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How to Add More Sounds to iPhone

written by: luis84•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 12/27/2010

Learn how to add more sounds to iPhone and change your default text messaging and MMS messaging sounds. Our handy guide will teach you how with a few simple things: a jailbroken iPhone, wireless network and a spare computer.

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    The Details

    We all know that when the iPhone first came out, adding ringtones was a difficult process which required a jailbroken iPhone. So what does this have to do with adding more sounds to the iPhone? It has plenty to do with it, while adding ringtones has become an easy process there is still no support for adding or changing the default tones or messaging sounds.

    This essentially means that you will need to have a jailbroken iPhone to be able to do this. If you have a jalbroken iPhone, the process is fairly simple and can be accomplished with just a few pieces of software. After the first two times, you will have no problem adding or changing additional sounds.

    Hopefully one day Apple will add official support for adding more sounds to the iPhone, but in the meantime you can use this handy guide on your jailbroken iPhone.

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    Necessary Tools

    There are two major tools you will need in order to be able to add more sounds to an iPhone. The first one is a sound conversion utility which will allow you to convert the file to .aiff format. The second one is a wireless file transfer application.

    We recommend using a program called Switch to convert the audio files, this is a freeware application which works on Windows. In addition, our wireless transfer program of choice is WinSCP. Another freeware utility available for Windows.

    Mac users should consider using CyberDuck in place of WinSCP. They will also need to find a suitable sound conversion utility.

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    How-To Add More Sounds

    To begin this process, ensure that you have a jailbroken iPhone with OpenSSH installed (if not, search for it in Cydia and install it). Use a computer to connect to a home network (the same network to which your iPhone is connected) to begin this guide.

    1. Launch WinSCP. Launch WinSCP (or Cyberduck) on your PC by clicking the icon. Once the application launches, enter the IP Address of your iPhone. The IP Address can be obtained from the network screen on the iPhone under settings.
    2. Enter login data. Under the username field in WinSCP, enter root. Under the password field enter alpine. These are defaults and if you have not changed them, they will remain the same.
    3. Navigate to sounds folder. Navigate to the following folder (no quotes) in WinSCP, "/System/Library/Audio/UISounds/". You will see a list of sounds, these are the default text messaging sounds in the iPhone. To add more, you will need to replace these.
    4. Convert your file. Launch Switch and select the file you wish to convert. Choose the target format as .aiff and start the conversion. Locate the resulting .aiff file and rename it to .caf.
    5. Reformat file name. Note the name of the first audio file in the WinSCP window. Copy everything in the name before the .caf. Rename the new .caf on your desktop to the same thing (paste the name).
    6. Copy the file. Copy the .caf file from your desktop to the iPhone by dragging it into WinSCP. When prompted, choose the option to overwrite the file.
    7. Preview the file on iPhone. Using the iPhone, open the settings tab. Choose General and then Sounds. Under text messaging sounds, choose the first file and this time the new sound should play.
    8. Troubleshooting. Should you have problems with these sounds, please repeat the above steps. Ensure the file is in .aiff format and renamed .caf. Make sure that you have renamed the file to the same name as what appeared in WinSCP.

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    Here are some helpful resources that you may need when attempting to learn how to add more sounds to an iPhone.