Tech Post #14: My First iPhone Hack


(sang to the tune of My Little Pony)

I setup two customized ringtones! w00t! I heard a little bird say it at my geekfest at Pilsner Inn the other night, and it led me to do some heavy online research. This thread – not just the post, which I find cryptic, but the entire 30-thread post, helped: Make Custom iPhone Ringtones Work With iTunes

As ever, I learned a lot about how iTunes works while hacking this. When you play a *.a4r file, you are basically registering it in the iTunes system as a ringtone, and it will absorb it and copy it into a new folder in the iTunes Music directory called “Ringtones.” But this disables it from being synced, so you need a fake-failure first, then change the extension, and sync. This is for iTunes 7.4.1(2).

My first custom ringtone: General Elektriks! Second: Neil Armstrong!

1) pick a song in your iTunes folder. copy it to somewhere else.
2) remove it from iTunes system folder and iTunes app.
3) take the copy and copy it again into a Ringtones folder on your Desktop (that you create)
4) use “get info” to change the extension to .a4r (from .a4m)
5) go into iTunes and add/file, point to the .a4r file. Play it!
at this point it copies it to a new folder in iTunes music folder, called “RingTones”
6) You should now see the song in Ringtones on iTunes. Play it!
7) Sync your iPhone. It won’t work, you may or may not get an error message.
8) Go into the file system, your Music folder, the Ringtones folder (NOT the one on your desktop) and do “get info” change extension to *.a4m (back to a playable file)
9) sync with iPhone. Go to settings/sounds/ringtones and check it out.

To think, this was in January when I was 10 ft away, and now, so close…