Too Cool for Internet Explorer

Friday, September 14, 2007

Ring Things

While I’m on the topic of iPhones, I’ll move to the positive side to say that I’m quite enjoying having custom ringtones. I hope Apple doesn’t keep nixing the fact that it’s possible to put in your own without buying them, though I recognize it’s completely within Apple’s right to do so.

But for now, I’m using a splendid riff from a Jason Mraz tune (iTunes Music Store link):

Did you get my message, yeah, oooh oooh ooooh hooo

Uh oh, where did it go, must have bypassed your phone
And flown right outta the window
Oh well, how can I tell?
Should I call the operator?
Maybe she know the info
‘Bout whether or not my message you got
Was too much or a lot to reply
Why not try this for a fact
Should you ever call back
I’d relax and be relieved of my panic attack

Of course, the iPhone can assign a different ringtone to specific individuals. Normally I don’t mess much with that feature, but since my girlfriend gifted me the Here (In Your Arms) track by Hellogoodbye from the iTunes Music Store, naturally I pulled its chorus for her ringtone.

The Jason Mraz tune is available from the store as a ringtone, but I didn’t (and won’t) spend the extra money, and the Hellogoodbye tune is not available as a ringtone. But since both are still protected iTMS purchases, I had to think how best to convert them to something I could edit. I still haven’t decided whether to buy myself a copy of Audio Hijack Pro. However, in the interim, I realized I could do it with software I already have—Snapz Pro X, Quicktime Pro, and Fission.

I started by setting up a movie recording with Snapz Pro X, and only needed to set the video capture area to a tiny space anywhere I wanted, since I’d be ignoring that part.

Once I started the recording, I simply played those purchased tracks in iTunes, starting a little before the part I wanted and going until a little after.

Then, when Snapz Pro X presented the interface to encode and save the capture, I simply deactivated the video portion and saved the audio as uncompressed 44.1khz stereo.

The resulting file is still a Quicktime movie format that won’t open in Fission, so Quicktime Pro to the rescue. (No, I don’t advise buying Quicktime Pro since there are other utilities that do the same for free. Quicktime Pro comes automatically with Final Cut Pro, which I have for work.) I opened the movie file and exported the audio as an AIFF.

Next, the AIFF went into Fission where I trimmed it, normalized it, faded the beginning and ending, and saved.

The edited AIFF then took a trip through iTunes for AAC conversion, and lastly through Rogue Amoeba’s free MakeiPhoneRingtone tool and, voila, I have some new ringtones.

I realize what I just typed makes it look like it took a lot of steps and time to do. That would be an incorrect assumption. Each ringtone I made probably only requires about three minutes to set up using the above steps—maybe even less. The only reason the first few took me longer was because I had to re-aquaint myself with Fission—it had been a little while since I’d used it.

I also converted a riff from a great remix of Ray Lynch’s Celestial Soda Pop, a neat bit of guitar noodling in the form of Peter White’s My Girl Madge, and Christina’s version of The Christmas Song so it would be ready for the holidays (yeah, yeah, I know…I like her singing and her version of the song).

And just for insane fun, since I can now put my own ringtones on the iPhone, I had saved a silly cut called Fab Farm (AAC or MP3 if you want it) from my old Sony Ericsson phone which great for when I’m using my phone as a wake-up alarm.

» Posted by ALBj at 11:57 AM (ET)
Category: Cool Technology, Journal


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