It is possible to create ringtones from any song you like with free tools. Yes, that's right, you don't have to pay a dime for software, the music or the ringtone. All you need is some time and patience. You do need several utilities to create the ringtones: Audacity, the Lame Encoder if you do not have it installed already, FLV Extract, a browser and a video downloader. I suggest using Firefox and the excellent Download Helper extension. Install everything, look at the Download Helper article that I wrote a few weeks ago if you have troubles installing the Firefox add-on.
Now that everything is installed go to Youtube and search for music that you like. Good starting points if you do not know exactly what you are looking for are the top 100 single charts of the United States or the Top 40 singles of the UK. Other options are Amazon or other CD online shops. What I do then is visit Youtube and either enter the artist's name or song in the search box. This should be enough to find the song that you are looking for, you sometimes have to sort the results by date instead of relevancy to find what you are looking for.
Number one song is Basshunter with NOW YOU'RE GONE in the UK. A search for Basshunter on Youtube revealed the video Basshunter Now You're Gone.
I save the video with the flv extension. Now I need to use FLV Extract which I have installed earlier. I only check Audio in the interface and drag and drop the saved Youtube video into it. The result is a mp3 audio file. I can already play the audio file and add it to my mp3 player or mobile phone.
Playback starts automatically and I can check that the quality is good enough.
Some mobile phones can already use this mp3 file as a ringtone, some prefer a 30 second version of it. We will now use Audacity to create a 30 second version of the audio file. Load the mp3 into Audacity, you see a graphical representation of it in Audacity shortly thereafter.
Editing a audio file with Audacity is very easy. Check the timeline on top of the audio stream. Left-Click at the 30 seconds position and drag the mouse to the end of the audio file. Now press delete to remove that part which leaves us with a 30 second sample of the song by Basshunter.
You can also cut in the middle or use the end instead if you like to use that part as the ringtone. Not a problem with audacity. Click on File > Export as MP3 and save the file again. Congratulations, you have created a 30 second ringtone.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.