I have bought various albums through Google Music cloud service and they are downloaded for offline use on my device. How can I use one of these MP3s as a ringtone or an alarm?
It seems that the standard picker is not able to find them.


5 Answers 5


If you are comfortable with copying files in a file explorer

  1. Go grab ES File Explorer if you don't have a file manager already.

  2. Make sure that root browsing is enabled and navigate to /sdcard/Android/data/com.google.android.music/files/music.

  3. Hopefully you don't have too many songs stored locally, cause this is the not-so-fun part. Go through song-by-song by selecting one and using Google Play Music to complete the action. When you find which file is the right song, copy it (for ES, long press then select copy, could be different for other apps).

  4. Now navigate to /sdcard/media/audio/<whichever_folder_applies_to_you> if you are on pre-ICS or /sdcard/<whatever_applies_to_you> if on ICS or Jelly Bean. Paste it in (Hitting Paste on the status bar for ES) and you should be good.

If you aren't comfortable with copying files in a file explorer

If for some reason you don't want to copy, then still figure out which song is the right one. Then when you go to set your ringtone/alarm/notification use the ES File Explorer entry that pops up. Then navigate to /sdcard/Android/data/com.google.android.music/files/music and select the right song.

  • 1
    Only problem with this is you cannot specify which part of the song you want as a ringtone/alarm/notification. It's much better to crop the desired song into an appropriate length at the desired part of a song. Mar 27, 2013 at 15:03
  • @ElefantPhace Nice point (+1), I don't know of any straightforward way to do that. :(
    – KevinOrr
    Mar 28, 2013 at 0:19
  • Read my answer. Mar 28, 2013 at 1:19
  • Thank you for the info, but the ogher main problem is that all my mp3 files are named like 1.mp3, 2.mp3, 3.mp3 and I have hundreds of them. How can I identify the one to use?
    – Drake
    Mar 28, 2013 at 15:31

You'll need to either use a different media player

I'm pretty sure all the above, plus others, can set ringtones from mp3 files directly from the player app itself.

Or, you can use any of the many different ringtone makers freely available on the Play Market.
I like Ringtone Maker
You'll just open the MP3, find the section you want to save as a ringtone and crop it, save it, then set it!

You will need to do some searching around your file system first to find out which songs are which though. As I remember, when you download audio from Google Play Music for offline use it doesn't save them with titles or anything really identifiable :/

That's the problem with Google Play Music. You have to open them and listen to them. If you use one of the above mentioned players it should load the metadata for you, telling you the artist, album, title etc.
I know Player Pro will show you the path of the given file by long pressing it and choosing View Details. I'm sure the others would have similar functionality.
However, using these players to set ringtones does not allow you to crop and choose which part you want saved, they will just set the entire song as the default ringtone, which is probably not what you want.
Most likely you'll need a combination of the two:

  1. Open Player Pro (or whichever other media player) and find the song you want, view details/properties and note the file path.
  2. Open up Ringtone Maker (or whichever you choose) and navigate to that path, and open the file.
  3. You'll then be able to select which portion of the mp3 you'd like to set as a ringtone.
  4. You can then save the ringtone as either an alarm, ringtone, or notification to be used respectively.
  • That is the main problem I think, all my Mp3 are name like 1.mp3, 2.mp3, 3.mp3 and I have hundreds of them. How can I identify the one to use?
    – Drake
    Mar 28, 2013 at 15:30
  • This comment is too long, I'll add to my answer Mar 28, 2013 at 23:58

Just open google play with chrome browser (request desktop site) goto my music find song and tap the 3 dots over by the tracks time click download it is now an mp3 you can add in the ring tones.

  • It's amazing to me that it's been more than four years, and the Goog still hasn't figured it out. Your answer works perfectly.
    – Ainar-G
    Dec 29, 2018 at 11:31

I went to the Google Play Music desktop site, found the song, clicked on the 3 dots by it, downloaded it, then emailed myself the mp3 file, then opened it in ES File Explorer, selected to open it in ES Media Player, clicked the 3 dots > Set Ringtone > Set alarm, voila.


Why not drop the mp3 directly into a directory either ringtones or alarms within the subdirectory of /sdcard/media/audio/notifications (this is for earlier than ICS)?

IIRC ICS had this directory structure on the SDCard, aptly, /sdcard/alarms or /sdcard/ringtones. Drop the appropriate mp3 in there, and it should be picked up the Android's Media provider and away you go.

If Google Music does not have any identifiable information pertaining the MP3, the filename will be used instead.

  • the directory hierarchy does not matter, as long as the base folder is alarms, ringtones, or notifications the MediaScanner will pick up it and place it accordingly. Also if you just placed it in notifications you'd only be able to use it for notifications... Mar 24, 2013 at 1:53

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