Make your own ringtones online

Finding ringtones is easy, but if you want to create your own, you might be happy to know that there are some great resources that will help you do so.

Don Reisinger
CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
5 min read

Although iPhone owners have an easy time getting ringtones for their devices through Apple's iTunes store, the rest of the market can't easily find unique ringtones for their phones.

As someone who has suffered from that issue, I decided to take a look at several ringtone-creation services. Check them out to see if one will do what you need.

Make some ringtones

Audiko: I'm a stickler for good design on the Web. I think it's one of the most important elements of any site. And that's precisely why I didn't like Audiko at first glance. It's ugly. But once I actually used Audiko, my opinion changed quickly.

Audiko is like many of the services in this roundup. You can upload an MP3 file, pick your favorite 30-second span, and have the site create a ringtone for you. Once it's ready, you can have it sent to your phone. The site supports messages to phones on most major carriers. You can also opt to download the MP3 file to your computer. The whole process is free.

But the most compelling feature Audiko boasts is the ability to take a clip from a YouTube video. The site allows you to input the video's link. It then downloads it, analyzes the audio, and lets you choose which part of it you want to be your ringtone. It was a great feature. And like the other uploads on the site, it took no time to create the desired clip.

Audiko helps you find the portion of a song you want. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

Mobile17: Mobile17's design is great. The amount of content you can access is outstanding. But unfortunately, it takes too long to get the ringtone.

When you first get to Mobile17, you have the option of downloading popular songs that users have recently turned into ringtones. To do so, the site links you to Amazon's MP3 Store. If you already have an MP3 that you want to turn into a ringtone, you can upload the track and pick the portion of the song you want. It's after that that Mobile17 breaks down a little.

To get your ringtone, Mobile17 requires you to register for the site. Once complete, you'll find that it takes a long time to get your ringtone sent to your phone. In fact, when I picked a clip in a song I wanted, the site told me that it would take 43 minutes to get it. That was the single issue with Mobile17, but it was a big one. At least the site is free and it works with your iPhone.

Mobile 17
Mobile 17 will help you pick the clip you want. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

Myxer: Myxer is a fine site if you're looking to find ringtones that you can quickly send to your phone. It has a slew of ringtones worth checking out.

If you're looking to create your own ringtones, it does a pretty nice job at that, too. When you get to the site, you'll find an option to make a ringtone. Simply upload an MP3 file, choose the portion of the song you want to turn into a ringtone, and you're all set. Myxer doesn't take nearly as long as Mobile17 to send a song to your phone. Even better, most of the tracks you can download are free. The "premium" tracks--mostly new, popular songs--cost between $0.49 and $2.99 per download. If you create your own ringtone, you won't need to pay anything.

Myxer helps you find the right part of your song. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

PocketFuzz: PocketFuzz is a nice site that's designed specifically for artists who want to make a few extra bucks by selling their songs as ringtones. But it also features a ringtone-creation tool that will let you make your own ringtone for $0.99.

PocketFuzz makes it easy to create a ringtone. Whether you're creating your own from a file on your computer or you want to find the right portion of a song you love, PocketFuzz's ringtone-creation tool uses sliders to make it happen. I created a few ringtones and, in every case, it was a quick process.

One thing to keep in mind before you use PocketFuzz is that you'll be paying quite a bit to have a ringtone. You'll pay $0.99 to $2.99 per ringtone. It's not overly expensive, but since some services in this roundup are free, you might find a better deal elsewhere.

PocketFuzz lets you pick any part of a song for your ringtone. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

ToneBee: ToneBee features the best design of any site in this roundup. Its song-upload applet is second to none.

When you get to ToneBee, you'll notice that the site doesn't have all the extra bells and whistles you'll find on a site like Myxer. Instead, ToneBee makes it easy for you to upload a song once you've registered for the site. Simply find the song you want, upload it, play it, and pick the clip you want for your ringtone. The whole process took less than a couple minutes in my experience, and it was one of the fastest services here.

ToneBee will send your newly created ringtone to your phone via text message. The service is free, but like the other tools in this roundup, you'll be forced to pay standard text messaging rates that will apply to the download.

ToneBee has a nice tool for creating ringtones. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

ToneMine: ToneMine is the most unique service in this roundup. And although it might not appeal to those who want to get a ringtone quickly, it's ideal for those who want more control over their ringtones.

ToneMine provides a mixer that lets you create a ringtone from provided sounds. You can also upload a track and add in sounds over the tracks to improve the ringtone. I uploaded a slow song and added a club-like beat behind the track. It totally transformed the ringtone.

When you create your ringtone, you can share it with the ToneMine community. If you think it's ready for your phone, simply input your phone number and the ringtone will be sent to your device. Aside from standard carrier rates, ToneMine is free. I really liked ToneMine. Check it out.

ToneMine features a mixer to help you improve your ringtones. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

My top three

1. ToneMine: With the most customization of any service in this roundup, ToneMine is an ideal ringtone-creation tool.

2. Audiko: Being able to add YouTube videos to the site is a nice feature you shouldn't overlook.

3. Myxer: With such a nice selection of tracks, Myxer's ringtone service is worth checking out.