Ringtones on iOS

In a change from our regularly scheduled blogging, I present a short how-to. This is mostly for my own memory, because I’ve had to search online how to do this multiple times, and I can never remember it. Writing it down for you might aide my memory.

I found myself playing some retro games on my SteamDeck today, while the tyres were being replaced on my car. After a bit of time playing Golf in a virtual GameCube, I rolled the clock back further, and played a bit of OG Tetris on a virtual GameBoy.


Every so often the music in a game will trigger happy nostalgic memories. Last time it was Magical Sound Shower from the Sega OutRun arcade machine. I went through some fiddling to turn that music into a ringtone, which I’ve had on my iPhone for a while now.

Today it was the high score music in Tetris on the GameBoy. Here’s a copy on YouTube for your listening pleasure.

There’s probably better ways to do this, and easier ways too. Here’s how I got that tune to be my phone ringtone on my iPhone 13 Mini.

Record Audio

I had a quiet moment in the house, so I just held the phone near my SteamDeck while the music played. I used the Apple Voice Memo app to record the audio on the device. I admit it’s quite basic to hold the recording device near the music source, rather than digital pure conversion, or using a cable. But it worked in when I was twelve, when I recorded songs off the radio, so this is fine.

Once recorded, tap the three dots in a circle icon, then choose ‘Save to files’.

Install GarageBand

Install GarageBand from the App Store on my phone.

Create a song

Open GarageBand.

Click “Audio Recorder” - then realise I could have recorded the audio directly in GarageBand, but didn’t.

Tap the metronome icon to turn it off (so it’s no longer highlihghted in blue).

Click the timeline icon in the top left.

Click the loop icon in the top right.

Tap Files at the top of the screen.

Tap ‘Browse items from the Files app’ at the bottom

Tap the audio file you recorded earlier.

Long press on the file you imported, the file will be picked up, and you can then place it in the timeline. Place the file in the top left, hard against the left edge.

Tap the downward arrow in the top left, tap ‘My songs’.

Export as ringtone

In the ‘GarageBand Recents’ screen, long-press on the song.

From the popup sheet, choose ‘Share’.

In ‘Share song’ screen, choose ‘Ringtone’.

In the ‘Export Ringtone’ screen, give the song a name, then tap ‘Export’

Use the ringtone

In the ‘Ringtone Export Successful’ sheet, tap ‘Use sound as…’

Select ‘Standard RingTone’