Feb 03 2009

MP3 ID3 Cover Art on Windows Mobile

Category: Windows MobileTeknovis @ 11:10 pm

Like many people, I have a very large collection of MP3s on my computer. I diligently ripped most of them from the original CDs, and I ensured that the ID3 tags were set correctly. My ripping software automatically gets this information from a database on the Internet, and I am really only interested in the artist name, album name, song title, track number, genre, and cover art.

I share my MP3s with my family, so the MP3s get played on several different computers using different MP3 players, and they also get played on several different types of mobile devices. Everything works really sweetly because all of these MP3 players can read the ID3 tags.

When I bought my HTC P3600 PDA, which runs Windows Mobile 5.0, I also bought a large miniSD card to hold a selection of my MP3s. I was really annoyed the first time that I played an MP3 on it, because the default MP3 player does not use the cover art contained in the ID3 tags! This is another sad instance of Microsoft ignoring a well established standard!

After doing some searching on the Internet I found a simple hack that works if all of the MP3s that share a cover art are in the same directory.

  1. Extract the cover art image from the MP3. This is easy to do using the MP3 player on my computer.
  2. Save the image as Folder.jpg in the directory containing the MP3s that share this cover art. The image will usually be approximately 300px by 300px.

Unfortunately, this does require some effort every time that I want to add new MP3s to my PDA :(

I have since discovered that the MP3 player in Windows Mobile 6.0 does not use the cover art in the ID3 tags, but the same workaround described here enables it to display the cover art!

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Nov 14 2008

Notebook to HTC P3600

Category: Windows MobileTeknovis @ 11:19 am

I have always been a very organised person for most aspects of my life, regardless of whether these aspects are real-world or digital. Unfortunately, I am also quite a forgetful person :( So notebooks and diaries were always a big part of my life! These ingenious tools enabled me to know where I was supposed to be, when I was supposed to be there, and what I was supposed to be doing there!

So it made perfect sense for me to buy a PDA when they first became available. That was so long ago that I cannot even remember what make and model it was! I am probably one of the few people who had a PDA before I had a mobile phone! Since then I have had several, but I usually use each one for a few years. I normally wait until there is a significant technological advantage to me in having a new one. So the technological advantages that have caused me to upgrade to date are:

  • The introduction of a colour screen (even if it was only 256 colours!)
  • The ability to use the PDA as a mobile phone (and carry one less device)
  • The ability to use WiFi (I cannot live without it now!)

Finally, I suspect the next technological advantage that will cause me to upgrade will be a touch-screen, mainly because it will only require one of my hands. The fact that they look so slick is an added bonus :)

So what do I currently use? A black HTC P3600 (otherwise known as the Trinity) running Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0. HTC actually make a lot of the branded PDAs for other well known manufacturers. This is what it looks like:

HTC P3600

HTC P3600

I am not going to write a full review here, because there are already plenty of reviews online. Also, I do not think that it is still available to buy! Instead, what I will do is write about the features that I use most often, the useful applications that I have installed, and the bugs I have found in it that are not well documented anywhere else on the Internet!

Perhaps the single questions that I am asked most frequently about it is “Should I get one?“. My answer to this is always “Yes, if you are the sort of person that currently makes lists on paper and keeps a diary“.

In general, mobile phones and PDAs are devices that I have a strong personal interest in, and I have worked with them in the past in a professional capacity. So I expect to write about them a lot on this blog!

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