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free software Highlights Mobile

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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Mobile Open source

Watching The Codebreakers on my phone

I never got to watch the BBC documentary on free and open source software that first aired in May. I missed the first few airings because these were broadcast at crunch time in the newsroom, when I’m off chasing page deadlines.

While browsing Google Videos for clips to watch in my phone during times when I’m off the PC and waiting for an appointment with nothing else to do, I found The Codebreakers clip.

I immediately downloaded a .avi version of the clip and converted the video to play in my phone using instructions I wrote about earlier. While searching for articles about the documentary, I found this page in the Asia-Pacific Development Information Programme. It turns out that the documentary is available for free download on a Creative Commons license. If you’re interested in a 3GP version of the documentary, let me know and I’ll upload the file.

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Highlights Mobile

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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Mobile Personal

Old-school rocker in Rokr concert

Motorola launched the MotoRokr in Cebu yesterday with a press briefing and the finals of the Cebu leg of the Rock Mo’to Band Competition. I went over the features of the MotoRokr and played with it briefly in yesterday’s briefing and I can say it’s a phone audiophiles would be drooling over – the Rokr’s stereo surround sound will have rockers banging their heads in no time.

The MotoRokr runs on Linux and is the company’s first “mid-tier” device running on the open source software. But enough about the phone, I’m featuring it in my next (print) column. What truly defined my day yesterday, apart from meeting Angela Calina and talking search engine optimization with her, was this sense of disconnect that has had me feeling geriatric these days.

With Angela Calina
With Angela Calina after dinner during the launching of MotoRokr in Cebu. Click to enlarge.

I went to the Gaisano Country Mall a few minutes before the scheduled 7:00 p.m. press briefing and took some photos. Denise Haak of Ogilvy, who coordinated the briefing, was very helpful as she told me about features of the phone and the now iconic Motobus.

She then told me that the Itchy Worms were going to be joining us for dinner. Motorola’s head for marketing, Mari Litonjua, then asked me whether I wanted to interview members of the Itchy Worms. I begged off saying that that would be for the Lifestyle section. I was about to ask who these guys were but cut myself off.

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Free services Highlights Mobile

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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Highlights Mobile

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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Highlights Mobile

Manage your K750i songs using ITunes Agent

If you want to use iTunes to manage songs in your Sony Ericsson K750i, you can either use Mass Storage Synchronizer (which I wrote about earlier) or iTunes Agent. If you’re not technically adept, Mass Storage Synchronizer may be the software for you as it is simpler to set up than iTunes Agent.

Before using any of these two software to manage songs in your k750i, make sure you have the latest K750i firmware, currently R1BC002. Previous firmware have bugs that cause errors in file transfers to the memory stick via a USB cable. (Click on photos to enlarge) iTunes Agent

iTunes Agent requires .Net Framework 2.0 final in order to work. What iTunes Agent does is monitor music players attached to your computer, create an iTunes playlist for that device and then synchronize the music tracks with your mp3 player.

iTunes Agent detects the devices based on its directory structure. The Sony Ericsson Walkman Phone setting pre-configured in iTunes Agent did not work with the K750i when I tested it. The program displayed an error notice about the file path.

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Mobile

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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Mobile

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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Highlights Mobile

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).