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Music on my phone

The headphones for use with my cell phone arrived a little while ago, so I made my first attempt to copy one of my CDs onto the memory card and play it on my phone.  I went with my perennial favorite, Jerry Goldsmith’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture score, to start with.  I wasn’t sure I had the necessary software to pull it off, or the necessary skill to use it if I did, but apparently Windows Media Player came with the rest of Windows, and it was a simple one-click operation to copy the whole album.  It took longer than I would’ve liked; my PC runs rather hot, so I don’t like leaving CDs in there any longer than absolutely necessary.  Once it was done, it took me a bit of time to figure out how to copy the files to the memory card, but when I did, it went a lot faster.  I wasn’t sure the phone could read the .wma format of the files, because I thought it was supposed to be .mp3, but all I could do was try it and find out.  So I took out the microSD card from its adapter, stuck it into the phone, and turned the phone on.  It took a bit longer, and a consultation of the instruction book, to figure out how to access the music on the memory card.  But once I figured out I needed the “AT&T Music” menu, it was easy to navigate to “Albums,” which gave me the whole album with the tracks in order.  So I hit OK, and lo and behold, there was “Ilia’s Theme” playing on my telephone!

The audio quality isn’t perfect.  The maximum volume is a little low and there’s disappointingly little bass.  Other than that, though, the playback was nice and clean.  And best of all is the convenience.  I’ll be able to put a couple of dozen albums at a time on the memory card (in retrospect, I should’ve gotten the 4GB one instead of the 2GB) and listen to them wherever I go.  This will be very handy for me when I go to the Shore Leave convention next month.  In the past, I’ve brought along a CD player, two or three CDs, and spare batteries, but now I can just bring my phone and the headphones (and of course the phone’s charger), and have a much larger selection to listen to.  And the lack of bass won’t be too great a problem since the sound of the Greyhound bus engine would tend to drown it out anyway.

There’s also the convenience of having a music player I can carry in my pocket.  My portable CD player doesn’t have a belt clip or a strap or anything, so it hasn’t really been very portable.  And it’s prone to skips and its audio quality isn’t great, with a constant hiss.  It’s pretty old.  Anyway, this should give me more flexibility in how and when I listen to music, which is something I don’t do often enough anymore.

Of course, I still have to copy all those CDs onto the memory card.  And I’m sure there’s still stuff I have to figure out about organizing them, creating “playlists,” and so forth.  But now I have the proof of concept.

I might end up leaving my camera at home and using my phone for that too.  In the past, I’ve often forgotten I had the camera tucked away in my bag, and so it hasn’t done me any good to bring it anyway.  And to be honest, I’m not really a big picture-taker anyway.

I’ve now reached the point where the 300-ish dollars I’d accumulated on my prepaid phone card plan has run out and I have to pay a monthly bill, after getting about half a year of “free” (or rather prepaid) service.  Now I’m spending substantially more per month than I did on the prepaid plan.  But the phone I have now is so much better equipped, so I guess it’s worth it.

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