Roll Your Own iPhone Ringtones (HOWTO VIDEO)

or via Stage6 (much higher resolution) once they’ve screened my upload.

Oh this is TOO easy. Apple, you poohed the screwch this time.

I just took White Wedding from Billy Idol (an mp3 in my iTunes Library) and turned it into a ring tone (I named it WeddingRing, ain’t that too cute?). Here’s how:

You’ll need iTunes 7.4.1 and AtomicParsley, a cross-platform, open-source executable which will modify a meta setting in your audio file. (yeah, you heard me! That’s all that sets a ringtone apart from other Tunes. heheh!)

I set my iTunes Advanced preferences to Import with the AAC Encoder (that yields the necessary .m4a file.

Then I selected my song from within iTunes and went to the “Advanced” menu selecting “Convert to AAC”

Now, I have two “White Weddings” in my playlist. One is an mp3 and the other is an m4a (You can tell the difference by selecting one and performing a “get info” on the song cmd+i on Macs).

Now, drag the .m4a song to your desktop. Rename it to something logical like “ringtone.m4a”.

Got AtomicParsley? Good. Now to run that baby in your OSX Terminal start by dragging the AtomicParsley file directly into the terminal window. Go ahead don’t be shy… It should simply write a line of path info in the Terminal.

Now, drag your ringtone.m4a file into the Terminal. Again, it should simply write a path to the m4a file to the Terminal window.

Now, type in –stick value=14

You should be seeing something like:

~/Desktop/AtomicParsley-MacOSX-0.9.0 geraldb28$ /Users/geraldb28/Desktop/AtomicParsley-MacOSX-0.9.0/AtomicParsley /Users/geraldb28/Desktop/Wedding.m4a –stik value=14

If not, I’ve either confused you (sorry) or you’ve missed a step. But, if your Terminal reads like the line above… press RETURN.

A new TEMP file has been created in the same directory as your m4a (should be on your Desktop if you followed along above). Now, simply take that new file, rename IT to something useful to you like “WeddingRingtone.m4a” or whatever…

DELETE the original NON-ringtone m4a file from your iTunes Playlist (yes, send it to the iTunes Trash).

Now, double click on your newly minted m4a file on your desktop (the one which was until a few seconds ago a temp file). It should launch iTunes and park it in your Ringtones Library.

All your applause really should go to gryphondwb. What a beautiful bit of hackery.

I can imagine Apple with rectify this little revenue black hole with iTunes 7.4.2. That, or they’ll let us have our little haxies while the mainstream gleefully ponies up their $.99.

[EDIT: Video of the not-so-hard way above will be posted tonight. Also, I’m working on a Mac app to do this without any Terminal gyrations. Stay “tuned”.]

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5 Comments on “Roll Your Own iPhone Ringtones (HOWTO VIDEO)”


  1. […] new iTunes updater (7.4.2) reverses quite a lot of our recent industrious work arounds to “roll our own” ringtones. As I’ve not yet updated iTunes on the MBPro (which is what my iPhone syncs […]

  2. Anonymous Says:

    What about people with WINDOWS ???!!! I don’t think we have an OSX Terminal ??? So this Atomic Parsley can’t be used for nothing ???

  3. gwhiz Says:

    Hey, brave anonymous poster! Yeah, you! Not my fault you picked a platform Atomic Parsley won’t run on. Get a name and then go find a clue.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    Dude, they make Atomic Parsley for Windows. Just run it in the command prompt (yes you have it, just hit run in the start menu and type “cmd”)

  5. Techitorial Says:

    Its really spectacular … I like the way it has been written … I like your style !
    I like the way you have presented the video in your blog!


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