Have you ever wanted to turn an awesome song or audio clip into a ringtone for your Iphone, but had no idea how? Were you annoyed that most of the instructables on the subject were for Macs? Well wonder no more! I had the same problem, and through a bit of research, I found a way to quickly and easily make custom ringtones from any media file and transfer them to my phone, and you can too. So away we go!

Edit: This instructable is a bit of a work in progress, so any suggestions you have to improve it will be greatly appreciated. Also, I apologize that the screenshots are hard to read, I thought they would be bigger

Step 1: Materials

Materials Needed:
-Computer running Windows XP or later
-Itunes (version 10)
-Iphone transfer cable
-Audio files to make into ringtones, m4a is easiest, but pretty much any file can be converted
-VLC (Optional)-It can be downloaded freely here: http://www.videolan.org/vlc/
-Connection to the internet (preferable)
-Itunes account (optional, I think)

Step 2: First: Select Your Audio File

So first off, you'll want to select what audio file you want to turn into your new ringtone. Remember, your ringtone cannot be longer than 40 seconds, so you'll have to cut down a full length song to just the bit you want to use. Don't worry, i'll show you how to do that. For the purpose of this instructable, I chose to use the finale of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture, because I just found it kinda cool. It can be downloaded at: 
Just right click on the background and select "Save As", and save it right to your desktop
Alternatively, just download it straight from here
Yes, it is indeed in a .ogg file, which is not compatible with Itunes, so in the next step you'll learn how to convert it. If you want to use a file that is already in Itunes-compatible format, just skip ahead to step 4.

Also, interesting note, a great deal of classical music is in the public domain, and can be downloaded in this way off of Wikipedia.

Step 3: Convert the File

So now we learn how to convert pretty much any audio file into an itunes-compatible format
Remember how I mentioned VLC earlier? This is where it comes in handy. So boot it up.
Rather than spreading these instructions across like 7 steps, I'd rather just put them on one and explain with the screenshots. So...
1. Go to the upper left-hand corner and select Media->Convert/Save. Alternatively, just hit Ctrl+R
2.Select "Add..." in the File Tab
3. Select the audio file from your desktop, or wherever you downloaded it to
4. Click "Convert/Save" at the bottom of the menu after you have added the file
5. In the "Convert" window, click "Browse" for the destination file. Select your desktop as the destination, and rename the file whatever you want, as long as you remember to put a .mp3 extension on the filename.
6. Select "Audio-MP3" on the profile.
7. Hit "Start" It might not look like anything is happening, but wait a few seconds and check your desktop. The file should be sitting right there. Voila! Now to put it in Itunes!

Step 4: Put It in Itunes!

So this part is fairly straightforward. Now that you have the file in an Itunes-compatible format, just lob it up in Itunes
1. Right click on the file, select "Open With->Itunes". At this point Itunes should launch automatically, if it isn't running already
2. Find the file in Itunes if it isn't playing already
3.Right click on the track and select "Get Info"
4. Select the "Options" tab
5. Now select the portion of the track you want to use as the ringtone. Remember that it can't be more than 40 seconds. I chose the portion beginning at 2:22 and ended it at 3:00, using the "Start Time" and "Stop Time" checkboxes. Then hit ok
6. Right click on the track and select "Create AAC Version" This will create a copy of the song, but only the portion of it that you selected between the start and end times.
7. Now see in the list directly above the original file? There's the new copy. Just a few more steps!

Step 5: Delete the File? What Madness Is This?

So this sound crazy, but next you have to right-click the AAC file and hit "Delete". When it asks where to put the file, select "Recycle Bin" This makes it way easier for you to find the file for the final file conversion. Next, drag the file out of the Recycle Bin, and right click it. Now all you have to do is rename it with a .m4r file extension. If putting .m4r on the end of the filename doesn't change the file type, go to Control Panel->Folder Options->View and then deselect "Hide Extensions for known file types". This should fix the problem of it not converting. When you change the file extension, a dialog box will pop up telling you that if you change it, the file could become unstable. Hit Yes, nothing bad will happen. Now you have a Itunes-compatible Ringtone File! Right click on it and select Open With->Itunes. You should have a new tab in your library titled "Ringtones" with a little bell by it, and the ringtone file shoudl be playing and visible in it. 

Step 6: Sync the File to Your Iphone

At this point you should plug your Iphone into the computer, if you haven't already. If your Iphone isn't registered, do so, and authorize your computer for your Itunes account. Now, you just have to drag and drop your new ringtone onto the Iphone tab. After the sync is complete, go to Settings-> Sounds->Ringtone, and your new ringtone should be shown at the top in the Custom list. Your custom ringtone is now fully ready to use! Attached are two of the ringtones I made. If I had just given them to you at the beginning, you wouldn't have learned how to make them yourself
This is the best iPhone instructable I've seen thus far!!!! Many thanks to you and your digital prowess. I'm so glad I can make my own custom ringtones without jailbreaking or paying an outrageous $1.29 for a part of a song I might not even want!

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