Douwe Osinga's Blog: Music on phones

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Not that long ago, storing music on a computer was something only for the rich music industry. Hard disks were small and CDs large. Harddisks became bigger and cheaper and computers fast enough for eloborate compression schemes. Then Napster happened and suddenly everybody could have their entire music collection of their computers. How long before we have that on our phones?

I strongly belief in integrating new functions into telephones. The dedicated camera only works if you bring it to where you want to take a picture. People will bring their phone anyway, so the phone wins. The same goes for the walkman. Some people care enough about music to carry a iPod or similar with them all  the time, but I don't. However, if the iPod functionality would be integrated in my phone, I would be all for it.

My 3650 Nokia phone has a 16Mbyte memory card. My current Mp3 collection is about 20 Gigabyte, so their is still some way to go here. Of course, I only use maybe 20% of this music on a regular base. I could upgrade to 512Mbyte card and finally use something like ogg or real to compress my music at an acceptable 64Kbits instead of my current 192+Kbs. I would still need a factor 4, but we're getting there.

Oggplay is an ogg player for Symbian and has just released a player for series 60. After converting some mp3s to ogg, and uploading them to my phone and playing around for some time, I had to conclude that the pre-alphaness was to much for my phone. It kept crashing with an error 101 or something. I converted some mp3s to mono 64kbit real format and played them on the phone. It sounded awfull. Give it two more years.