I really should be working, but I needed to figure this out. I don't think I'll ever pay for a ringtone again.
What I used:
- Microsoft Expression Encoder 4 w/SP1 - http://www.microsoft.com/expression/service-packs/Encoder.aspx - This is a free download. No need to pay for Pro unless you need advanced features.
- DRM free audio file - can be WAV or MP3
How to do it:
- Download and install Microsoft Expression Encoder 4 w/SP1 - skip entering a product key because you don't need it.
- Launch the application and choose 'Transcoding Project'
- From the File menu select 'Import' and then navigate to the audio file you want to use.
- You can either play the song and hit the 'Insert Edit at Playhead' button where you want to create the first edit or just drag the Playhead to where you want to make the first edit and hit the 'Insert Edit at Playhead' button.
- Repeat Step 4 for the second edit.
- In the Output pane on the right, select the 'Clips' tab and delete any clips before and after the section of audio you want to use - only one clip should be left. Your clip should be no longer than than 39 seconds and no bigger than 1 MB. You can make modifications using the other tabs if you like; I chose not to.
- From the File menu select 'Encode Selected Item'.
- Close Expression Encoder - no need to save job unless you want to - I didn't
- Your ringtone will output to C:\\Documents\Expression\Expression Encoder\Output\ComputerName Date Time
- Create a new folder called Ringtones on your hard drive. I stored my Ringtones folder in the same folder where I store all my music.
- Drag and drop you new ringtone to the Ringtones folder.
- Open Zune Software.
- From the Settings menu add your Ringtones folder to the Libraries managed by Zune.
- Follow the instructions here.
- Enjoy you new ringtone!
Important Note: When you edit the genre of your ringtone, you might want to consider appending the name of the song with "- Ringtone" so that you don't confuse it with the song the clip came from before you sync it to your phone.
Repeats steps as often as you like.....