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Sunday, February 17, 2008

How to create ringtones with iTunes for your Motorola RAZR

Almost a year ago I posted an article on how you can create ringtones from any audio file that you have for your Motorola RAZR phone. While it was great to do that, let's face it -- most people use iTunes these days to keep track of their music. Not all of us, but a lot of us. Wouldn't it be easier if I created ringtones for my Motorola RAZR (and subsequently for Ashley's iPhone) with iTunes?

The short answer is that it is not only easier, but it is a great way to store and track them centrally. Plus, with dual use for multiple phones, using iTunes to create, clip, store, and transfer ringtones is really easy. With that, here is the way that I was able to quickly take short sounds clips of songs, reduce their size so they are compatible with the Motorola RAZR, and then transfer them as ringtones.

All you need for this guide is a current version of iTunes, I used version 7.6 -- although almost any versions will work as the functionality used here has been available for a couple of years.

Here is the step-by-step tutorial on how to create ringtones on iTunes for your Motorola RAZR:

1. Create a new playlist in your iTunes software by clicking on File --> New Playlist or by hitting Control+N and name it. We will be adding your MP3 files to this playlist in order to create the files for your RAZR V3 ringtones.

2. Drag and drop any music that you want to convert to a ringtone to your playlist.
Create Ringtones for Motorola RAZR with iTunes - Build Playlist
3. Open the new playlist by double-clicking with your mouse.

4. We now need to clip or shrink the song down to a reasonable size (less than 30 seconds) for your ringtone. In order to do this, select the song to be clipped or cut, right-click and select "Get Info".

5. Now select the "Options" tab and select the appropriate start and stop time for this song. In this case, the start time is at one minute, seven and a half seconds and the end time is at one minute, twenty-four seconds. Click on 'ok' to modify the setting and test out the time in iTunes. Adjust if necessary to get your desired cut.
Create Ringtones for Motorola RAZR with iTunes - Clip Song
6. You now need to change the settings for your MP3 encoder, so make sure to first keep track of where it is currently set. Now, go to iTunes, select Edit --> Preferences, then the Advanced Tab, then the Importing tab, and from the settings drop-down choose Custom. Change the settings to a Stereo Bit rate of 64kbps, no VBR, a sample rate of 22.050 kHz, and Channels set to Mono. Click on 'Ok' twice to save.
Create Ringtones for Motorola RAZR with iTunes - Change Burning settings
7. Now we can convert your cut clip into a MP3 file for a ringtone. To do this, right-click on the song, select Convert Selection to MP3 and the new ringtone MP3 is created. There is now a second copy of the song in your music library with only the clipped content.
Create Ringtones for Motorola RAZR with iTunes - Convert to MP3
8. Find the file that was created, mine was in "C:\My Music\AC_DC\AC_DC Live (Disc 2)\2-10 T.N.T. 1.mp3", and transfer to your phone via Bluetooth -- if available, or via file. If you need to know how to do it via a file, there is a how-to guide on transferring ringtones to your RAZR here: How to transfer audio and ringtones to your Motorola RAZR

9. Make sure and change back both your song settings as well as the MP3 encoding settings and now you can use your new RAZR ringtone!

Did this work for you? If so, please let me know with a comment.

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odette said...

When trying to convert to MP3 got an error msg.: could not be converted because protected files cannot be converted to other files.

Anyway around this??

Ken Hanscom said...

Unfortunately not an easy way around this if it is a digitally protected file. You may be able to convert to another file format (like WAV) first and then back to MP3.

odette said...

I tried to convert to .wav and got the same error msg.

How would I save this file to my computer to get it out of itunes?

Charlie said...

I get the "Can't convert (whatever) not purchased at the ITunes store!" What's up with that??


Anonymous said...

You can try SoundTaxi to convert the file to MP3 and remove the protection from it. I purchased it for 19.95 and have had some success with similar problems. You can find it at and I would not recommend trying the free version as there are some limits associated with that (don't remember what it was a few years ago???)

Anonymous said...

It was very simple to do and worked perfectly - thank you for posting this!

Meredith said...

worked like a charm! I have tons of new FREE custom ringtones! Thanks a lot =)

eric said...

How do you get around making it if it's not from the itunes store?

Ken Hanscom said...

iTunes does not require the media be from the iTunes store. Actually, in many cases -- protected media from the iTunes store *may* not allow you to use this technique.

However, most media files work out of the box even if they were not purchased through the iTunes store.

Anonymous said...

This is great! However, I just got a KRZR, I followed all the steps, but end up with a file on my phone that cannot be applied as a ringtone - only played as an MP3. Any idea how to get around this?

Anonymous said...

You just saved me... bought a new razr the other day, my old custom ringtones sound crappy on the new phone, but this worked great!

Anonymous said...

I tried this out, but in place of the option shown to "convert into mp3," I'm stuck with "convert into AAC," which I highly doubt will work in my V3. Help?

Emma said...

Assuming you're running a PC with the latest iTunes, you can do this, although the instructions for old iTunes or Mac should be similar.

In iTunes click Edit, click Preferences, click on Import Settings in the General tab. From here you can select which codec you want to convert songs to with the right click "Convert selection to ***" menu. Also, changing the import settings makes it so every song you import from CD will be converted to the format you select here.
So, basically, if you change the import setting to 64kbps mono to convert your ringtones, and then you forget to change it back to import as high quality mp3, all your songs you import will be crap quality and you'll probably forget why lol.

Anonymous said...

Just got a V3 and I can get the clip onto my phone, but it won't let me apply it as a ringtone, just play it like a music file. What's wrong?

Anonymous said...

when i clicked advanced, my itunes doesn't have an "imported" tab... can anybody help?