To keep things as simple as possible, start with Ringtone Designer. It’s a free tool that makes the process painless.
Here’s how to turn any song into a ringtone with Ringtone Designer
- Step 1: The first time you run the app, you’ll be prompted to choose a song. This can be any DRM-free track stored on your iPhone. Don’t worry: Turning it into a ringtone won’t modify the original in any way. Instead, the copy is merely copying a section of the song.
- Step 2: After making your choice, you’ll see an audio waveform of the song, along with a pair of sliding selectors for choosing the snippet you want. The left selector indicates where the ringtone will begin; the right, where it will end. (Remember that ringtones repeat themselves, so it doesn’t have to be long.)
- Step 3: If you’re having trouble getting exactly the starting/stopping point you want, you can pinch out to zoom in on the waveform. Tap the Play icon to listen to your selection, then make adjustments as needed.
- Step 4: Tap the Save icon, which will result in an an iTunes-friendly M4R file. Now you need to fire up iTunes and use the file sharing feature to add that file to your Ringtones library. (The app has a link to a tutorial video that walks you through each step of that process. If you’ve never done it before, I highly recommend watching it.)
- Step 5: Once you’ve added your newly created ringtone(s) to your library and synced your iPhone, simply venture into Settings > Sounds > Ringtone to start using it.