ITunes locks out other devices by limiting synchronization only to iPods and other Apple-approved devices. There are third-party software you can use to be able to manage songs in your phone or non-iPod mp3 player using iTunes but these applications can be complicated to install or tedious to use.
I’ve long stayed away from using iTunes to manage songs in my Sony Ericsson K750i because I do not like the way it organizes files in the phone’s memory card. I also do not like the way iTunes locks out other players. For a long time, I’ve been using MediaMonkey to manage songs in my phone.
Still, at the back of my mind and figuring consistently in my to-do list, I’ve always wanted to try using the open source media player Songbird with my K750i. But for a long time, the “developer preview” label on the Songbird download link put me off from trying it. That label gives an impression of being unstable that only developers should try using it.
Last week, I took the plunge. But far from experiencing the software crashes and system slowdown that I feared, I found using Songbird very easy and relatively trouble-free. In no time, I was able to catalogue all my music files. I tried the add-ons link in the application and found a link to the USB mass storage device installer, which I immediately tried.
Songbird is built on Firefox technology and like its browser progenitor, it requires a “browser” restart after installing addons. When Songbird, restarted, I connected my Sony Ericsson K750i to my PC using the USB cable and the application immediately detected it. I just chose the synchronization path–in my phone’s case it’s the MP3 folder–for good measure.
Right clicking on the “Memory Stick (Sony Eri)” link allowed me to set the options for synchronization. I chose the two device options a.) Songbird should manage this device, and b.) Organize device media into folders.
If you uncheck the “organize device media into folders,” the application will save all the files into the root folder. If you check it, the application will organize the files into music and album folders.
To transfer the music tracks into the phone, I merely highlighted the songs I wanted to transfer using shift + click for multiple selections and then dragging them into the “Memory Stick (Sony Eri)” link. The application then sent the files into a transfer queue. One setback in the application, though, is that it doesn’t tell you the file size of your selection so you run the risk of sending more files that can be accommodated in your phone’s memory stick.
The sending of the files was as quick as doing it using a regular file manager. The application also doesn’t prompt you when the transfers have finished and the only indication that the transfer is done is when all the progress bars are filled in the transfer queue.
I find the synchronization quick, easy, and trouble free. Songbird is now my default media player.
A warning for Sony Ericsson K750i users: make sure that you have updated your phone’s firmware to fix earlier bugs on USB transfer. If you are using an older K750i firmware, not all the files you transfer will be sent to your phone.