Turning a Vine sound byte into an iPhone Ringtone (Windows Edition)

Hey WHATT Denizens!

Had to turn away from the political junk for a little while to get back to something else that is near and dear to my heart.

I LOVE doing free stuff to my iPhone that doesn’t involve jailbreaking the device.  One of the things that allows me to make my device my own is setting the ringtones.  I am also an avid watcher of Vine videos these days.  You’d be surprised as to how informative and entertaining videos can be at only 6 seconds long.

Ringtones are available for iPhone on iTunes, but they typically cost 99¢ or more, like any other item on iTunes.  I often find little bits of audio on Vine that I’d like to have as a ring tone, so I thought one day, “Why can’t I convert these to ring tones?” Well, in this blog, I will show you how to do exactly that using the easiest method possible under Windows without having to use conversion software.

Here’s what you need:

  • Internet Explorer (Yeah…  I know.  Trust me though)
  • iTunes
  • Your tethering cable

1. Browse to Vine (https://vine.co) in Internet Explorer. If you have an account, login to it.  If you don’t don’t worry.  You don’ t have to have an account on Vine.  For this walk through though, I’ll be using my Vine profile that is tied to my Twitter (IrvinWithAnEye).vine_title_screencap

2. Find a Vine whose sound byte you think you might like.  You can browse Vine by category using the channel buttons at the left of Vine’s home screen.


I’m a GIGANTIC FAN of Brittlestar, so I’ve skimmed his profile and found this video.

3. Download and save the Vine. This is one of those rare instances where Internet Explorer make something VERY easy.  All you have to do is right-click the Vine video and choose “Save video as…”  Note:  If you use Firefox or Chrome, the “Save video as…” link will be greyed out and inoperative.  I haven’t been able to get Vines to play under Safari for Windows and I don’t know a single soul who uses Safari for Windows, so there’s that…


When you do this, you’ll be prompted to save the file.  The suggested file name will be encoded from Vine, so change this to something that you will remember easily.  I generally name them something that will be descriptive to me.  Also, use a folder to save your ringtones in pre-iOS format.  I have an OwnCloud server at home, so I’ll be saving it in that area.


4. Rename the file to be compatible with your ringtone library.

  • Open the folder where you saved the MP4 file
  • Do a right-click-drag to some blank space, let go of the button and choose “Copy here”
  • Click “Organize” and choose “Folder and search options” (This is a one-time step that will not have to be repeated)
  • Click the View tab and clear the check from “Hide extensions from known file types” (This is a one-time step that will not have to be repeated)
  • Right click the copy of the file and choose “Rename”
    I chose brittlestar_mom_discovers_emojis – ringtone.m4r.  The .m4r part is important because this is what tells iTunes it’s a ringtone.  You’ll be presented with the following advisory:
    Answer Yes.

5. Import the M4R file into iTunes.  If you’re like me (and you probably aren’t), you may find iTunes to be somewhat painful in manipulating the libraries and playlists.  I use the menu bar in iTunes, which is hidden by default.  If you need to see how to do enable the menu bar, see Chris Park’s blog on how to do it.  

  • Navigate to your “Music” library
  • Click File –> Add File to Library
  • Navigate to the folder where you stored your M4R file, select it and click “Open”
    NOTE: You’ll notice that the ringtone doesn’t appear in your music list.  Trust me though…  It’s there.

6. Sync your new ringtone onto your iPhone. 

  • Plugin your iPhone into your PC using your tethering cable and wait for iTunes to recognize it.
  • Click the iPhone button in the upper right corner
  • Most iTunes installations have “Tones” selected as a default thing to sync.  If yours is not, simply click the “Tones” button and choose whether you wanna sync all tones or just the ones of your choosing.  If you choose “Selected Tones,” you’ll be able to see the tones that you have in your iTunes library.
  • If you made no changes to the settings, you’ll see the “Sync” button in the lower left.  If you did make changes, Click “Apply” then “Sync”.

7. Set your new ringtone on your iPhone

  • Tap “Settings” –> “Sounds” –> “Ringtone”
  • Set your new ringtone.

There!  You have your new ring tone!  Now I get to hear Brittlestar every time my phone rings!!

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