How to Create Simple Ringtones from Video Files with Avidemux

Ever hear a quote or piece of dialog in a movie or favorite TV show and wish you could set it as a ringtone or notification on your smartphone? You can actually, with the free, open-source application Avidemux.

Avidemux isn’t a ringtone-making app. It’s actually a pretty powerful video editor, that you can use to cut videos, add filters, transcode, and more. With the ringtone trick, however, we’ll be doing a modified version of a process we previously described on How-To Geek.

To accomplish this trick, you’ll first need to download Avidemux for your platform. You will also need to lay hands on the video file from which you want to create your ringtone.

Ringtones Made Easy

Video file in hand, Avidemux installed, it’s time to begin. Open Avidemux and click “File -> Open” or the folder icon, as shown in the screenshot.

Browse to where your file is located, select it, and click “Open.”

Avidemux will open the file, and from here you can choose your start and end points for your ringtone.

First thing you need to do is pick your start point. To do this, you can either play the whole video and mark the times down, or more easily, you can click and drag the slider.

It can take a little bit of fussing to find the exact point. You may use the buttons on the interface to navigate the file, but it’s more precise to use the right-left arrow keys to quickly (hold the button down) or slowly step (tap) through your video until you find the perfect place.

Regardless, when you’ve found your start point, click the “A” button. You will now see that your video is selected from that point until the end. Note also, under Selection, you see the A-start and B-end points.

We don’t want to have a ringtone that is over 90 seconds long. We still need to pick our end (B) point. Again, either drag the slider, let it play, or use the arrow keys to find the end of your ringtone, then click “B.”

Notice how the blue box around our slider has shrunk to include only the clip we want to excise. The timestamp in the B Selection has also changed to reflect this new end point.

Checking Your Work Before You Save

Let’s see how we did. Keep in mind as you’re doing this that it’s not an exact process. You may have to create a couple of test files before you get it exactly like you want it. You can however, check your start and end points and make minor adjustments.

Click your selections to move between start and end, and press Play to check them.

If you want to make changes, for example, if your selection starts a little bit too soon, click your A-selection, use the right arrow key to move the start point forward, and click “A” again. Or, if you have the start point exactly where you want it, and you simply want to make a quick twenty-second clip, you can click the “Time” button and adjust it manually.

Press “OK” and then press “B” and you see that your new end point will be updated.

Again, you can make more precise adjustments with the arrow keys but for us, let’s go ahead and encode this thing. Make sure that Avidemux is set to encode MP3s by clicking on the pull-down menu underneath Audio Output.

If you feel the need to adjust the audio quality, you can click “Configure” but we’re instead going to click the “Audio” menu and select “Save Audio.”

Decide where you want to save your ringtone and what you want to call it. We’re going to make some test files until we get it just right, so we’ll call it “test file 1” and append it with .MP3. Make sure you do this because Avidemux won’t add the extension automatically. When finished, click “Save.”

Usually, when you’re dealing with such a small file, the encoding process will take less than a few seconds. You might not even notice anything has happened, until the file suddenly appears where you saved it.

Because it’s so fast, we can test it and and make super quick adjustments, and then redo the file several times until we get it just right. Once you are happy, you can transfer the file or files to your device. If you use an iPhone, use iTunes, and if you use Android, you can place the file in your Ringtones folder.

With your new ringtone loaded onto your phone, you can go ahead and set it on your device.

That’s it, pretty easy if you ask us. Before you know it, you’ll be filling up your phone with your own special ringtones and notifications. No, it’s not a perfect method, but it works and gets the job done. That said, we’d love to hear about your favorite method to create ringtones from video files. Please, give us your feedback in the discussion forum!

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Matt Klein is an aspiring Florida beach bum, displaced honorary Texan, and dyed-in-wool Ohio State Buckeye, who fancies himself a nerd-of-all-trades. His favorite topics might include operating systems, BBQ, roller skating, and trying to figure out how to explain quantum computers.