Bugs & Fixes: On ringtones and iPhone interference

With each software update, Apple fixes —or depending on your perspective, causes —iPhone problems. Here are a couple of the lingering glitches you might be encountering.

Disappearing Ringtone Bell: Want your iPhone to announce your best friend’s calls with a snippet from his favorite tune? iTunes’ new ringtones feature provides the tools for you to do this, but it’s still a bit rough around the edges. For instance, you should be able tell if a song in the iTunes Store can be made into a ringtone by looking for a bell icon next to the song’s name. But sometimes, the bell icons will be missing from the ringtone column even for songs that are eligible to be converted to ringtones.

A bug in the iTunes software is behind these MIA icons. To work-around it, select any song in the playlist and choose Store -> Create Ringtone. If the option is grayed out, then you really can’t make a ringtone of the selected song. If it isn’t, the missing bell icons—for the selected song and all other eligible songs—should reappear as soon as you select it. Updating to the latest version of iTunes may ultimately squash this bug.

Of course, this assumes you even have a Ringtone column in your playlist. The column is especially likely to be missing in playlists created prior to the arrival of the ringtones feature. If it’s not present, add it by choosing View -> View Options and selecting the Ringtones option. The only glitch here is that this adds the column just to the current playlist. You’ll need to add it separately for each playlist that lacks it.

Troublesome iPhone Cases Do you hear unusual static or other interference coming from your iPhone while listening to music or making a call? There’s no need to wait for a software update to fix this problem. If you’ve enclosed your iPhone in a case that uses any sort of magnetic clips, that’s the likely culprit. Remove the case, turn off your iPhone, and then turn it back on again. If the noise is gone, dump the case.

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