Apple unleashes iPhone ringtones feature via iTunes (first look)

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 48
    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.
  • Reply 2 of 48
    eh.





    whats there to say?
  • Reply 3 of 48
    If I purchase a ringtone and later I want to change the particular 30 second section, do I have to purchase it again??????
  • Reply 4 of 48
    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!!

  • Reply 5 of 48
    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....
  • Reply 6 of 48
    Depeche Mode - Dream On.



    So Kasper, which part did you loop?



    "Can you feel a little love" or the guitar riff?
  • Reply 7 of 48
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 48
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    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
  • Reply 9 of 48
    kasperkasper Posts: 941member, administrator
    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
  • Reply 10 of 48
    sandausandau Posts: 1,230member
    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/
  • Reply 11 of 48
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,026member
    This ringtone stuff is of limited importance. All it really does is annoy everyone else that hears them.



    Oh well.
  • Reply 12 of 48
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 48
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 48
    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 aren?t 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. It?s the principle of the matter. I shouldn?t 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!!!
  • Reply 15 of 48
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 48
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 48
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    I wonder if AT&T gets any of the ringtone revenue. Maybe part of the deal too.
  • Reply 18 of 48
    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 aren?t 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. It?s the principle of the matter. I shouldn?t 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.
  • Reply 19 of 48
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,951member
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 48
    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?
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