Apple's iPhone comes with a set of default ringtones that you can assign to ring when someone calls you. You can associate different ringtones with different people, so you'll know who is calling you just by how the phone sounds when a call comes in. If you don't care for the default ringtones and you don't want to buy new ones from songs in Apple's iTunes store, you can make your own custom ringtones on a PC and then transfer them to your iPhone.
Launch iTunes, Apple's free application that you use to sync files with your iPhone, on your computer. Click on "iTunes" and then "Preferences." Click on "Import Settings" and then click on the "Import Using" pull-down menu to select "AAC Encoder." Click "OK" to save the change.
Right-click on a DRM-free song in the iTunes library, and then click "Get Info." The information window for that song will appear. You won't be able to make ringtones from songs protected by Digital Rights Management.
Click on the "Options" tab. Type the starting time you want for the ringtone in the "Start Time" box, and then type what time in the song you want to designate as the end of the ringtone in the "Stop Time" box, for a duration of up to 30 seconds. For example, type "0:00" and "0:30" to make a ringtone out of the first 30 seconds of the song. You can also adjust the volume, to make the ringtone louder than the song currently is. Click on the check boxes next to the start and stop time boxes, and then click "OK."
Right-click on the song in the iTunes window again and then select "Create AAC Version." Now iTunes will create a 30-second ringtone from the song based on the settings you made. You will see the ringtone version of the song appear under the original song in your playlist.
Right-click on the ringtone and select "Show in Windows Explorer." Right-click on the file and choose "Rename," and then change the extension from ".M4a" to "M4r." Change the file name to something like "Song Name ringtone" to help you distinguish it from the original song. Double-click on the file and it will automatically go into the "Ringtone" section of iTunes.
Plug one end of the included USB cable into your iPhone, and the other end into a USB port on your computer. Click on "Sync" in iTunes to sync the new ringtone to the iPhone.
- Joe Raedle/Getty Images News/Getty Images