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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

How to create your own mp3 phone ringtones for free

Most of us love ringtones, especially new ones / unique ones that none of the people around have. Here's one cool method to get the ringtones on your own which ensures two things:

  • First, you do not have to pay for the ringtone. You probably have to pay for the CD instead or simply record the songs from internet radio instead. So, best case you pay nothing.
  • Second, you are free to create the ringtone from any mp3 file you have on your pc and you are free to take any 20 or so seconds from that mp3 file which makes it unique. All you need is the freeware Audacity and a method to connect the mobile phone to your computer / or send the file from your computer to your mobile phone.

Here’s where Audacity comes in. Using the free, open source, cross-platform sound editor, we’ll trim your MP3 down to the exact 20 seconds you want and add any effects as well.

  1. Download Audacity, install and fire it up.
  2. Audacity can’t edit MP3’s out of the box, it needs what’s called the LAME compression library first. Download the lame_enc.dll file here and put it somewhere permanent on your hard drive.
  3. From Audacity’s Edit menu, choose Preferences. On the File Formats tab, under “MP3 Export Setup,” hit the Find Library button and browse to the dll you just downloaded.
  4. Now the fun begins. Make a copy of your MP3 file and stow it in a temp folder somewhere other than where your music player will find it. Drag and drop it onto Audacity to open it. Using the Zoom and play buttons, find the 20 seconds of your song you want to be your ringtone. (It helps to zoom in so the time appears in 5 second increments.) Use the select tool to highlight the 20 second ring, and from the Edit menu, choose “Trim.” Now you’ve got your ringtone.
  5. If you’re feeling bold and creative, browse around Audacity’s editing tools, especially the Effect menu. I like to add a “Fade In” effect to the first 7 seconds of my tone so that it doesn’t blast full-volume right away, if I’m in a quieter place and I’ve forgotten to silence the ringer.
  6. When you’re done editing, from the File menu, choose “Export as MP3.” Save it as, say, ringtone.mp3.
  7. Now, transfer the tone to your phone, either by corded or Bluetooth connection to your computer, or by emailing it to your phone’s address.
  8. Once the file is on your phone, set it as your custom ringtone.

Isn't it cool?


  1. Anonymous said,

    Thank you so much for your helpful tips and links for creating my own ringtone :D You are awesome.

    on 12/10/2006 10:39 PM

  2. Anonymous said,

    Your tips were great! This really works well! Thanks so much!

    on 11/07/2009 11:52 PM