One of the common things I see across Twitter since the Windows Phone 7.5 Mango update started rolling out yesterday are questions about how to put custom ringtones on a Windows Phone 7.5 Mango handset.

Before we get into the how-to process there are some rules when it comes to ringtones and the Mango update:

  1. Must be in WMA or MP3 format
  2. Must be less than 40 seconds in length
  3. Must be less than 1 MB in size
  4. Must not have Digital Rights Management (DRM) protection on the file.

So once you have those items straight you can look into your music collection and pick your favorite song, instrumental, drum solo or guitar rift to use as a custom ringtone on Windows Phone 7.5.

Once you have the file you want to grab part of for the ringtone you need an editor of some type.  I use Audacity because it is open source software, free and a very good editor in fact I use it to produce the Observed Tech PODCAST.  You can of course pick your favorite sound editor but it must be capable of saving the file as either a WMA or MP3.   Audacity requires the LAME encoder to export MP3’s and the instructions and links are on the Audacity Sourceforge page.

In the editor just edit out everything but the 40 seconds of sound, music, instruments, words or whatever your wanting to use and then save that file with an easy name to identify the ringtone.  Make sure to save it to your Music directory that the Zune software uses as default for music.

Next open up the Zune software and make sure your phone is plugged into the computer.  Browse to your music collection and find the file you just added to the collection.  I find it easiest to list items as they were added that way the most recent file is the first one listed on the collection page.

You will need to Right Click on that song and select Edit and then change the Genre of the file to Ringtone.  Once you do that just Right Click once more and choose Sync With your device/handset (whatever you named your handset in the Zune software when you established the sync relationship.

You can now unplug your Windows Phone 7.5 Mango handset and go into Settings>Ringtones+Sounds and your ringtone should be listed under Custom.

Now there is another way to do this using an app developed for Windows Phone 7.5 Mango by one of my favorite WP7 developers, Scott Lovegrove aka @scottisafool on Twitter.

This still requires you to create the WMA or MP3 file for your custom ringtone but gives you a second method to get the ringtone on your handset.

The app is called WebTone and just requires that you have somewhere on the web to upload your prepped custom ringtone.  You provide the URL for the ringtone to the app and it will download it, give you a chance to give it a unique name, let you save it locally on the handset and then even let you select it from right there as your ringtone.

Both methods are just as effective but isn’t it nice to have more than one way to get the job done?

Enjoy your custom ringtones!