Friday, May 11, 2012

Moving old Nokia ringtones to the Apple iPhone

For the last seven years, I have used the 'bach' ringtone on my old Nokia 6230i. Now I have an iPhone 4s, I wanted the option of using the same ring tone. What follows is the procedure I used. I did this all on a Windows PC, but I believe you can also use 'faac' on Linux. Note that this procedure is 'free'.

I download the Nokia 6230i ringtone "Bach.aac" from here:

I used this online service...

... to convert the "Bach.aac" to "Bach.wav".

I then downloaded "FAACv1.28 Binary for Win32" as file "" from this site:

..and unziped the archive to extract binary executable "faac.exe".

Here is the 'help' for faac:

C:\Temp>faac.exe --help
Freeware Advanced Audio Coder
FAAC 1.28

Usage: faac.exe [options] infiles ...
-q Set quantizer quality.
-b Set average bitrate to x kbps. (ABR, lower quality mode)
-c Set the bandwidth in Hz. (default=automatic)
-o X Set output file to X (only for one input file)
-r Use RAW AAC output file.
-P Raw PCM input mode (default 44100Hz 16bit stereo).
-R Raw PCM input rate.
-B Raw PCM input sample size (8, 16 (default), 24 or 32bits).
-C Raw PCM input channels.
-X Raw PCM swap input bytes
-I Input channel config, default is 3,4 (Center third, LF fourth)

MP4 specific options:
-w Wrap AAC data in MP4 container. (default for *.mp4 and *.m4a)
-s Optimize MP4 container layout after encoding
--artist X Set artist to X
--writer X Set writer to X
--title X Set title to X
--genre X Set genre to X
--album X Set album to X
--compilation Set compilation
--track X Set track to X (number/total)
--disc X Set disc to X (number/total)
--year X Set year to X
--cover-art X Read cover art from file X
--comment X Set comment to X

--license Show the FAAC license.
--help Show this abbreviated help.
--long-help Show complete help.

More tips can be found in the Knowledge Base at

I then used this command line to convert the WAV file to a M4A file:

C:\Temp>faac.exe -b 128 -c 44100 -w Bach.wav
Freeware Advanced Audio Coder
FAAC 1.28

Average bitrate: 128 kbps
Quantization quality: 100
Bandwidth: 16000 Hz
Object type: Low Complexity(MPEG-4) + M/S
Container format: MPEG-4 File Format (MP4)
Encoding Bach.wav to Bach.m4a
frame | bitrate | elapsed/estim | play/CPU | ETA
403/403 (100%)| 74.8 | 0.4/0.4 | 29.51x | 0.0

Note that I used the "-w" option so that the AAC data stream was 'wrapped' in a MP4 container.

I then renamed "Bach.m4a" to "Bach.m4r".
(Note the M4R extension is used to identify the file as a ringtone.)

And I then dragged and dropped the "Bach.m4r" file into the iTunes library.
(If iTunes fails to accept the dropped file, it means that file is not in the correct format.)

Then I synced the ringtone to the iPhone.

The following pages provided inspiration for the above:

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