Make ringtone on iTune 12/ macOS


medium-covermac is so easy to use if you paid.

Just now I want to make a ring tone for my own theme song originally from "Flash Gordon" movie.  And learned that it's not easy at all.

Like Apple folk, not gonna stop there, after a couple digging, here's how to do it.

Needed Software/ Environment

  • environment: macOS Sierra/ iTune 12.6
  • Get ffmpeg binary if you don't have it yet.
    brew install ffmpeg


  1. Cut the tune use iTune. Make it 30 second or less.
  2. Phone is in iOS 11 and supported ring tone is in m4r extension of aac codec. Here's ffmpeg command to convert mp3 to m4r:
    ffmpeg -i the_song.mp3 -ac 1 -ab 128000 -f mp4 -c:a aac -y the_song.m4r
  3. To add the newly generated m4r tone, simply double-click it and it should in the Tones library in iTune.
  4. Connect phone to the mac and sync it.
  5. On the phone, the new tone is listed. Pick it and set it.

Finally, don't forget to un-set the option in iTune.