Making the fiddly easy
Look, we're writing this as much for ourselves as for you. Every time we hanker to add a new sound effect to our text messages or a whole new ringtone to our iPhones, we sweat through the steps and end up seriously wondering if Apple deliberately makes this hard. So that you and we have one place we can look up when we want to do this, here's this Friday's Pointers tutorial on making yourself wish you'd never bothered -- we mean on getting through this as quickly as you can.
Palm, Garmin, PSP now - more coming soon
GoGadget is a new program for Mac from third-party sync experts Mark/Space that promises to allow iTunes and iPhoto syncing with almost any third-party media player through a simple, intuitive interface. The program will sync photos, music, video, documents and even ringtones from your Mac to the third-party device simply using the USB cable, limited only by what the device is capable of playing or displaying.
Allows quick creation, sharing of ringtones
As reported earlier, the App Store is now allowing apps that create ringtones for iPhones in light of the de-emphasis on ringtones in iTunes v10 (pre-made 30-second ringtones can still be bought for 69 cents, but the ability to make custom ringtones has been withdrawn). French company Phonitive has jumped into the fray with RingBuilder 1.1 ($1).
iToner 2 update
Ambrosia Software has released iToner 2, the latest update to the companyís custom ringtone application that enables users to create personal ringtones for the iPhone. By placing MP3, AAC, WAVE, or AIFF audio files into the iToner window, songs can be synced to the iPhone for later use. Features of the new version offer a cropping ability where users are able to scrub the sliders to the desired section of a song before syncing, over 40 pre-created custom ring tones, and ClearTone technology to help optimize audio to match the iPhone speakerís capabilities.
Fission 1 6 update
Rogue Amoeba has released the latest version of its audio file editing utility, Fission 1.6, which can now save iPhone ringtones. The program is claimed to offer lossless editing of MP3, AAC, Apple Lossless, and AIFF files. The iPhone ringtones can be created from any audio file source supported by Quicktime. After the file is opened, it is cropped to the appropriate length, and then exported into the iTunes library with all needed parameters, ready to sync with the device.
RingtoneFeeder has announced that it will now offer access to its iPhone ringtone archive. The new service requires an existing annual subscription, and carries an activation fee of $10, which grants full access to all ringtones released by the company. Subscribers receive four ringtones every week: one vocal and one instrumental, plus alternates for each that include an embedded ringing sound.
ToneFXs for iPhone
A developer called Efiko Software says it has released ToneFXs, a new app for jailbroken iPhones. The software attempts to diversify the sounds an iPhone uses for regular functions, primarily ringtones. Users can for instance choose to shuffle their ringtones, picking from a pool which can be chosen while an iPhone is on the go.
Ringtones for iPhone
RingtoneFeeder has announced a new way of packaging and distributing music, called "Dynamic Albums" which provides updates to the album, delivered via RSS, for 12 months after the release date. RingtoneFeeder is $2 per month or $20 per year, while RingtoneStudio is $15 and requires iTunes and Mac OS X 10.4 or higher. Also PocketMac has announced RingtoneStudio for the iPhone, a new tool that allows iPhone users to make ringtones out of most movies or unprotected music files on the Mac.
RingtoneFeeder for iPhone
Composer Geoff Smith today unveiled RingtoneFeeder, a new subscription service that allows users to form a collection of original iPhone-optimized ringtones. The subscription grants users the five most recently finished ringtones, and as long as the subscription is maintained, a new ringtone every week. After signing up, users get ringtones delivered right to their phones. Monthly subscriptions are available for $2 a month, while a yearly subscription costs $20.
Tennessee mulls iPod tax
The Tennessee State government is reviewing the possibility of implementing a tax on digital media downloads, which would include music videos, movies, news and entertainment programs, music, ringtones, and electronic books, among others. Law firm Waller Landsen notes that standard software downloads would not be taxable, and while the proposition has not been shown to lawmakers, it is predictably drawing negative criticism.
iToner 1.0.6 adds formats
Ambrosia Software today unveiled iToner 1.0.6, an update to its custom iPhone ringtone software, adding support for various sound formats, language localizations, and intelligent audio processing. iToner can now use MP3-, MP4-, WAV-, and AIFF-formatted files to create ringtones, and is localized for French, German, and Italian customers. Ambrosia is seling iToner 1.0.6 through its website for $15, while a 30-day demo is also available.
Creating custom ringtones
Apple today released an informational note about creating custom ringtones in GarageBand 4.1.1. "With GarageBand 4.1.1 you can export your original song, your original audio recordings, or use Apple Loops and iLife jingles to create a custom ringtone for your iPhone," the company says. Users need GarageBand 4.1.1, iTunes 7.5 or later, and an iPhone with firmware version 1.1.2 or later. The process involves setting up a cycle region that covers the desired area of a song to use in a GarageBand song, which must be 40 seconds or less in length.
Toronto-based Voodoo Ergonomics recently unveiled Mojotones 2.0 for Mac, a utility that allows users to create ringtones from audio files. Users can use an entire song or just a segment from it to make a ringtone, and the program integrates with iTunes to obtain audio files, or it can take files from anywhere on the hard disk. Mojotones is a Universal Binary application, requiring 10.4.9 or higher, and a cellphone that is capable of playing MP3, AAC, or WAV files. Voodoo Ergonomics is selling MojoTones 2.0 for $20 per user, with a demo available on the company's web site.