Friday, November 27, 2009

How to sync iTunes with a Nokia N97 in Windows, perfectly

Following on from my previous post about how to make decent quality MP4 video files for the Nokia N97, Apple iPhone, iPod and so on, here now is my recommendation for the best and most reliable way to get your Windows-based iTunes music library to sync with a Nokia N97 (or any other Nokia S60 phone for that matter):

Use MediaSync for Windows, from Salling Software, which is free to try (and works fine in trial mode), and which only costs US$22 for the full version.

It is truly excellent. After running it with my N97 plugged into my Windows XP PC, I ended up with an exact clone of my iTunes music library on the N97. This includes all 3192 of my music collection's MP3 files having been automatically copied to my N97, using 16.4 GB total of the phone's internal mass storage.

Wonderfully, this also includes around 99% of the MP3 files' album artwork having been automatically converted to display correctly on the N97, which is a seriously tough thing to get to work right using any other sync method - including directly copying your MP3 files to the N97 yourself - just in case you weren't aware.

Additionally, all 104 of my iTunes playlists were automatically converted into .M3U format and copied onto the N97. The volume of each MP3 track appears to have been set to the optimum level for the N97 too, and certainly all the volume levels have been more-or-less equalised. Utterly, utterly brilliant!!

I hope that helps you as much as it helped me! :-)

Monday, November 23, 2009

How to make decent quality portable MP4 video files

I wanted to convert my DVD collection into MP4 video files on my Windows XP PC, for use on my Nokia N97 phone and my Apple iPod. It turned out to be quite a tricky job, because finding the right software tool to do the conversion work was not easy - there are so many different conversion products to choose from, and there is only so much time available to do this sort of thing. However, doing it right is, of course, of the utmost importance.

So, to save any of you out there having to go through the same trials and tribulations and time-consuming effort as I went through..... if you want to convert your DVDs into decent quality and decent sized portable files, here's what I found out:

After a great many false starts, I finally settled on Xilisoft DVD Ripper Platinum, because out of the seemingly hundreds of different DVD ripping products that are available, Xilisoft turned out to be the best for me. It is extremely good at what it does, and it is easy to use, reliable and reasonably priced.

It can convert any part of a DVD (the main feature, the special features, etc.) into any kind of video and/or audio format you like, such as MP4, MPEG, AVI, 3GP, 3G2 and so on. And it will convert and optimize for almost every type of portable video viewing device, such as the N97, iPod, iPhone, Sony PSP, HP iPAQ, Pocket PC, iRiver, Creative ZEN and most others. Genius!

So far I have converted 10 of my favourite DVDs into standard MP4 format, and it really is a great set of results - around 1 GB per full movie, with decent video and sound quality. In fact, it is a very good all-round balance of file size vs. quality, which is the eternal BIG issue for all of us digital media nuts, LOL! Job done!! :-)

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Problems with

My sincere apologies to everyone who likes to visit my site for the fact that it has been rather unreliable over the past 3 days or so.

The outages were a result of my hosting company ( suffering a major server failure in the second half of last week, which has only just now been fully resolved. Not good! Sorry.

Everything should be fine now, at last - hoorah! Thanks for your patience, you can fully enjoy the site once more.....

Friday, November 06, 2009

Disney's A Christmas Carol movie is released today

One of the posters for the 2009 movie "Disney's A Christmas Carol"

A new Disney movie version of Charles Dickens's classic 1843 story, "A Christmas Carol", is released worldwide today, following its premier in London three days ago.

The film is directed by Robert Zemeckis and stars Jim Carrey in a multitude of roles, including Ebenezer Scrooge as a young, middle-aged and old man, and the three Christmas Ghosts who haunt Scrooge. It is a 3D computer-animated movie produced using the process of "performance capture" (digitally recording the actions of human actors, and using that information to animate 3D character models), similar in style to two of Zemeckis's previous films, "The Polar Express" (2004) and "Beowulf" (2007).

Having watched a few of the trailers for it, I have to say it looks marvellous - a very different style of computer-animated movie compared to the others released this year.

Here are some great free Disney's "A Christmas Carol" online games for you to play (which also include some Disney's "A Christmas Carol" wallpaper backgrounds too):

  A Christmas Carol: Scrooge's Star Ride

  A Christmas Carol: Ghostly Adventure

  A Christmas Carol: Rooftop Surfer

  A Christmas Carol: Penny Pincher

As a bonus, here is a game based on Robert Zemeckis's 2004 3D computer-animated Christmas movie, "The Polar Express":

  The Polar Express Ticket Chase

And just in case you want to play even more movie-related online games, here are links to some collections of games based on other top family movies of the past 12 months:

Astro Boy online games

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince online games

Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs online games

Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen online games

Disney/Pixar's UP online games

Star Trek online games

Monsters vs. Aliens online games

Disney's Bolt online games

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa online games

You can find all these games, plus hundreds more, in the
Free Movie, Cartoon and TV Online Games Website. Enjoy! :-)