Apple marches to a different tune. Sometimes the tune changes. Take iTunes 10. Faster, cleaner, easier to use. But no iPhone ringtones.
What’s with that, Apple? Not enough profits in ringtones? Or, did the record companies get greedy again? Whatever the reason, I’m not worried. I know how to make ringtones and get them on my iPhone and it only costs the price of music.
Ringtones, Where Art Thou?
I did what most Mac users did. Apple released iTunes 10 with a bunch of new features and I eagerly downloaded the update. 10 is sleek and still crammed to the brim with all sorts of features and capabilities.
One feature didn’t make the cut. Ringtones. Not a ringtone to be found in iTunes.
Hey, iTunes 10 is a major update. 10 seems to be in Apple’s DNA. But 10 only looks different, performs different, and the only major new feature appears to be the social network, Ping. Oh, and no ringtones in the iTunes Store.
I don’t know about you, but I like ringtones on my iPhone. I have a collection of ringtones. Each family member gets assigned a ringtone so I know in an instant who needs me or who’s about to bother me.
Free Ringtones For Fun, Not Profit
OK, Apple. I can take a hint. Ringtones has been around since iTunes 7.x. What happened? No ringtones column in iTunes 10. No ringtones in the iTunes Store.
What’s a gal to do? Go free, or go commercial, ringtones remain alive and well for Mac users with iPhones and a ringtone addiction.
Ringer – A longtime Mac favorite for ringtone creation is Ringer. Any music that can be played in QuickTime can be used as a ringtone in Ringer.
It comes with a waveform editor so you can select a portion of a song, fading tools for in and out, even control the gap between rings. Not free, but very nice.
Ringtones – The Little App Factory’s Ringtones isn’t free, but it’s not expensive, either. It’s fast, easy to use, and you can create ringtones in seconds.
iToner2 – If you don’t mind avoiding iTunes and you can still drag and drop like you did when you were younger, iToner 2 is for you. It’s not free, either, but it’s drop dead, drag and drop easy.
Create custom ringtones from MP3s, AAC music, WAV or AIFF using iToner’s window interface. Crop music according to your tastes and you’re good to go.
iRingtones – Yet another inexpensive (but not free) Mac ringtone app which lets you create the ringtone from music in iTunes. iRingtone lets you crop and edit; set the length, fade in and fade out duration, click to create.
Those wonderfully sincere Mac ringtone apps worked fine in iTunes 9.2.1. Time and Apple march on; the former incessantly, the latter sometimes inconsistently.
If you bought ringtones from the iTunes store and stuffed them into your iPhone ringtones collection, you’re like me—miffed.
Fortunately, Mac app developers have not abandoned their collective common senses, and a free ringtone app remains a good choice for the drag and dropper crowd.
MakeiPhoneRingtone – The cleverly named ringtone app from Rogue Amoeba is the Cheap Mac Apps freebie for the day. MakeiPhoneRingtone gets the award for the fewest features, lowest price, and longest name.
For now, free rules supreme. Almost. If you want all the nifty and sophisticated editing tools, then Rogue charges for the very cool editor, Fission, which will do the job with panache.
Wait. This Just In!
Apple still loves you, baby!
If you really must make your own ringtones from scratch, and you can’t afford the price range of free to $15, then Garageband still loves iTunes. Drag music from iTunes into Garageband, click the Cycle Region button, drag to edit the length of the music (40 seconds or less), then select Share > Send Ringtone to iTunes.
When you’re done waiting for iTunes 10 and Garageband to do their collective things (both are resource hogs; so grab a sandwich or take a potty break, but not both at the same time), you’ll have a brand spanking new ringtone in iTunes’ ringtone library.
Ringtones for free. Life is good.