So as I’m setting up my new iPhone, I realised I never use iTunes on my PC any more. And I’m grateful for that. I restore from iCloud to get my email accounts and general settings all configured for me, reinstall my Apps directly on the device and I’m done!
I don’t copy music and videos across to my device with iTunes any more, I have Deezer and Netflix. My music library on my computer is untouched now to be honest, maybe once a month I’ll find a song that isn’t available on Deezer, and if I desperately need it I’ll buy it on iTunes on the phone. Except for Ringtones.
Ringtones on the iPhone are still stuck in the dark ages. Sure there are Apps that let you create your own directly on the phone, or you can buy them from Apple (!) but I don’t want those. I have one specific .m4r file I’ve been using since I started watching House of Cards and that’s what I want installed. Have I really got to fire up iTunes, update it, connect it, opt out of syncing the world just to get a ringtone across? No.
I’ve tried several “file management” tools for the iPhone, some actually work, but those that do require you to buy the full version, which is ok if you need it but expensive if you just want to transfer a ringtone!
Then I found iTools and finally found a simple iOS management tool that will do the job for free! Below is a simple guide to transferring a ringtone to your iPhone for free!
1. Download the iTools software. The download on the main site is failing at the moment, but simply Google iTools0524E.zip and you’ll find plenty of sources. Once downloaded make sure you give the files a scan with your antivirus software first, just to be sure you have a genuine version.
2. Run the executable, you’ll be promoted for a download to the latest version, take it. Once completed, connect your phone to your computer with the lightning-to-usb cable and you’re good to go.
3. Select Media from the menu on the left, and then Ringtones from the submenu on the right.
4. Select Import from the top menu, and a file box will appear.
Browse to the location on your ringtone in .m4r / .m4a / .wav format and select Import. Then iTools will copy across the ringtone directly to your phone and register it so it shows as a ringtone.
That’s it, your done! Browse to your iPhone –> Sounds — > Ringtone section and you will see your Imported Ringtones at the top of the list.
This is by far the easiest solution I have found, for free, to transfer ringtones at will to your iPhone. The software also handles direct import of compatible music and video files, audio books and images. It also lists all Apps installed and even prompts which ones need Updating, although this seems a little redundant as the iPhone itself handles this perfectly well.
Lastly, you can directly browse the file system on the phone itself, although beware the mantra “here be dragons” – its all to easy to delete something important here. I’d ensure you have a current iCloud backup before messing with this!
iTools is still in Beta at the moment, and could become paid for when it launches, but unless they disable older versions, you should have a long term way of handling simple tasks like this languishing iTunes to not slowing down your computer and using up all your available memory…