Toys and Stuff

I was talking to Lorch a little this morning about the music player in my phone. If you’re thinking about intergrating some of your pocket gadgetry, I there’s a chance you could find this useful.

Otherwise, there is plenty on the Internet to occupy your time.

So yeah, I got that music player phone, and if you recall my months-long internal (slash-external) debate, I chose it in the interest of having fewer things in my pockets. One would like to have a phone, PDA, and ipod all in there, but if you can eliminate one or two of them, why not?

The phone has a microSD expansion slot for storing music. I’m not sure what the maximum capactiy is for that slot, but I got a 1-gig card from Newegg for 20 bucks.

In the process of re-encoding some mp3s for use on my PDA, I already had a gaggle of music coded at 96k. At that bitrate, I can squeeze quite a few songs on the card (I think around 400 or so). What I did is put my Top 20 All-time albums on there, with a little room to spare.

I did have an issue with some id3 tags when I got started. The info was wrong or missing on a number of the albums I wanted to use. Since the modern mp3 player uses this data to populate one’s “library,” it’s fairly essential. There are a lot of options out there if you have broken Id3 info, but regardless of what any of them claim, they all have an element of tediousness and frustration. No matter what technology the various tools’ software designers claim to be using, what they all fail to overcome is this: when there is so little data to go on, it’s impossible to predict with total accuracy what the file is supposed to say. *shrugs* Bottom line, if you wanna fix tags, it’s gonna take a while.

And it did. But once I was done, everything worked really well. So I guess I can’t complain that the biggest problem I had getting started was my own. I did, just for S&G’s, try to filter the music I wanted to use through BitPim. There was a “built-in” encoder that seemed to modify my mp3s pretty quickly. Trying to move the data to the phone didn’t work the way I expected, though. I tried this because I thought it might “save” me an encoding step, but really it didn’t.

The “software” that came packaged with the phone tries to push you toward using Windows Media Player for syncing songs, but I found it even more effective to use a card reader and dump files directly to the SD card. Even though there are extra “steps” doing it this way, it’s really fast.

I was pleasantly suprised by the sound quality. It’s not CD-good, but these are earbuds and a phone, for chrissakes. I listened to Led Zeppelin II on my way to work this morning, and the highs and lows came through pretty well. I would NOT want to plug my phone into the car stereo or anything, ala iPod. For that, you would want something with a much higher storage capacity, where you’re not compromising your bitrate for space. For my purposes, though, I think this will probably work out.

Michelle’s phone has a music player, too, and I’m curious to try dropping my card in there to see if the player interface or quality is any different. I don’t really expect that to be the case, though.

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