Managing Media Files in BlackBerry Curve

In This Chapter

Using your BlackBerry Curve as a flash drive
Exploring and using Roxio
The ways that you can get your hands on media constantly evolve. Ten years ago, who would have thought that you could buy music from a tiny card or from an “all you can download” monthly subscription?
Someday, you’ll wake up with a technology that doesn’t require you to constantly copy media files to your handheld music player. But for now, enjoying music while on the move means managing these files.
Media, the BlackBerry application on your Curve, is a great music player, but without music files, it’s as useless as a guitar without strings. And to satisfy your quest for mobile media satisfaction, this chapter gives you good information on ways to manage your media files.
This chapter is for PC users. BlackBerry Desktop Manager for Mac is not yet released at the time of writing, so it will not be covered in this chapter.

Working with Media Files

To acquire media files for your BlackBerry Curve, there are as many choices as there are ice cream flavors. The succeeding sections describe the most common ways.

Using your Curve as a flash drive

The most common way of manipulating media files into and out of your Curve is to attach it to a PC and use Windows Explorer:
1. Connect your BlackBerry to your PC, using the USB cable that came with your Curve.
Only folders and files stored on the microSD will be visible to your PC. Make sure to have the microSD card in your BlackBerry Curve before you connect your Curve to the PC.
When connected, the Curve screen displays a prompt for enabling mass storage mode.
2. On the Curve screen, select Yes.
A screen appears on your Curve, asking for your password.
3. On the Curve screen, type your BlackBerry password.
The device is now ready to behave like an ordinary flash drive. On your PC, the Removable Disk dialog box opens.
4. On your PC, in the Removable Disk dialog box, click Open Folder to View Files and then click OK.
This opens the familiar Windows Explorer screen.
5. Manipulate your media files as you want.
You can do anything you typically do with a normal Windows folder, such as drag and drop, copy, and delete files.
6. Close Windows Explorer when you’re finished.


Meet and greet BlackBerry Desktop Media Manager

Roxio is known for its CD-ripping software. (Ripping converts music files in CD format to other popular compressed formats.) RIM licensed a portion of Roxio and packaged it with BlackBerry Desktop Software. Even though this version doesn’t offer the entire Roxio software suite, you can still take advantage of fantastic features, such as
Ripping CDs
Converting files to get the best playback on your Curve
Managing music files
Syncing media files to your device
If you have an old version of Media Manager, just point your desktop Internet browser to http://na.blackberry.com/eng/services/desktop for directions on downloading the latest version for free and installing it on your PC.
In the following sections, we show you the Media Manager interface and how to copy a video file onto your Curve.


Accessing Media Manager

You can access Media Manager through BlackBerry Desktop Manager, which Chapter 16 describes in detail. Get to Desktop Manager this way:
1. On your PC, click the Windows Start button.
2. Choose All Programs BlackBerry Desktop Manager.
BlackBerry Desktop Manager appears, as shown in Figure 15-1.
Access Media Manager here.
Figure 15-1:
Access Media Manager here.
3. Click the Media icon.
A screen appears, showing Media Manager and BlackBerry Media Sync sections. Each section has a Start button.
4. In the Media Manager section, click the Start button.

The initial Media Manager screen is well organized and gives you the following options:

• Manage Pictures
• Manage Music
• Manage Videos
• View Connected Devices
5. Click one of the options.
Other features of Media Manager
Spend some time exploring Media Manager. It has interesting features you may find useful. Here’s a quick rundown of what you can do with Media Manager:
Import media files ‘ E-mail media files
Enhance photos and apply special effects to photos by using PhotoSuite
Set song info (such as title, artist, album, genre, year, or an image) to show as track art when playing a song
Record audio

Customize photo printing

The Media Manager screen (shown in Figure 15-2) is easy to use, plus it has the same interface as Windows Explorer:
The left side is where you navigate to your folders and files.
The right side displays the files in the folder you selected from the left side.
View your media files on this screen.
Figure 15-2:
View your media files on this screen.
The top section looks the same as the bottom section. The top half — My Media — represents your desktop; the bottom — My Devices — represents your Curve. You can move or copy files easily. When you’re copying, for example, one section can be the source, and the other section, the destination. By simply dragging the files between the two sections, you can copy on the same screen. Neat, right?

