So you’ve had your iPhone for a few days and you really like it. Great. How do you like those ringtones? Not so much? Me neither. While they’re vibrant and loud, they’re just not good. When someone calls me, I don’t want it to sound like they’re calling a church or a cricket; I want it to sound like me. Here, I’ll show you how to make it sound like you.

Before we go any further, you’ll need to download and install iPhoneBrowser onto your computer. What exactly does iPhoneBrowser do? Simply put, it lets you view the files on your iPhone. More importantly, it allows you to add files - specifically, in this instance, ringtones. Once you have downloaded and installed iPhoneBrowser, come back here to continue.

There are actually a few ways to make iPhone ringtones. You can either do it online; on your desktop; or straight from your iPhone. The easiest way, which I’ll show you here, is online. (Unless you’d rather pay 99¢ per track. Yeah, I didn’t think so.) First, go to Audiko.net (not .com). From there, you’ll use the form on the main page to upload a track that you would like to use. Once it’s uploaded, just move the sliders positions to the beginning and end of your desired ringtone area. Make sure your chosen timespan is less than 30 seconds, as the iPhone may not be able to use it if it’s longer.

Here’s an example of a ringtone of “Battle Without Honor or Humanity” by Tomoyasu Hotei:

Now that your ringtone is made, you need to get it to your iPhone. On your computer, create a new folder specifically for ringtones such as My Documents\Ringtones. In Audiko, click the link to “Download ringtone for iPhone” and save this M4R file to the Ringtones folder on your computer. Open up iPhoneBrowser and go to the Ringtones folder on the iPhone. It’s easy to find - just check the Goto Location tab at the top of the window:

It’s just basic drag-and-drop to get your ringtone from the Ringtones folder on your computer to the folder on your iPhone. Lastly, on your iPhone go to Settings > Sounds > Ringtone, and you should see your newly created ringtone in the list.

Like I said, there are other methods of making iPhone ringtones. However, they’re not as easy and are a bit more time consuming. Still, if you’re looking for something that will work offline (rather than having to upload your track to Audiko) then I would suggest looking into ToneShop or iRinger. If you’re really anal, or would like to do some more complicated audio editing like cutting sections out and blending, then give Audacity a spin. With Audacity, you can create an edited MP3 and then you’ll need to use something like iRinger to convert that to an M4R (iPhone ringtone format).

In addition to the desktop applications, there’s an app available via Installer called Ringtones (original, eh?) that will take tracks from your Library and convert it to a ringtone. It works - that’s not to say that it works very well, but it works - and I hope it’ll be improved upon in the future. The main issues I’ve experienced are that the user interface is a little awkward, and if you’re half-way through converting a track and happen to go reply to a text message, Ringtones forgets everything you just did so you have to start all over. Annoying. Also, choosing the start and end points for the ringtone via Ringtones is about as intuitive as spreading peanut butter and jelly with a rolling pin - it can be done, but there should be an easier way.

Stay tuned for Part 4 in this series. Feel free to subscribe to the Dean(ish) feed.