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Ringtones have always been an easy way for cell phone users to personalize their mobile phones. Unfortunately, the way that Apple designed both iTunes and the iPhone they were looking to control most of your music files with their format. Essentially they cornered the market on music file types and forced you to buy the majority of downloadable music through their iTunes website and use it with their software interface. This left the MP3 file format far behind. Sure, you can download mp3 files from other music websites that offer that service, but everyone knows that iTunes has the largest selection and they recently received the rights to sell the Beatles songs. The good news is that many software writers around the world are always looking at ways to help end users get what they want from uncooperative software. The iPhone comes standard with ringtones like marimba, blues, motorcycle, pinball, robot, xylophone and several more. To see what ringtones are loaded on your iPhone, click on the main "Settings" button on the main screen. Then click on "Sounds". You will see a choice called "Ringtone" along the left hand side. Touch "Ringtone" and then you will see a list of all the pre-installed ringtones on your iPhone. There will be a heading called "Standard". Once you get your own ringtones on the phone, there will be another heading called "Custom" which will then list all the ones you have added. On to the process of adding your own custom ringtones to the Apple iPhone.
How to Get Ringtones Onto Your Apple iPhone:
You can always purchase ringtones through your iPhone itself. Touch the "iTunes" icon on the main screen of the phone. You may see a "ringtones" tab at the bottom and touch that to get to ringtones. If there is no ringtones tab, then hit the "More" tab and you will see a list with the word "ringtones" on it. Touch that link and you will be taken to the iTunes store which has 1000's of ringtones and applications to choose from. See a Top 10 list, see the ones that are featured, or look through the genres to find one you like. At the time of this article, we found all the ringtones in the Top 10 section were $1.29/each. What is crazy about that pricing is that an entire song is no more than that and all you are getting with a ringtone is a short "snippet" from that song. Seems like a wacked out business model to me. In any event you can choose to purchase the ringtone through iTunes interface and your credit card will be charged. The ringtone will be downloaded to your iTunes or to your iPhone. Eventually, all your ringtones should be stored in the Settings-Sounds-Ringtones section of the Apple iPhone. Those that you buy will be placed in an area called "Custom". They are easy to find and just touch the one you want to set as your ringtone. RECOMMENDED - We recently found a website at http://audiko.net/ where you can get your own ringtones made in seconds online. All you need to do is upload your favorite song (you will need the MP3 file or similar format of the song already on your computer). Other ways to do this include pointing the website to a specific URL that has the song or give them a YouTube URL that features the song you want and they will extract the song for you. Once the song is uploaded, you have the choice to choose the best fragment of that song for your ringtone. Once you have decided on that, create the ringtone online and then download it to your computer (will be a .m4r file format). Once it is on your computer, double click the file to open it in iTunes. Within the iTunes interface you should see a "Ringtones" link on the lefthand side under the Library section. When you click on the 'ringtones' link, you should see a list of the ringtone files available on your computer. If not, go back to where you downloaded them onto your computer and double click them so they open up in iTunes. Once they are visible within the iTunes software you can then Sync up your iPhone with iTunes and get the ringtones over to your actual cell phone. The entire process takes about 5 minutes and is really easy. I have 1000's of songs that I have ripped off of CD's that I purchased years ago and now I can use those songs as my ringtones.
Apple has made it simple to purchase ringtones through their interface with iTunes. When you buy a ringtone it's the same as if you would have bought a song on iTunes. The actual music file is brought to your iTunes library and from there you can direct it to your cell phone. You will see a dialog box (when you buy the ringtone) asking if you want to set the ringtone as your default ringtone, assign it to a specific contact, or you can always hit "done" and save it for later. I have the iPhone 4 and this process has always been smooth to accomplish. This works with the iOS 3.1 (or later) on the iPhones and iOS 4.1 or later on the iPod touch (4th generation). There is a support article online at the Appple website that goes into more detail at http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1491. There is an iPhones Ringtone Maker available online at http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/audio/iphoneringtonemaker.html - the software works on Macs only and is priced at $19. The ringtone maker software supports audio formats like MP3, WAV, WMA, M4A, AC3, and video formats such as MP4, MPG, MPEG, MKV, AVI. There is a shareware version availabe to try before you buy. The good things about the ringtone maker from Apple is that you can have the ringtone last over 60 seconds. The earlier version of the software didn't allow that. We will have to assume that ringtones will end up being FREE in a few years once all iPhone 4 users and above realize that they are paying for something that can be had for nothing. For some that are non-technical, the process can be a bit too much, but for the average iPhone mobile phone user, they should have no problems with it.