Manage songs in your phone, mp3 player with MediaMonkey

I have long stayed away from using music players such as iTunes to manage songs in my Sony Ericsson k750i because of the way these software organize the files in the mobile phone’s memory stick.

mediamonkey MEDIAMONKEY is probably the best software to use to manage your phone’s audio library from your PC. Click on photo to enlarge.

I find it more efficient to just use my favorite Windows file manager, Total Commander, to transfer the music files from my PC to the phone. I’ve tried using third-party software to make iTunes manage my phone playlist and they work but not to the extent that they’ve become the primary way I manage my songs. I hate the way synchronization with iTunes breaks apart files in compilation albums into artist sub-folders. You’d have to recreate your playlist by repeatedly clicking on album folders. I’m sure there’s a way to configure this but I’m just too lazy to find out how.

But the first time I tried MediaMonkey, I immediately knew it was a piece of software I could rely on to manage songs and podcasts in my phone. The free (but sadly not open source) music library software is easy to use and doesn’t require a lot of fuzz, hacking or third party applications and plugins to connect to the K750i.

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From Google Video, YouTube to your phone in 3 steps

When I saw Matt Cutts’ video series in Google Video, I immediately wanted to convert the clips to play in my phone, a Sony Ericsson K750i, for viewing and listening in times when I have nothing to do and I’m away from the computer.

Google Video allows you to download MP4 videos and I downloaded a bunch of Matt Cutts videos in MP4 format, thinking it would play in my phone. Wrong. I could hear the sound of the clips but I couldn’t see anything. This suited me just fine as you can understand what Matt Cutts is saying without visual cues.

And then I saw Bob Dylan. I found a bunch of Dylan music videos in Google Video and I was spurred into finding a way to convert the files to play in my phone. I tried converting the MP4 videos using ImTOO MP4 Video Converter to no avail.

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Back up your mobile phone data online

Most people today rely on cell phones for the storage of contacts and appointments. This reliance on a single device can be risky and devastating when your phone gets lost or stolen.

To prevent a disaster such as losing important contact details, you need to regularly back up your phone data. Most phones today come with PC suites that allow you to easily manage and back up these data. If you’re using a SonyEricsson phone, use Float’s Mobile Agent, it’s the best PC software for your unit.

The problem with using PC software to back up your data is that you need to regularly connect your phone to your PC in order to get an up-to-date version of your data. I don’t have problems with this as my phone is always connected to my PC when I’m in the office because I exclusively use Float’s Mobile Agent to manage it.

But for those who don’t regularly do this, there’s an easier backup option: use the free zyb.com service. Zyb.com allows you to store your address book and calendar online and then synchronize the data between your account and your phone (or phones since you can use multiple handsets with one account.) (See screenshots below.)

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Upgrading K750i firmware to the latest version: R1CA021

I just upgraded my Sony Ericsson K750i to the latest firmware version: R1CA021. The actual upgrade took less than 20 minutes but I spent more than half an hour downloading the Sony Ericsson Update Service because I was also downloading a ton of podcast episodes that time.

To know the firmware version of your Sony Ericsson phone, do this (for < push the joystick to the left, for > push the joystick to the right): >*< <*<* After doing that, click on Service Info and then click on Software Info.

If you’re still using R1N035 or R1NA005 or R1AA008, then by all means download the latest firmware-it fixes the irritating USB transfer bug. If you already have R1BC002, I’d hold off for a week or two.

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How to solve missing K750i USB drive problem in Windows XP

If you can’t find your Sony Ericsson K750i memory stick duo in your list of drives in Windows Explorer, chances are it has been assigned a drive letter that is already in use by one of your network drives.

I found this out the hard way Monday when my office PC (which is connected to a lot of network drives) was upgraded into Windows XP service pack 2. I connected my K750i into one of the USB ports and when the Found New Hardware wizard came up, I pointed it to the device’s drivers. After the drivers were installed, I still couldn’t find the K750i memory stick in my listing of network and local drives. I unplugged the device, tried a different USB port and It still wasn’t listed as one of my PC’s drives.

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How to use iTunes to manage songs in your K750i

It’s a pity Apple limits iTunes synching to iPods and iTunes-enabled mobile phones. ITunes makes managing music files and podcasts very easy with its cataloguing and drag and drop interface. I use iTunes to play songs in my PC and the ability to have it manage songs and podcasts in my phone would be a big help.

I searched around for a solution and found Mass Storage Synchronizer (screenshots after the jump). The free software allows you to let iTunes manage songs in your Walkman phones, Palm devices, Samsung MP3 phones, Nokia units and other devices.

Installing and using Mass Storage Synchronizer is easy. But before you install it, make sure you have the latest Sony Ericsson K750 firmware, R1BC002. If you’re still using an earlier firmware, you’re phone will likely have the USB transfer bug and you’d encounter errors in sending files to your phones: many of the files you’d transfer to your memory stick via the USB cable won�t be transferred.

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My roundup of the best Sony Ericsson K750i themes

I change the themes of my Sony Ericsson K750i at least four times a week. I’m always in the lookout for great looking phone themes to download, especially animated ones. My taste in phone themes mirrors my taste in blog design, I love glassy buttons, transparencies and slashes in buttons or background graphic.

I depend on two sites for my K750i themes fix: MyK750 of Lasyk.net and Zedge. You can download themes from the two sites either into your PC or directly to your phone via WAP. Zedge limits PC downloads to 20 items a day-themes, ringtones, screensavers and movie clips. Lasyk doesn’t impose a PC download limit. Zedge requires you to register for a free account before you can download. Lasyk doesn’t require a registration.

I always download themes or ringtones into the PC so that I won’t have to pay for WAP access. I then transfer the files to my phone via Bluetooth or USB transfer

Here are my favorite Sony Ericsson K750i themes (screenshots after the jump).

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Wiki on a K750i? A txt file will do

I’m a huge fan of TiddlyWiki, a standalone web page that you can edit through a browser for just about anything: to-do lists, notes or any other text data. I’m an extensive user of one of its derivatives: the Zope server-based ZiddlyWiki but before that, I used GTDTiddlyWiki, a version that incorporates a getting things done menu and is formatted for easy printing on index cards.

ZiddlyWiki fits my need for a server-side notes taking and archiving solution that is accessible anywhere. I host my ZiddlyWiki on a free Zope hosting account with Objectis. I needed a server-side solution because I wiped out a lot of notes trying to synchronize the GTDTiddlyWiki in my home PC and in my office PC last year.

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Upgraded K750i firmware to latest version

(Update: the latest Sony Ericsson firmware is now: R1CA021) I upgraded my Sony Ericsson K750i to the latest firmware version last night. The new firmware, R1BC002, fixes a lot of bugs and offers several enhancements to the phone. My phone’s previous firmware, R1N035, was three releases behind and still contained bugs.

To check the firmware version of your Sony Ericsson phone, do the following (for < push the joystick to the left, for > push the joystick to the right):
>*< <*<*

I have long wanted to try updating the K750i’s firmware using the Sony Ericsson Update Service but I kept putting this off because I read forum posting after forum posting of people botching their upgrades.

Prior to the latest firmware, the K750i had an irritating bug involving the transfer of files via USB to the Memory Stick duo. Every time I transfer files to the phone’s Memory Stick, I always encounter problems. Not all the files I sent would be transferred. The easiest solution to this was to detach the Memory Stick and use a card reader.

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