In the western world (well, certainly in the UK), mobile phone ringtones represent a highly profitable market but, as I understand it, no additional revenue is passed to the recording artists – and on that basis I’m not going to line the pockets of music industry executives when I’ve already paid for music once.
One of the advantages of being an iPhone user and having a Mac at my disposal is the ability to record my own Ringtones. Whilst there are commercial products that can do this too (like iToner from Ambrosia Software), if you have Apple GarageBand 4.1.1 or later, you can record your own ringtones (40 seconds or less) and transfer them to iTunes to sync with the phone (as described in Apple support article HT1358 or with screenshots on LifeHacker). If you need to fade the ringtone in/out then adjusting the track volume is described in an AppleInsider forum post.
This capability is not new, and is pretty well documented, but I’ve spent far too much time playing around with it and now I need to go to sleep!