I remember back to my first iPhone 3G, when I wanted to install my own ringtone onto it – just like I could earlier with my older phones quite easily… Not so with the iPhone (back then) – you had to buy them through iTunes.
Luckily now there is a plethora of ringtone creation software available both for Windows and for OSX. Today’s review is of Leawo iAm Ringer (an odd choice of name, but who am I to say) which is available from Leawo’s website at http://www.leawo.com/pro/iphone-ringtone-maker-mac.html – but before you disappear off to their site to convert three quarters of your iTunes library into ringtones, have a quick read of our review.
I’m actually very impressed with the Leawo programs I’ve installed recently. They’re nicely designed and super simple to use, integrating tightly and seamlessly with the applications they’re meant to enhance and iAmRinger is no different. Nicely designed user interface, with nifty application icons start the process off well. Installing is the standard Mac drag and drop from the .DMG file into your Applications folder as per the screenshot on the right. A quick copy later and your application is ready to be opened.
Once opened and past the initial ‘Please register’ screen (click the Trial button if you’re just having a quick look) you’ll be presented with the screen shown on the left. The great thing about this is that you’ll notice that it looks almost exactly like your iTunes playlists. So finding the songs you want to convert into ringtones should be relatively straight forward. Just select the song you want to convert and the iAm Ringer application will load it and show you a waveform with a highlighted portion of 40 seconds worth of song. If you’ve chosen a movie or other video file to make your ring tone from the preview window at the bottom left can help you choose where you want the 40 second clip to be taken from the movie.
Yes, I did say that you can use this to create ringtones from soundtracks extracted from movies – just as easily as you can from song files. So if you have a favourite phrase from a movie that you want as a ringtone, just create it…. Suddenly I can foresee ringtones with “You were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off” (Michael Caine, The Italian Job) or “Remember our car, 2 seats, where’s he gonna sit? Where?” (Dean Martin, Cannonball Run). The possibilities are quite endless.
You can make the ringtone longer than the default 40 seconds (or shorter if you desire) by dragging either end of the blue highlighted section of the waveform. Clicking the middle of the highlight allows you to drag the 40 second sample around as a whole. This highlighted section is where the application will take your audio and convert it into a ringtone.
You can choose to fade in to the section and/or fade out at the end simply by ticking a box, and if you’re extremely picky about where within the song you want the ringtone to be started you can zoom into the waveform to pick the perfect spot to start from. Once you’ve chosen the part of the song that you wish to make into a ring tone you can preview it by clicking the button which will start playing at the beginning of your chosen section and stop at the end. Click the large button in the bottom right hand corner to begin the process of making the ring tone.
The process of creating the ringtone is made so simple it’s hard to believe. A box like the one on the left will pop up and ask you for the title of your ringtone – which defaults to the same as the title of the song or movie that it was taken from, clicking OK will convert the sample into a ringtone and automatically populate it into iTunes and open iTunes up with the ringtone selected. From there it’s simply a matter of connecting your phone to iTunes (or syncing via WiFi if you’ve enabled that option on your phone) and then choosing the tone on your iPhone.
Creating your own ring tones and adding them to your iPhone has never been simpler – and with the ability to extract soundtracks from movies / TV Shows as well, this well presented and easy to use application is worth every cent. We rate this as Highly Recommended!
Design - 10/10
Features - 10/10
Cost - 8/10
Ease Of Use - 10/10
Customer Support - 10/10
Overall Value - 10/10
Positives: very easy to use, integrates well with iTunes, ringtones from movies
Trial Available: Yes - limited to 5 second ringtone creation though
Price: $14.95 USD