What file formats and other specifications must be used to give ringtones (to download) in a website? I'm interested in giving away just one ringtone.

The target audience uses smartphones with Android, iOS and Windows Phones launched in the last 2/3 years.

Is it necessary to include instructions or is it something relatively easy to do? Or can't be done for some reason?

The ringtone has to be downloaded to a desktop first? Or has to be downloaded from the mobile phone while accessing the web page with the download?

4 Answers 4



MP3 is the most popular format and it's supported by most of phones, including Android, Windows Phone, Symbian...

iPhone? m4r

iPhone apparently uses another format, M4R, as I understand it's just a regular iTunes AAC with a different extension.

It's very easy to convert an MP3 to iPhone ringtone. see this

What to do

You can either add two different formats, one for iPhone and one for all other phones, or only provide an MP3 with instructions for iPhone users.

It can be downloaded to a desktop first, also if no converting is needed, users can download it directly to their phone.

Official sources?!

  • Good answer, you can also check what audiko.net is doing. Commented Oct 1, 2012 at 9:21
  • "It can be downloaded to a desktop first, also if no converting is needed, users can download it directly to their phone." -- I sent links to colleagues that to some Android devices. Everybody could hear it but no one found instinctively how to do what I've asked them to do: add it as a ringtone.
    – Osvaldo
    Commented Oct 1, 2012 at 19:21
  • I hope this helps you: androidpit.com/en/android/forum/thread/427141/… alternatively you can search for "set MP3 as ringtone android"
    – Omne
    Commented Oct 1, 2012 at 19:41

Windows Phone

Custom ringtone support was added in WP7.5.


  • Transfer: Zune sync
  • Format:WMA or MP3.
  • DRM: Unprotected.
  • Length: less than 40 seconds.
  • Size: smaller than 1 MB.
  • ID3v2 Genre: Ringtone



  • Transfer: iTunes sync (iToner is bypassing iTunes though).
  • Format: AAC M4R.
  • DRM: Unprotected.
  • Length: less than 30 seconds.




AVI, also called the Audio Video Interleaved, Audio Video Interleave format. It is a file format that combines voice and video synchronization.


You, guys, are right, for Android phones it can actually be an MP3 file. For iPhones it all gets harder and you actually need m4r.

But here nobody mentioned a simple lifehack as this one: if you have an m4a file you can simply change its extension to m4r by renaming it. Then you just confirm this in the popup window.

Concerning your last question – it's always better to download a ringtone directly to a mobile device, no arguments. For Android the difference is hardly noticeable, but for iPhone it matters a lot. Getting a ringtone from computer to iPhone is no easy task.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.