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I have an iPhone 4S with iOS 5.

How do I record speech or sound to use as a ringtone dedicated to certain phone numbers, especially numbers that aren't in my address book?

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I think this is two questions. How do I record ringtones? and How do I get a ringtone for non-contacts? I will address the second.

You cannot explicitly set a ringtone for numbers not in you address book. But, you can get this effect. Simply make sure all your contacts have a "custom" ringtone set. Then, set your default ringtone to something else. You can do this with only two ringtones, one for contacts and one for the non-contacts. Or, you could customize your contacts as much as you want. Just make sure that every time you add a contact you give them a rintone other than the default.

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I'll answer the first of these two questions. Once you've recorded audio (e.g. with Audacity):

  • Add each sound file to iTunes
  • Right click each and convert to AAC
    • If you see "Convert to MP3" or otherwise in the context menu, visit Preferences > General > CD Import Settings > Import Using AAC Encoder
  • Reveal those files in Finder and rename their extensions from .m4a to .m4r
  • Add the .m4r files to your iTunes Library (they'll automatically be added to the Tones section)
    • If you don't see Tones in your library, visit Preferences > General > Show > Tones
  • Remove the entries for the original clips from iTunes (sort by Date Added to quickly round them up). (iTunes probably won't ask whether to keep/trash originals in this case, since these files are missing, as far as it knows.)
  • Connect your iPhone, visit the Tones tab, and choose to sync all tones

You should now see your tones on your iPhone under Settings > Sounds > Ringtone. Refer to Morgan Wise's answer for a trick to have separate ringtones for known & unknown numbers. (That's not something that's supported by default on iPhone.)

Source: Simonblog.

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