Under The Microscope

Custom Ringtones Gain Legitimacy

A little over a month ago, we were able to resurrect MakeiPhoneRingtone, with version 1.3, coupled with iTunes 7.5 and iPhone OS 1.1.2. We’re now at version 1.3.1, and it’s still going strong and working well. However, until late last week, we still feared Apple would again change course and lock out custom ringtone.

We fear that event no longer, however, thanks to this support document. As you can see, it details how to use GarageBand to create and send custom ringtones to your iPhone. This lends an increased legitimacy to a process that should have been available from the get-go, and I think it’s safe to say that custom ringtones will be with the iPhone from here on out.

What’s interesting to note is that currently, this feature is Mac-only. Having this functionality right in iTunes might make more sense, as it would fit with the existing ringtones editor, and it would make it cross-platform. However, it would also make it much simpler to add copyrighted music as a ringtone, which would cut into iTunes Store revenues. Hiding this away in GarageBand puts the focus on personally-composed ringtones.

This move also provides a nice assurance that custom ringtones are here to stay. As such, we’ll see about integrating MakeiPhoneRingtone’s functionality into Fission in the near future. As you can see to the left, this will likely take the form of a simple menu option, so you’ll be able to use Fission then save to iTunes with one click. Coupled with automatic AAC conversion if required, making custom ringtones from any audio will be easier than ever.

For now, you can keep using Fission and MakeiPhoneRingtone together. And while MakeiPhoneRingtone is likely to be kept around as a Freebie, we’ll be working to make things even faster, so that Fission is all you need. Stay tuned!

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