Sunday, September 06, 2009

Loving Up The iPhone

Finally made the switch from a dying T-Mobile Windows Mobile MDA Vario II, to the 16GB iPhone 3GS and it's awesome! This thing completely surpasses all expectations in performance, usability, speed and sheer number of applications available - there are far more applications than for Windows Mobile and they are so easy to get. The addictive nature of downloading to the iPhone, I think, would compare to the discovery of P2P file sharing.

Anyway, I was disappointed when I discovered (yes, lots of this is new to me) that I can't just dump files onto the iPhone like I can with the iPod (using it as an external HD, for example) or that ringtones cannot be selected from any music on the device. I did, though, find a very good page with instructions on how to do this. Originally written, then tidied up, for the iPhone 3G, this page is accurate for 3GS as the method is fairly generic;
In short, it goes like this:
  1. Get an audio file and edit to around 20-30 seconds
  2. Save as MPEG-4 (.m4a - see WavePad for easy converting)
  3. Change file extension to .m4r
  4. Drop into the Ringtones section of iTunes
  5. Sync Ringtones to your iPhone
The ringtones will now be available in the Sounds section of you iPhone's settings. Easy. There is more detail on the above link and a pointer to the site for even easier conversions, but manual conversion was my preference (and is really very easy.)

WavePad is available here:
On the other side of the coin, we have videos for the iPhone. As with iPod and iPod Touch, there are plenty of videos to purchase or stream (iPhone comes with a YouTube app) but what if you have a load of wmv's or avi's you want to just dump there? I would get the iPod/iPhone video converter Videora because it has all the "want that one" simple functions that you could need, while being fast and producing quality output. Then it's simply a case of syncing your iPhone to your videos (videora can auto-add conversions to iTunes' library or you can manually drop them onto the phone) to make them play on the iPhone.
Red Kawa, the makers of Videora, even have easy-to-use apps for making wallpapers for the iPhone, but with the wallpaper selector built in, I don't think those are necessary.

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