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How to Create Custom Ringtones, iTunes 12.9

July 5, 2019

Author: Bianca Yang
Email: ipacifics@gmail.com

For all you people using newfangled versions of iTunes that don’t allow easy creation of custom ringtones from songs you already have in your library.

  1. Identify up to 35 second chunk of desired source song. 
  2. Right click on song in iTunes and click on “Show in Finder” 
  3. Right click on song in Finder and click “Open With” > “QuickTimePlayer.App” 
  4. Click “Command - T” on keyboard when QuickTime opens to open up “Trim functionality. Or go to “Edit” > “Trim” in upper left menu bar in QuickTime.
  5. Drag the slider to capture the chunk of the song you want to use as your ringtone. You can hit trim in the upper right section of the window at any point to see what part of the song you have trimmed. Your changes will not be permanently saved until you export the song, so you can trim as many times as necessary. A quick way to get the right chunk of song is to trim from the beginning of the song first, until the length of the trimmed song equals the time remaining on the song in iTunes when you move the slider to the desired start time. Then you can trim from the back to the desired length.
  6. Once you are done trimming, click “File” > “Export As” > “Audio Only” in the upper left hand menu of QuickTime App. 
  7. Save the song with whatever name you want, to whatever folder you desire. Remember where you save the song. To make things easy, you can save things to your “Desktop” folder. 
  8. Now open the folder you just saved the song to and drag the song into your iTunes “Songs” library. 
  9. Click on the song in your iTunes library, click “File” > “Convert” > “Create AAC Version” in the upper left menu of iTunes App. 
  10. The newly created version will not be highlighted in iTunes. Right click the song that is not highlighted but has the same length as your ringtone, then click “Show in Finder” (it is best to rename this song so you do not confuse it with the original song) 
  11. Drag this song into your “Tones” Folder (typically file path is:  Macintosh HD⁩ ▸ ⁨Users⁩ ▸ ⁨[username] ▸ ⁨Music⁩ ▸ ⁨iTunes⁩ ▸ ⁨iTunes Media⁩ ▸ Tones)
  12. Change the name of the song from ***.m4a —> ***.m4r. Click “Use .m4r” in the pop-up window. 
  13. Connect your device. You should see a “Tones” section appear under your device name in iTunes. Drag the newly created ***.m4r file into this Tones section. You should now be able to use the new ringtone. You can delete any of the intermediate songs from your iTunes library.

Update, July 7: Applescript for doing the above, except for step 13, is here.