Discovered these today at Smashing Magazine…

smashing vectors


By now I am sick of several of my current ringers and needed to assign a couple more to certain friends… While creating these tonight it occurred to me that it might be a good idea to post the results of my past (frustrating) trial and error. All you need is a song in MP3, m4a, or AAC format, Garage Band, iTunes, and a Mac-to-phone transfer method. I’m working off a Macbook with OSX and iTunes 8.0.2.

  1. Open a new file in Garage Band and delete the default track.
  2. Drag the song file (MP3 or m4a) onto Garage Band and give it a second to import.
  3. Drag the slider to where you want the song to begin and hit Apple + T to split the track. Click somewhere on the gray area below to deselect the track, then select the part of the track you don’t want and delete. Drag the track to the far left to make sure there’s no white noise taking up space before the song starts.
  4. Repeat for where you want the song to end. Try and keep it around 20 seconds depending on how large of a ringtone your phone will take. My LG Shine will only take under 300 kb.
  5. Go to Share – Export to Disc and save the song clip to your desktop.
  6. Drag the file into iTunes. Right click the song and hit Convert to MP3 (if the only option you have is to convert to an AAC file you need to go to iTunes – Preferences, hit Import Settings on the bottom of the General tab and change the topmost dropdown to MP3 Encoder). It has to be in MP3 format to work as a ringtone.
  7. That’s pretty much it… all that’s left to do is check the file size and send to your phone. If the ringtone is larger than your phone can handle you need to either cut it down more in Garage Band or reduce the quality. Phone speakers aren’t that great to begin with so no one is really going to notice if the sound isn’t stellar. To reduce quality go to iTunes – Preferences – General – Import Settings and adjust the second dropdown. It will be either Good, High or Higher Quality. Hit Custom and lower the kbps (I use 64 kbps for under 15 second songs to get it below 300 kb and it still sounds decent.)
  8. To send via Bluetooth, go to Macintosh HD – Applications – Utilities – Bluetooth File Exchange. When you first open it will ask to select a file so just browse to your Music – iTunes – iTunes Music folder, where it usually saves the ringtone under your name as the Garage Band default. Make sure you select the MP3 (since it keeps a copy of the original) then search for your phone and send. To send new files after Bluetooth has been opened just go to File – Send under Bluetooth File Exchange.

So that’s it. In the back of my mind I really feel like I had previously discovered a way to further downsize the file (as evidenced by the 20 second + ringtones already on my phone) but I can’t remember it now. I will also point out that there is a “Create Ringtone” option in iTunes if you right click a song, but that apparently applies only if the song is downloaded from the iTunes store. I never buy music from the store so I have no idea how that works.

So I was randomly talking about Portal to a friend today and thought, “Man, I need to get my brother a Companion Cube.” I’m tagging this post, “I love the Internet” because lo and behold, the Valve store thinks of everything. I don’t even have to find a Chinese knock-off. This is the real thing – weighted, too.

companion cube

And it’s sold out. Fortunately the dice version is still available. (Both are 29.95.)

Now I’m going to look for a cake.

Check out the tutorial at GoMedia.

I find this to be infinitely useful and plan on finding a reason to use this tutorial sometime soon. [Be sure to read the comments below it on fixing the seam in Illustrator rather than Photoshop – methinks this sounds like a much better solution].


Posted: October 3, 2008 in Uncategorized

Anybody remember this game?

I don’t mean the 3D remake… I mean the 2D “5 pixel lemming” version. That was classic.

in love with a font

Posted: September 27, 2008 in Design Resource

VTKS Revolt. Since I visit DaFont at least once a day (not really exaggerating) I always notice the “Last Fonts Added” listing. This one caught my eye, so of course I downloaded it. This is one of those fonts that’s SO good, it makes you want to come up with a project so you have an excuse to use it. It’s got a lot of “flowery” detail so it’s more of a heading/artwork font, but I love that each letter is a little different… type a T for example. It’s the T that got me.

Turns out that this guy (Douglas Vitkauskas – Brazil) has another 25+ FREE fonts that he’s done which are all fantastic grunge/decorative typefaces. And those are just the free ones. He has a pretty sweet website as well. This in turn led me to another free font site – FontSpace.

I love the internet.

pica or pika?

Posted: September 26, 2008 in Uncategorized
Tags: ,

I have this sign on my wall at work –

Anti Pica

In the past graphic designers used a standard of measurement called a “pica.” It’s pretty old school now, but I still occasionally receive files set with picas. While working on one such file one day I remarked to my coworker that there was a rodent called a pika… and the sign was born.

So today I was talking to one of my paper reps… and he asked if it was pronounced “pika” or “peeka.” I said the standard of measurement was “pika” but maybe the animal was pronounced…

It then dawned on me that my little pika friend looks like pikachu.


Clever japanese. All they did was make his ears pointy and give him a lightning bolt tail. That and he’s yellow. I mean, I knew Charmandar was clearly based on a salamander, and JigglyPuff is some sort of Little Debbie food byproduct… but this was quite a revelation. To think he’s made millions of dollars off children who have never heard of a pika. What a travesty. It also explains why he’s yelling “PEEKA!” all the time in Super Smash Brothers.