Posts Tagged ‘garage band’

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.