Thursday, May 03, 2007

Music and mobile

Carnival of the Mobilists 71 is out, this week hosted by Silicon Valley Himalayan Expedition.

An interesting post Why I Won't Use a Music Phone (Yet).
The points are well made, transferring any large amounts of music to a mobile even initially is a nightmare...doing it on a regular basis is even more hassle. The current batch of available software doesn't help, but read the comments for some better suggestions.

Currently I swap out SD memory cards (each with a playlist of around 40 songs on them). This is not an ideal solution either as (a)I often store video clips and images on the memory card as well... if I want to view these I often have the wrong memory card in and (b) initial set up and transfer from pc is painful and slow.

Once the music is **on** my N95 I'm happy with the audio playback quality now that I can use decent shure 3.5mm earphones. (Finally!)

I've been looking for a solution that stores my music in the cloud and allows me to download playlists/tracks back into the mobile or stream it song by song to see if it is even feasible.

One such service I've recently used is MeTracks (in beta). The website audio player and upload interface is very 37signals ie. simple, practical and fairly intuitive.
I've yet to be able to test the mobile access part though.

Flat rate data for such a service on your mobile would be a must as would be W-LAN or at least 3G/HSDPA transfer - 10 tracks of mp3's is already 40mb - is this going to be possible in real life conditions ? Streaming requiring network coverage which can be patchy in and out of buildings when mobile may also presents problems for streaming playback.

You can find more on meTracks service at SMS Text News. I'll be able to mention another similar streaming service that may also solve the above problem. The work you've already put into building, labelling and organising your digital music collection on your PC is not wasted as you access/transfer it to mobile...(not Orb).

One other point about music on mobiles, is I've noticed many more people on public transport no longer have the white earbuds (indicating the ipod) compared to say, a year ago. I see more and more people using their phones - particularly Sony/Ericsson so the Walkman brand seems to be working...