The Case of the Disappearing iTunes Ringtones

By  |  Monday, December 15, 2008 at 9:45 am

ituneslogoSome iPhone users are finding that iTunes is no longer displaying whether it can make a purchased song a ringtone for the device within the application itself. This forces the user to search for the track within the iTunes Music Store to see if it is eligible, or just taking a chance and seeing if the track will work through attempting to use the “Create Ringtone” menu bar option.

I myself am a victim of this problem. I stumbled upon it after attempting to make a Christmas ringtone for my phone. I have about 400 purchased songs, and not a single one shows the little bell that signifies you can purchase a ringtone of that song.

At first, I thought it may have been some license dispute, so I checked to see if ringtones were still available on the iTMS. They are. Then I tried to make a ringtone. After finally finding a track that was eligible, I was able to purchase, transfer, and use it without a hitch.

A search of the Apple support forums finds a thread where this problem has been discussed, And here’s another. And yet another (there are more, but I’m not posting them all here). Users are reporting the same problems I’m seeing. It looks from the responses that Apple is not even sure why users have suddenly lost this functionality within iTunes.

I haven’t been able to find another person in my network of friends with iPhones that is seeing this problem, so whatever it is, its pretty localized. Yes, its not a showstopper, but its pretty darn annoying.

We’ve got a request out to Apple for comment on the problem.


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9 Comments For This Post

  1. Ashe Says:

    I just discovered this problem. I was able to make one about two hours ago and then suddenly every single one of my eligible songs no longer has the bell next to it. What the…?

  2. Mike Says:

    I have just encountered the same problem. I bought 4 songs specifically to make ringtones. After making the first one, all of the “bells” disappeared. Hope this gets resolved soon.

  3. Nathan Smith Says:

    Same issue here, with over 4300 songs. Just bought 2 new songs today, and those have the bell icon, but all the rest are “bell free”. Hopefully Apple figures this out. They’ve got to be losing some revenue on this one.

  4. Jennifer Says:

    I just discovered this too. Very weird. I haven’t made a ringtone in many months and was just going into iTunes today to make some, only to find out that that option is gone! Hopefully this will be a quick fix from Apple.

  5. Dawn Kaiser Says:

    I had the same problem too… all by bells disappeared from itunes and my previous ringtones disappeared from my library, I found this out after my latest sync to my iphone when my ringtones vanished. Had to rebuy songs to replace the ringtones, I was able to complete one and was going to do the second one and suddenly the bells were gone and could not continue…very upsetting!!!!

  6. Matthew Says:

    I have had the same problem since I made my first ringtone. Newly purchased songs will display the bell till I make a ringtone or close itunes. It is seriously annoying and the reason I seldom make ringtones. You would think with as many updates as we get they would fix this before adding another worthless feature or minor appearance adjustment.

  7. [email protected] Says:

    I believe that Apple has ironed out this ringtone bug already. Hope this don’t recur on the upcoming new models.

  8. royale Says:

    i just started having this issue yesterday…

  9. kennedy Says:

    i think it has been done to stop people making there own ring tones without paying for them.if i find a fix i will let yous know.