for a ringtone deserves to be fleeced.
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post #31 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac Voyer View Post

http://www.rogueamoeba.com/utm/posts...-11-09-00.html

Totally free. Door knob easy. There is no technical reason why anyone should ever buy a ringtone. Don't be so hard on Apple, though. Many companies sell ringtones for $2.50 and up, and you don't get the song. Apple likely has the best ringtone deal on the market. And ridiculous or not, ringtones are a huge market... for suckers. Anyone willing to pay that kind of money for a ringtone deserves to be fleeced.


I totally agree, I just don't want Apple thinking they can erase my files without really pissing me off.
post #32 of 49
Oh boy, those sure are slim pickins.

Given how few there are, I wish the was a way to search for music under the heading of "ringtones" in the iTunes Store (rather than the current setup, which is the other way around).

Not up to Apple's usual standards of implementation. Hopefully, it will improve soon. I'll check back in a week.
post #33 of 49
For those complaining about the lack of ringtones, just remember that it is a licensing issue.

When Apple first opened iTunes, there were "just" a few hundred thousand songs. Now, Jobs said there are over 6 million.

More will come when those licensing issues get straightened out.

As for doing it illegally, that's another issue.
post #34 of 49
Yeah, paying for a ringtone should be a sin. There are free ways to get a ringtone, as a previous poster has stated. You can use up to 30 seconds of anything you want, and it's legal. I had like 1,000 ringtones from using AudioHijack and the iTunes preview.

Noncommercial use of course.
post #35 of 49
I've purchased two ringtones, and made the ringtones, from songs I purchased this year on iTunes, on this computer, but when I synch my iPhone it says it won't sync the ringtones because I am not authorized to play the songs on this computer. The songs play fine on my computer. Anyone know what gives?
post #36 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by danpallotta View Post

I've purchased two ringtones, and made the ringtones, from songs I purchased this year on iTunes, on this computer, but when I synch my iPhone it says it won't sync the ringtones because I am not authorized to play the songs on this computer. The songs play fine on my computer. Anyone know what gives?

Only songs that are available on iTMS as ringtones will play as a ringtone on your iPhone. You are able to pay for and make a ringtone out of any song you already purchased from iTMS, you just can't play it as a ringtone on your iPhone. You then are just a sucker, like me last night.
post #37 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by PantENoiz View Post

Only songs that are available on iTMS as ringtones will play as a ringtone on your iPhone. You are able to pay for and make a ringtone out of any song you already purchased from iTMS, you just can't play it as a ringtone on your iPhone. You then are just a sucker, like me last night.


Well that sucks...
post #38 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by danpallotta View Post

I've purchased two ringtones, and made the ringtones, from songs I purchased this year on iTunes, on this computer, but when I synch my iPhone it says it won't sync the ringtones because I am not authorized to play the songs on this computer. The songs play fine on my computer. Anyone know what gives?

We had this same problem. It's a glitch in the new version of iTunes, it seems, if you can reproduce this error.

Best,

K
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post #39 of 49
Ah, found some great John McLaughlin, Grandmaster Flash, and Jean-luc Ponty (I know, I know, these date me.......).

$10 down the drain, all for stuff I had already ripped from CDs.

Sucker. But quite an impressed one. Really works quite well.

post #40 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kasper View Post

We had this same problem. It's a glitch in the new version of iTunes, it seems, if you can reproduce this error.

Best,

K

It happened to me too. I had to authorize my main iTunes computer to store the first ringtone I downloaded. After the first time, it did not ask again.
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