MacMost Now 20: How to Make iPhone Ringtones

Gary Rosenzweig shows you how to use GarageBand to make ringtones for the iPhone.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: MacMost Now 20: How to Make iPhone Ringtones.

Hello this is Gary Rosenzweig with MacMost Now. Let's ring in the New Year by talking about ringtones. A brief history of iPod ring tones. When the iPhone first came out, it had twenty-five built in ringtones and you couldn't add anymore. Soon some hacks allowed you to add your own ringtones, but then there was a cat and mouse game between the iPhone firmware and hackers who wanted to add ringtones. You could add them one day and then the next day there would be firmware update that disabled that. Pretty soon then, there was an official way to add iPhone ringtones. And that is, you had to actually buy a song from the iTunes music store and then you had to pay an additional amount to be able to make a ringtone out of that song. And it only worked with some songs. But, then eventually, an update to GarageBand allowed us to add anything we want as a ringtone. You can basically use GarageBand to make your own ringtone. Let's take a look at how to do that.
You'll need the most recent version of GarageBand. GarageBand '08 which comes with iLife '08. You get that on any new Mac you buy right now. And if you have an older Mac your going to have to upgrade to the most recent version of iLife. Once you have GarageBand '08 and your up to date with software updates, then you can go ahead and launch it and create a new music project. You'll be asked to choose, just a name for the song, so let's call it my ringtone and leave the rest of the stuff just normal. Ok, so if this is the first time you are using GarageBand, there are just a couple of things you want to do to start. First thing you want to do is close this keyboard window if it appears. Next thing you wanna do, is get rid of the grand fault piano track. Just do that by selecting it and it turns green and pressing the keys command delete. It goes away. So now you have a complete, blank GarageBand document. Then you want to click on the music loop button down here. That opens up a little tray of some categories and music loops. Click on one, say Bass, and look through the list on the right and find a bass track that you like. So like that, I'll preview for you, and you can drag it into the main document there. And I'll create a new track for you, name it, and it will put the loop there. What you can do once you have that, is you can go ahead, it's kinda tricky, but you click on the upper right corner of it and you can extend the loop out a little bit. To extend it out. Now that we have a loop extended out for a little bit, we can play it and sample it here. It stopped. We can go ahead and click on this little loop button here. That brings up this yellow bar. That's a looping bar that, um, is going to be used by the export to ringtone function to determine what ring, what part of the song to actually export. So we'll expand that to the entire thing. Actually, we're going to expand a little past that so that way the ringtone plays the music then there's a little bit of silence and then it plays it again.
Once we have that, we go to the menu at the top. And once we go to the menu at the top, uh, there's one called share. We click on that and it has a pull down menu and the second option there is send ringtone to iTunes.

Comments: 5 Responses to “MacMost Now 20: How to Make iPhone Ringtones”

    11 years ago

    I am trying to make a ringtone but when I click on Share….it doesnt say send ringtone to iTunes it says send Song to iTunes? I checked and I have the current version…..any suggestions?

    11 years ago

    It should be right under Send Song to iTunes. Do you have the latest version of GarageBand, the one from iLife 08?

    Paul OT
    11 years ago

    It is a great lesson to let me know how to make my unique ringtone on my iPhone. You also let me start to use garage band which I never know what is this. Thanks a lot.

    8 years ago

    Hi, I’ve been doing this for about a year now, and I was wondering, today, of all days, under the “Share” tab, the option to “send to iTunes” is greyed out. I have an ’08 version of iLife. Is there any reason that it might have changed recently or is my computer just messed up?

      8 years ago

      Not sure. Perhaps you don’t any any music — or too much music. Hard to say.

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