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Review: iPhone RingToneMaker - Custom ringtones on your iPhone

Apple & AT&T haven't been so kind to allow us to customize the iPhone with Ringtones. They aren't even available for sale -- yet. Up until this week it required a 21 step hack to install custom ringtones onto your brand new iPhone. Luckily, an enterprising young company EFIKO have come up with a an almost perfect solution. I say almost perfect, with one exception - currently the application only runs on MS Windows. Now luckily for many iPhone users, they also have access to Microsoft Windows via Bootcamp or Parallels. If you want a super easy & safe way to add your favorite song, sound effect, or audio file to your iPhone, Read on.

How it works:

Once you have the latest iTunes and Windows XP, Vista, or 2000 running you can launch the iPhone RingtoneMaker. Once you launch the application, you are greeted with an easy to understand interface. Your options are 'Get Music File', 'Tips', 'Settings' or 'Register'.
You are allowed to make three custom ringtones before registering. This is very fair, and give you ample opportunity to see how you like the software and verify that it works with your iPhone.
To start making your first custom ringtone, simply click on the 'My Music Folder' or 'Browse Computer' link. Then simply navigate to the audio file you want to use. iPhone RingToneMaker supports MP3, WAV, and OGG formats. click to enlarge Once you select the file, it brings up the audio editing screen. Don't be intimidated by the sound of that. This is not intimidating at all, since it simply consists of two sliders to home in on the section you want to use as your ringtone. click to enlarge You can use the ADVANCED interface which has the sliders and also an option to select the 'Start' and 'End' times precise to the hundredths of a second with this method. Additionally, it also allows you toggle the Fade In/Fade Out, and add some basic effects. click to enlarge With each modification you can simply click the 'Preview' button to see how your ringtone will sound. Once it's to your liking, click the 'Create Ringtone' button. During this process it takes your music file and creates a new one perfectly sized to fit on your iPhone with just the snippit you selected. click to enlarge Then it presents you with the 'Send Ringtone to iPhone' option and you simply click this button (while you iPhone is connected) and it places the new Ringtone into your iPhone list. It all happens so quickly, you wonder if it really worked. After it adds the Ringtone it tells you to power down your iPhone. Once you have restarted it, you will find your brand new ringtone in the 'Sounds' option of your iPhone.

Ringtone Manger

To faciliate managing all of your new ringtones, they also have the 'Manage My Ringtones' screen, which allows you to re-edit, remove, and re-add the custom ringtones to your iPhone. This works very well, and we are glad the developer didn't leave it out. click to enlarge

Caveats

If you are going to run this on your Mac, be prepared to use Bootcamp. I tried getting my iPhone to be recognized in iTunes under Parallels Desktop running Windows XP and Windows Vista, but had no luck at all. click to enlarge I don't know if this was a problem isolated to my install or not, but I personally had to reboot into Bootcamp and run Windows to get my iPhone recognized by it. Once I did this, everything worked flawlessly. This incompatibility didn't have anything to do with iPhone RingToneMaker, it was simply an error with Parallels detecting my iPhone. Conclusion: I have to admit I was skeptical with the notion that there was a quick and easy way to add custom ringtones to the iPhone. I was 100% wrong. Currently this is the best option I have seen for an all in one solution for creating, editing, and managing custom ringtones onto the world's best cell phone. They are running an introductory offer right now for 50% off of their normal price of $19.95. For $9.95 this application is a steal, considering most ringtones these days are $2-$4 each. Why pay that when you can make your own and have unlimited ringtones? If you have access to and can bare to use Windows to create your tones, this product is worth every penny. I don't normally get enthused about a new product, but this one warrants excitement. Highly recommended. 4.75 out of 5