I'd like to use a snippet of a song I have purchased as a ringtone for my iPhone. Is this possible using only iTunes?

I have found a few guides on the web, but I can't seem to complete this task following these guides. I might be misunderstanding something, or the guides are out-of-date, or incomplete.

I am looking for a solution that will be useful for an extended period of time, for others who see this question. There are similar older questions, but I'm interested in iTunes version 10 on the Mac.

  • I think you can just do it by connecting your iPhone, then selecting it from the list on the left.. Then one of the tabs (Music, Movies, Books, etc) has an area where you can select tunes to be used as tracks. You may have to first edit the properties of a track to some how mark it as usable as a ringtone too. I think how this all works has changed a few times too. You may want to post the version of iTunes you're using too..
    – Doc
    Aug 11, 2011 at 20:24
  • 1
    Could be merged with: How do I create a custom ringtone for my iPhone?
    – slhck
    Aug 12, 2011 at 12:51
  • Greg - I'm guessing you want to bypass the "official" way with the ringtone tools that automate the editing, looping, conversion but costs additional $ at present? ringtones on iTunes for Mac and ringtones on iTunes for Windows
    – bmike
    Aug 12, 2011 at 13:53

3 Answers 3


As far as I'm concerned (this has worked for my iPhone, and is covered in this guide as well), it works like this:

Now, let's convert it to the appropriate format.

  • Click OK, and right-click the song again. Select "Create AAC Version".
  • Locate the newly created AAC file ("Show in Finder" works on a Mac). It should reside in the same folder as the original, or in your iTunes library. Its extension will be .m4a.
  • Rename the extension from m4a to m4r.

Clean up and re-import:

  • Remove the AAC file from your iTunes library (do not move it to the Recycling Bin/Trash though)
  • Re-import the m4r file by dragging it into iTunes
  • Drag the newly imported file to your iPhone
  • This is how I do it, and I confirm it works for me (from the same guide too).
    – EightBitTony
    Aug 11, 2011 at 21:06

Personally, I use the same method as @slhck. However, if you had any trouble following his instructions, here is a handy-dandy webpage for you to use that comes with helpful pictures!


Use GarageBand. Set a loop region (on the menu, Control -> Loop Region) under 40 seconds.

When you're done editing click Share -> Send ringtone to iTunes.

  • The OP asked about iTunes only.
    – Moshe
    Aug 12, 2011 at 12:59

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