Ever wonder why most iPhone users use the same ringtones? That’s because Apple ringtone format is proprietory. However, there are many apps that can help you do that easily.

Technically-speaking, as long as you can convert any music file to .M4A format, then rename it to .M4R, add the .M4R file into iTunes, and include “Ringtones” to sync to iPhone, you’re done. (I actually drafted this post with step-by-step overview, but after finding that most of these iPhone ringtone apps already have instructions, I decided not to elaborate on the steps in my blog)

You can either convert it in your computer or on your iPhone itself. There are many desktop software (like iRinger) and iPhone apps (like Ringtone Designer) that can help you convert your non-DRM music into the correct format. However, you still need to sync with iTunes as “Ringtone” before you can actually select the custom ringtone under your phone settings. Most of these apps come with video tutorials that will teach you how to do just that.

Once you add a ringtone file in iTunes, you should be able to see the “Ringtones” library for you to manage and sync to your devices.

Customising text tones (.CAF) requires you to jailbreak your iPhone, so we shan’t discuss that here.

For comparative purpose, if you are using Android phone, you can use any MP3 files as ringtone. You can also trim your music on your Android phone using many ringtone apps out there, and use it immediately on your phone without requiring to go back to iTunes to sync before you can use.

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