Mobile phones have been around for a long time, starting with the massive phones that were bigger than your head, to the flip phones, to the slider phones, to what we have now: smartphones. Yet even through all of that time, mobile phones still utilize ringtone technology to notify you of calls. Of course, nowadays ringtones are higher quality and, better yet, you can create your own!
Creating a ringtone is actually a very easy task on Android (and probably on other smartphones, too). There are a multitude of apps out there that streamline the process into nothing more than a few minutes. All you need is a source audio file that you’ll use to create an Android ringtone, and you’re good to go. Just make sure you don’t make a silly ringtone and have it blast during an office meeting! (Here’s how you can prevent that).
Ringtone Creation Apps For Android
So what are these apps that can take source audio and cut them into usable ringtones? Well, it would take me a long time to list all of them and I don’t have that much space in this article. Just listing the free apps would take a while, too, so here are just a handful of the best free ringtone creation apps that I know of.
RingDroid – This app was one of the original ringtone creation apps for Android, having been around since 2008. Even after 4 years, it’s still alive and kicking, though, and remains as one of the easiest to learn and use. Not only is it free, but it’s open source and the creator has promised never to insert ads.
Ringtone Slicer – This app is a recent challenger in the arena of free ringtone creation apps – I don’t think it’s more than a month or two old. Technically, Ringtone Slicer is in beta, but the creator has said that it will remain free after release, though it may be ad-supported. Despite the app’s youth, it’s already beating out a lot of the competition.
Ringtone Maker – This app has a smartly designed interface that maximizes space while not sacrificing anything crucial. Not only does it cut audio files down to ringtone size, it can add a fade in or fade out, it can adjust overall volume of the tune, and it can assign the newly created ringtone to a contact immediately.
Ringtone Maker – Yes, that is no accident. This app has the same identical name as the previous app in this list. And yes, they really aren’t the same. This one is ad-supported and doesn’t have as many cool features, but it’s worth checking out if the ones above didn’t suit your fancy.
Creating a Ringtone Step-By-Step
All right. I’m going to run one of these apps and show you everything you might need to know about creating ringtones directly on an Android device. The app of choice? Ringtone Slicer because it’s new, it’s in beta, and I really want to give it a go. I’ve only created one or two ringtones in my entire life, so this is all coming from a first-timer’s perspective.
To begin, you’ll need to download Ringtone Slicer from the Google Play Store. Do it through your Android device’s Play Store app, though, since it’ll automatically install and the process will just be easier that way.
Once you open the app, this is what you’re presented with: an overview of your Android device’s file system. The navigation is about as typical as it gets, so no surprises there. Ringtone Slicer supports MP3s, WAVs, AACs, and AMRs, so navigate to an audio file in one of those formats. This is the source audio that we’ll use to cut our ringtone.
Once the audio file is loaded, you’ll see something like the image above. The black box with the triangular corners indicate the selected portion of the audio file that you want to use for your ringtone. You can drag the audio track left and right, which lets you reposition yourself in case you want to make the ringtone from a different section of the source audio.
The square button on the bottom bar will select whichever section of the audio file you’re currently focused on. Afterwards, you can drag the triangular corners to resize the selection to your liking.
The cool part of Ringtone Slicer is that hitting the Play button on the bottom bar will play your selection AND you can resize the selection while it’s playing. This little convenience makes the process so much easier. On top of that, you can enable Repeat (bottom right button) and it’ll continuously play your current selection on repeat so you can check your ringtone for proper looping.
When you’re satisfied with your ringtone cut selection, just hit the little disk icon at the top to save the selection as a separate ringtone audio file. This won’t override the source audio file, so have no fears there. (How massive an oversight that would’ve been!)
Here’s another point for Ringtone Slicer’s convenience: even though the audio file saves to its own location, the app automatically inserts it into the default Android list for ringtones. That way, you don’t have to do any sort of digging or searching. Just go to your Android sound settings and change the ringtone. It’ll be right there.
If you want to create a ringtone by splicing together multiple audio segments, you’ll need to use a more powerful application that focuses on editing audio files, not just ringtones. I’ve yet to see a ringtone creation app that lets you do this. For audio editors, try out Audacity or alternatives to Audacity.
After fiddling around with the app for a bit, here’s what I came up with: freeman-ringtone.mp3.
How easy was that? The overall process will be the same regardless of the specific ringtone creation app that you use. Some apps may have some special bells and whistles, others may just look prettier than the rest, while others will have more intuitive interfaces. At the end of the day, though, Android ringtone creation is all about cutting out a section of source audio and saving it.
Know of any other apps to create an Android ringtone that deserve to be mentioned? Please share them with us in the comments.
Image Credit: Handheld Phone Via Shutterstock
Explore more about: Ringtones.