The Case of the Unsynced Ringtones
I don’t go overboard when it comes to ringtones, but I do like to have a few custom ones on hand to personalize my iOS devices so, when I’m hanging out with other iPhone users, I can tell when it’s mine announcing new incoming mail and not someone else’s. There are a number of easy ways to make a custom ringtone, but I tend to use Ambrosia’s inexpensive iToner for the job.
This worked fine for me until I took delivery of a new iPad Air and tried to sync my ringtones to it. That’s when I found that several of my ringtones just wouldn’t sync to my new lightweight tablet. After several tries, I activated the sidebar in iTunes (View > Show Sidebar), selected my iPad, and took a look at the ringtones that iTunes thought were on my device. That’s when I saw that several were marked with a hollow-circle symbol that I’d never seen in iTunes before.
When I looked through my Tones collection in my iTunes library, I discovered something special about the missing ringtones: each of the missing tones had a genre of “Ringtone” assigned to it, and all had been created by iToner. On a hunch, I selected one of the missing melodies, chose File > Get Info, and clicked the Info tab in the window. At the bottom of the window, I selected the text of the Genre field and deleted it. I then attempted another sync with my iPad and the ringtone that I had de-genre-fied synced successfully.
At the time, I didn’t bother to edit the info of any of my other tones that had the Ringtone genre assigned: I had synced the one that I wanted on my iPad the most; the others could wait.
However, since my discovery, Apple released iTunes 11.1.3, which lists, among other improvements, “minor bug fixes” to its predecessor, version 11.1.2. iTunes 11.1.2 was the version I had used that did not like syncing tones with a genre assigned to them. When I synced my new iPad with iTunes 11.1.3, all of my ringtones, including those with a genre applied, had no problems syncing.
So, if you are an iToner user or if you like to assign genres to your ringtones, and you find that some ringtones aren’t syncing with your devices like they used to, the syncing solutions are simple: either delete the genre assignments, or, even better, update to iTunes 11.1.3.
I just checked the couple dozen ringtones I have, including the single one I purchased from the ITMS, and ALL have Music listed as the Media Kind. No problems syncing, though iToner caused me endless problems when I used to use it.
It appears to me that ringones are refused if iTunes already has a .m4a or .mp3 of the same name. Delete the old one and then it may be accepted.