Importing media files to Media Manager

Here’s a quick and easy way to import media files:
1. In Windows Explorer, navigate to find the media files you want.
2. Drag and drop the files into Media Manager.
You can drag and drop files to the folder in the left part of the screen (where the folder tree appears) or to the right part (where the files are listed). Just make sure that when you’re doing the latter, the current folder in the tree view is the folder where you want the media files to be imported.
You can also use Media Manager to locate the files you want without going through Windows Explorer. The trick is to change the view to Folders. Check out the two tabs at the upper left. The first tab, My Media, is the default view. The Folders tab, just to the right of My Media, bears an icon of (go figure) a folder.
Click the Folders tab. You see a tree view, but this time, it looks exactly like you see it in Windows Explorer, as shown in Figure 15-3. The files can be on your local hard drive or in a network folder accessible by your desktop computer.
Navigate to your desktop media files here.
Figure 15-3:
Navigate to your desktop media files here.
Not all media file types are directly compatible with your Curve. This is especially true for video files. But Media Manager can convert most media files to a usable Curve format.

Adding a media file to your Curve

Time to copy files to your Curve. Here’s the rundown:

1. Connect your Curve to your PC, using the USB cable that came with your BlackBerry.
2. On the Media Manager screen, drag and drop your media files from the My Media view to any folder in My Devices.
You can drag and drop an entire album. After dropping a media file, you’re prompted to convert the file to a format that’s usable by your Curve, as shown in Figure 15-4.
Choose to convert your media files for optimum playback.
Figure 15-4:
Choose to convert your media files for optimum playback.
3. Select a conversion option:
• Convert for Optimal Playback: This is the safest bet and is the default. This option is applicable to video files where the converter makes sure that the video fits perfectly with Curve’s screen resolution.
• Copy with No Conversion: Copies the file faster. The file is copied to your Curve as is, but it might not play on your Curve.
• Advanced Conversion Options: From here, another screen lets you downgrade the quality to minimize the file size. It also allows you to crop video so that the entire screen is filled instead of seeing dark margins.
4. Click OK to begin the transfer.

Synchronizing with iTunes using BlackBerry Media Sync

If you have an iPod, you’re probably using iTunes and maintaining a playlist and perhaps a subscription to podcasts or videocasts. Podcast files are downloaded to iTunes using RSS. (RSS — Really Simple Syndication — is a kind of digital file publish-subscribe mechanism. This is the mechanism iTunes uses to receive audio and video recordings, which most people refer to as podcasts and videocasts, respectively.)

To sync your Curve with iTunes, follow these quick and easy steps:

1. Click the Windows Start button.
2. Choose All Programs BlackBerry Desktop Manager.
3. When BlackBerry Desktop Manager appears (refer to Figure 15-1), click the Media icon.
A screen appears, showing Media Manager and BlackBerry Media Sync sections. Each section has a Start button.
4. In the BlackBerry Media Sync section, click the Start button.
In the dialog box that appears (such as the one shown in Figure 15-5), click the double-chevron icon in the lower left of the window to display options for the section of iTunes you want to synchronize.
The BlackBerry Media Sync screen.
Figure 15-5:
The BlackBerry Media Sync screen.
5. Click the Show iTunes Playlist icon (lower left).
A selection of what you have in iTunes appears, as shown in Figure 15-6. This is the part of the screen where you choose iTunes media file types.
6. Select the iTunes media you want copied to your Curve.
7. Click the Sync button.
There you go. You see a progress bar showing the synchronization of the media files from iTunes.

Downloading sounds

RIM offer a Web site from which you can sample and download new ring tones, alarms, notifiers, and tunes. On your Curve, simply go to http:// mobile.blackberry.com.
On this page, scroll down to the Personalize section, and click the Ringtones link. A list of available ring tones will be displayed. And did we mention that they’re free?
Choose your iTunes media here.
Figure 15-6:
Choose your iTunes media here.
Clicking the ring tone link gives you an option to either play it or download to your Curve. Downloaded ring tones are filed in the My Ring Tones section when you open the Ring Tones inside the Media application.
RIM isn’t the only site where you can find ring tones. The Web is a treasure trove, and ring tones and other media files are safe to download, so go hunting.
And the best place to find BlackBerry-related software — including ring tones — is to visit the ever-growing BlackBerry community on the Web. Check out
http://crackberry.com, http://blackberrycool.com, and http: // blackberryreview. com, to name a few.

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