Wednesday, October 6, 2010

We are all the same! (Yet, please create your own ringtone…)

Personalizing our digital world is a sure hit.

From making our own iGoogle pages, playing around with Windows' mouse cursors (people still do that??) to the cool and shiny skins for iPads – it's all about being *me* - standing out from the crowd.

Then come along that default mobile phone ringtone.

When I was at Comverse, the entire office hummed with Nokia's default tune. (I think it was across the entire country at the time!)
At Samsung, obviously it was Samsung's default tune.
And now at AT&T, where lots of people use iPhone, it's again a single-tune-to-all scenario.

Each time a phone rings – all faces gaze towards their own phone, only to realize they already had a missed call earlier, which they thought was not theirs.

As you know, there are about a dozen of native tunes for each of the above phones, but usually only 2-3 are worth the while, which is a good example of how similar we all are, basically.
Yet, I wanted to share with you an easy and free way to create your own iPhone (or with a tiny bit of more work – any phone) ringtone. Just follow these instructions and share your personalized "mobile-you" with the world:

1.       Open iTunes
2.       Find the song that you want to make into a ringtone (which is the best part of it all! :-) )
3.       Listen to the song and find the part of it you want to use. The chorus may be a good place to start
4.       Write down the start and stop times of the clip
5.       Right-click the song and select "Get Info"
6.       Click the "Options" tab
7.       Type in the start time of your ringtone in the text box next to "Start Time" in the minutes:seconds (i.e., 2:01) format
8.       Type in the end time of your ringtone in the text box next to "Stop Time" (Make sure the ringtone is no more than 40 seconds long)
9.       Click "OK"
10.   Right-click your song again and select "Convert Selection to AAC." Wait for iTunes to convert your song. It will create a duplicate version.
11.   Right-click the ringtone and select "Delete" (Yes, yes – no worries – check out the next line…)
12.   Click on the "Keep Files" button
13.   Find the file. It's usually in your User folder under "Music > iTunes > iTunes Music" and under the band's name. It will have an extension of m4a.
14.   Rename the m4a extension of your file with m4r. You can either double-click slowly to rename your file; or select it and press F2, or right-click and select "Rename"
15.   Click "Yes" when the system warns you that you've changed the file type
16.   Double-click the ringtone file. iTunes will automatically add it to your ringtones folder in your iTunes Music Library
17.   Connect your iPhone and sync your ringtones

Thanks to for this info! (Had to update it a bit, but it basically worked well as-is!)

Just as a teaser, here's my own iPhone ringtone, and chapeau to those who recognize this song in the first few seconds!

Take care,

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