Developer: SunMyong
Price: $2.99
Version Reviewed: 1.1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone

iPhone Integration Rating: ★★★★☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★★½
Re-use Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Ringtones and ringtone creation have long been sore spots with iPhone owners, and the introduction of the iPhone 4 has done nothing to solve these issues. Apple’s position is that you should either be satisfied with the small number of built-in iPhone ringtones, or purchase custom ones via the iTunes store – even if you already own the song on your own computer. Neither of these is a particularly appealing option, so thankfully Apple has loosened some of its restrictive policies and allowed app developers to create their own solutions to this pernicious problem.

Ringtoner is about as comprehensive a solution to the custom ringtone problem as you are likely to see. It’s not perfect, but the issues I had with Ringtoner are more the fault of Apple than the developer.

When you open Ringtoner you are immediately asked to choose a song from your iPhone’s library. Bear in mind that you cannot choose an Apple copy-protected file, so if you have a vast number of those it’s probably best to skip this app altogether. Otherwise, it’s a simple task to select a song from your library, then edit it into a 40 second ringtone snippet in the well-designed and intuitive editor. Once you’ve gotten the ringtone just the way you want it, you simply have to save it and Ringtoner saves the m4r file in its own library. Now the (not so) fun begins.

In the best of all possible worlds, you would be able to take your newly-created ringtone and immediately import it over to your iPhone ringtone library, but unfortunately you have a few hurdles to jump before getting your ringtone to its final destination. It’s a far more complicated process than is necessary, but in essence you have to sync your iPhone with your computer, copy the file to your laptop or desktop, then copy the m4r file to your ringtone library in iTunes, THEN sync your iPhone again. Did you get all of that?

These absurd hurdles are due to Apple’s policies and design choices, and not due to the Ringtoner devs, and I hope I make that abundantly clear. Ringtoner is a simple, yet elegant little app that is ultimately damaged by matters well beyond its control. But if you really, really want a custom ringtone app on your iPhone, I doubt you’re going to find one much better than Ringtoner.


Posted in: iPhone Apps and Games, Music, Reviews

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