How to Use Music As Ring Tones in iPhones

By Gina Poirier

You can use your favorite songs as ring tones on the iPhone. If you do not mind paying a dollar or two, you can download ringtones from iTunes. Or, if you prefer to make your own song clip, you can make ring tones with iTunes or with an app downloaded right to your phone. Whatever method you choose, you have an extensive supply of potential ring tones to customize your iPhone.

Purchasing Ring Tones

Step 1

Tap on the iTunes application on your iPhone while you're connected to the Internet.

Step 2

Tap on the "Ringtones" tab at the bottom of the screen. If it is not visible, tap "More" and then tap it.

Step 3

Browse for the ring tone you want by searching through featured artists, genres or popular downloads. If you cannot find the one you want, tap "Search" at the bottom of the screen and type in the name of the song or artist. Then find the song you want under the "Ringtones" category.

Step 4

Download the ring tone you want by tapping on the price and then "Buy Now." If you did a search for a specific song, be sure you download the ring tone and not the entire song.

Step 5

Enter your iTunes password. If you do not have one, iTunes will prompt you to set up an account.

Step 6

Find your ring tone on your iPhone after it has completed downloading. Tap the "Settings" menu, and then "Sounds" and "Ringtones." You can select it as your default ring tone if you want. You can make it a personal ring tone for a certain contact by finding the contact, tapping "Edit," tapping "Ringtone" on that contact's profile and then selecting the new song.

Using an iPhone App

Step 1

Tap the "App Store" button on your iPhone while connected to the Internet.

Step 2

Tap the "Search" tab, type "ringtone" in the search box and tap "Search."

Step 3

Select an app for download and click on the price or "free" button to install it on your phone. Examples include "Ringtone," "Ringtone Maker" and "Ringtone Designer." Most of these apps are $0.99 or free.

Step 4

Provide your iTunes password when prompted.

Step 5

Open the app and select a song from the music stored on your phone.

Step 6

Choose a song clip 30 seconds long or less that you want to use as a ringtone. Some apps may do this for you.

Step 7

Transfer the song to your ring tones list using the app. Apps may do this automatically or instruct you how to do it.

Step 8

Find your ring tone on your phone by tapping your "Settings" button, then "Sounds" and "Ringtones." Here you can make the new ring tone your default ring tone. If you want to use it as a custom ring tone for a contact, select the contact in your phone, tap "Edit, tap the "ringtone" button and change the ring tone.

Using iTunes On Your Computer

Step 1

Open iTunes and find the song you want to use as a ring tone.

Step 2

Listen to the song and determine which part of it you would like to use as a ring tone clip. It should be about 30 seconds or less. Take note of the start time and stop time of the clip.

Step 3

Right-click on the song title and select "Get info."

Step 4

Select the "Options" tab.

Step 5

Check the "Start Time" and "Stop Time" check boxes.

Step 6

Enter your start and stop time and click "OK."

Step 7

Right-click on the song you just edited and select "Convert Selection to AAC."

Step 8

Click on the converted song, which you can find in the iTunes "Music" folder, and drag it to your desktop to make a copy of it. You can delete it in iTunes now if you want to and uncheck the "Start Time" and "Stop Time" boxes on the original song.

Step 9

Right click on the song file on the desktop and select "Get info."

Step 10

Click on "Name" and "Extension."

Step 11

Change the extension name on the file from ".m4a" to ".m4r" so iTunes will recognize it as a ring tone file.

Step 12

Double-click on the song to add it it your iTunes library in the "Ringtones" tab.

Step 13

Sync your iPhone with iTunes. If your phone does not automatically sync, be sure the new ring tone is selected and click "Apply."

Step 14

Find your new ring tone on your iPhone by tapping "Settings," "Sounds" and "Ringtones." You can make it your default ring tone there or make it a custom ring tone for an individual contact by tapping on the contact, tapping "Edit" and changing the ring tone.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you are converting a file using iTunes and do not see "Convert Selection to AAC" when you right-click on it, click on "iTunes Preferences," "Advanced" and "Importing." Change the "Import Using" drop-down selection to "AAC Encoder" and then proceed to converting the file.