How to Convert MIDI Ringtones to iPhone for Free in 5 Simple Steps

Aug 16 07:24 2010 Tony Shepard Print This Article

Convert MIDI ringtones into usable iphone format for free.

It seems like everyone has an iPhone these days. It's a great multimedia gadget that can handle a wide variety of tasks. The iPhone is more like a pocket computer than a cell phone. One great thing about the iPhone is that it is backed by Apple,Guest Posting who consistently ranks high on all measures of customer satisfaction. Apple makes your cell phone experience fun.

A great feature about the iPhone is the ability to customize any song into a personalized 30 second ringtone. For most of the music in your library, this costs $1.99. Unfortunately, Apple doesn't provide any sort of support for converting MIDI ringtones. This is understandable, since they would like you to buy ringtones directly from them. However, with so many free MIDI files available on the internet, there is no reason that we iPhone owners shouldn't be able to use them as our own personal ringtones. I had a few MIDI files that I used on my older phones as ringtones that I also wanted to use on my iPhone. Since there is no built in support from Apple, I decided that I needed to figure it out on my own. Here is what I found.

The Problem:

Why can't we just use the MIDI files as ringtones as they are? Well, for whatever reason, the iPhone only recognizes ringtones that are in Apple's proprietary .m4r file format. MIDI files are either .mid or .midi file format, so we need to figure out how to convert a .mid or .midi to .m4r.

Your Options:

You actually have quite a few options when it comes to configuring MIDI files for use as an iPhone ringtone. There are several software packages available that can do this for you. Here are a couple programs that might get you started:

1. iPhone Mobile Ringtone Converter - $25
2. iPhone Ringtone Maker - $14.95

Unfortunately, neither of these options is free, and I thought that paying for a program defeated the purpose of using the free MIDI files you can find on the internet as ringtones.

Another option is to first convert your MIDI file into mp3 format. Mp3 is far and away the most common file format for music. Because of this, there are a myriad of programs and software that will allow you to convert any file type to mp3. There are many other programs that then allow you to convert mp3 into another music file format.

There are numerous ways to do this, but I am going to teach you the way that I found to be the simplest, and which requires no software downloads.

Why No Software Downloads?

Software is great, but it is a good idea to avoid downloading unnecessary software from the internet, even if it's free. More software on your computer means less hard drive space, it means a slower computer, it means more things to keep track of, and worst of all, freeware is often packaged with spyware and viruses. The method I am going to show you only requires iTunes, which you are already required to have to use your iPhone.

The Process:

This is a simple 5 step process, as outlined below:

1. Convert the MIDI to MP3 using the website (
2. Load the resulting MP3 into iTunes
3. Use iTunes to convert the MP3 into an .m4A file (Apple's music file format)
4. Locate the .m4A file in your computer's browser and change the extension from .m4a to .m4r
5. Drag the .m4r file into iTunes

1. Convert the MIDI to MP3 using the website (

Browse over to This is a simple, no frills site that can convert MIDI files to MP3. You may want to bookmark it. On the right side of the page you will see a button that says "Choose File". Click this button, and select the MIDI file on your computer that you want to use as a ringtone. Then, enter the verification code and click "Get Mp3!". It's that simple. Within seconds, the website will convert the file. Right-click the "Download Mp3" link, and save it to a place you will remember (you might want to rename it as well).

2. Load the resulting MP3 into iTunes

This step is easy, especially since you most likely use iTunes frequently already. Open iTunes, and drag the new Mp3 file into your library.

3. Use iTunes to convert the MP3 into an .m4A file (Apple's music file format)

Right click on the song you wish to convert, and select "Create AAC Version". Alternatively, you can highlight the file, and from your toolbar browse to Advanced>Create AAC Version. After a few seconds, a new file with an identical name will appear next to your song.

4. Locate the .m4A file in your computer's browser and change the extension from .m4a to .m4r

If you aren't sure where iTunes stores all your music files, you can right click the new file and select "Info". This will tell you where the file is stored on your computer. Once you locate the file, you can change the extension by right-clicking and selecting "Rename". Then change the .m4a portion of the file name to .m4r. For example, if your file is named ExampleSong.m4a, you will change it to ExampleSong.m4r. You may get a warning that the resulting file will be unstable, but ignore this warning.

5. Drag the .m4r file into iTunes

After you've renamed the file, drag it into iTunes, and it will appear under the Ringtones section. You may want to delete the AAC version of the MIDI from your library, since it no longer exists. Now, you may customize the Ringtone and load it into your iPhone using the standard iPhone procedures.

Enjoy Your New Freedom

In this article, I taught you how to convert MIDI ringtones to iPhone for free in 5 simple steps. Now that you are armed with this knowledge, you should be able to customize your ringtone in any way that you wish.

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Tony Shepard
Tony Shepard

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