A smartphone and MP3 Player

My holiday is almost over and I start work within a week. The bad news is my Nokia N8 needs much more customization before it becomes a useful tool in the workplace. But first, my smartphone is also my portable music player and trusty navigation tool.

Since May 2009, I having been purchasing music for my previous N82 from Nokia’s Music Store. During 2010, Nokia announced the re-branding of its Nokia Music Store to OVI Music as well as the roll out of DRM-free music. Since September 2010, music purchased from OVI Music is Digital Rights Management (DRM) free. This means I can now share my downloaded music library with friends and to use tracks as ringtones. I can also transfer the music to my media server in the lounge, which is connected to the audio-video (AV) receiver for an enjoyable listening experience.

I usually download music from OVI directly to my cellphone, then use OVI Player (download here) to sync the tracks with my PC. With very little effort, I was able to sync the PC’s music library with my Nokia N8. I selected the Media Transfer mode when connecting the N8 to my PC. However, certain songs downloaded before September 2010 that were DRM protected, were not transferred to the N8 (these songs cannot be played back on more than one device).

Nokia’s OVI Player is the fastest way to transfer (or sync) music from your PC to the N8. If you have DRM-protected songs, use OVI Suite to back up both the licenses and songs to your PC. For music-related support, visit this Nokia’s website.

Music downloaded directly to the cellphone is placed in the Music Store Downloads folder in mass storage (16 Gb of internal storage). I prefer a structured music library with artists stored in separate folders and albums in sub-folders (e.g \artist\album_title\song_name.mp3). I do not like a single folder structure containing all song files. My DRM protected music is generally in WMA format and MP3 for DRM-free songs.

A very useful utility I often used on my old N82 was ShazamiD. This clever application records 10 seconds of a currently playing song, then connects to the Internet (Shazam is based in the UK) to determine the song’s name, the album title and the artist. This utility never ceases to amaze my friends. Using the song’s details, I then download the full track from OVI Music.

I was therefore very keen to download ShazamiD to the N8. According to Shazam’s website, the Shazam is designed to be compatible with the Nokia N8, along with the Nokia C7 (both Symbian^3 devices). However, the FAQ for Nokia only lists Symbian S60 v3 and v5 phones (not Symbian^3). ShazamiD is available for download from Nokia’s OVI Store. However, OVI Store clearly states that: “Sorry, this item is not available for the Nokia N8-00”.

A “Google” revealed that there are issues with ShazamiD  running on the N8, hence why it is no longer available for download. The Nokia C7 is similar to the N8, but has a lower resolution camera (8 MP) with  fixed focus (not auto focus), only 8Gb of internal storage (not 16 Gb) and no HDMI out (reasons why the C7 is cheaper than the N8). ShazamID is also not yet compatible with the Nokia C7 (nor the C6 or E7 devices). However, change your cellphone to the Nokia X6 in OVI Store and ShazamiD is available! Hence, you can “trick” the OVI Store and download ShazamiD to the N8. The response from other N8 owners who have installed ShazamiD are mixed (some positive, others negative). I will wait until the issues are sorted out before downloading ShazamiD.

The Nokia N8 also comes with a free 6-month subscription to OVI Music. This means I can download all the music I want from OVI over a six-month period. After 6 months, I can keep all the songs downloaded to my PC and N8. The only issue is the downloaded music is likely to be DRM protected, which means it will only play back on the PC and N8. The N8 comes with an activation PIN code which must be used within two months of the phone’s date of purchase. Since I already have over 200 of the latest songs on my N8, I don’t want to activate the 6-month free music subscription just yet. Next, and more importantly, I need GPS navigation capabilities.

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One Response to A smartphone and MP3 Player

  1. n8fan says:

    UPDATE: Shazam for the Nokia N8 is now available for download from the OVI Store.

    Check out http://store.ovi.com/content/67101

    The application was developed using Qt. The install file is called ShazamQt_251.sis

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