The level of ignorance is startling
All you do in itunes is add the file/folder to the library, much like you'd do in foobar or any other media program. Itunes only then adds the new files to your device. You can also opt to manually manage which files are sent to your devices by unchecking one little box. It's not that hard.
If you're worried about deleting your data, there's an option to transfer it to your computer by selecting Transfer New Purchases from "device".
That little box is like magic. Uncheck it, drag and drop. Poof, rabbit.
Ringtones are less magic but the few times people likely do it in a phones life it's hardly a crisis: convert sound file to AAC (.m4a) [iTunes can do this], rename the extension to .m4r, drag and drop.
Edited by vwinter - 11/10/13 at 11:24am