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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Droid Day Three; Copying my Music

Day One; First Impressions
Day Two; In Search of Apps

This is my 3rd day playing my new Motorola Droid and logging about my experience. By now you may have realized I never bothered to read any manual or instructions on using the Droid. As a UI freak I wanted to find out how intuitive the Droid User Interface Experience is.

I had hoped to spend today converting my schedule and contacts from my iTouch to the Droid. I decided I could miss some appointments as long as I had some good music to listen too.

droidmusic

The first step naturally was to connect the Droid to my PC using the included USB cable. I opened up Windows Explorer expecting to see a new drive appear or some other indication that a new device had been detected. As a long time Windows users I stared at the screen quite a while until I realized something was wrong.

Well, I confess, I did search online for help on this one. It was not intuitive. Turns out there was another secret hidden in the Notifications panel. When the USB cable is plugged in you can pull down the Notification menu and there it is; ”USB Connected Select to copy files from your computer”

droidusb

When you click on USB connected menu item you’ll see the following screen asking to “Mount” your Droid. I don’t know about you guys but this sounds like ancient computer terminology and doesn’t fit the into modern design. Would R2D2 ever Mount anything? I think not.

Droidusb1Once you click on “Mount” your Droid SD card will show up as a drive on your computer.

The next step again isn’t so obvious. You’ll see a folder for your Google GPS and your camera(DCIM) but there’s no Music folder. You’ll also find a folder named “data” which is used as a data cache similar to your Windows Temporary Internet Folder.

While you’re connected to the computer go ahead and create a folder named “Music” as a top level folder. Then you can just copy your music from the computer to your SD card used in the Droid. Support formats at this time include MP3, M4A, AMR,WMA (8), MIDI, WAV, OGG Vorbis.

You’ll also want to create folder named “Movies”.

When you’re done you’ll still want to (1) eject the drive to make sure all data has been safely written. After that you’ll still want to touch downward on your notifications panel to tell the Droid to (2) Turn off the USB storage.

droidusboffAnd when you touch this menu item you’ll still have one last step to (3) Turn Off, before you want to disconnect the cable. Is there a chance for data lose if you don’t follow all three steps? Probably not but that’s what Apple used to say when they first released the iPod.

droidusboff1

If you have a microSD connector or slot on your computer I’m sure you can also just remove your microSD card from your Droid and plug it in. You’ll still want to create a Movies and Music folder on the microSD chip.

As far as a music player the interface is very intuitive and straight forward. Having a speaker on the back panel provides much cleaner sound quality then my iTouch (rev2) and a much higher volume level.

For some reason I’m still a problem syncing up my album covers but there were only do many hours in the day. I suspect the reason almost all my songs display Jim Morrison's face is just a user error.

Thank you to every one who has contributed comments. I’m still committed to two more days of Droid Blogging and appreciate your participation.

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3 Comments:

Blogger John L. Galt said...

BillP,

Great write up so far regarding the DROID and its user interfaces.

re: The USB mount issue - there is an app for that (sorry, I had to parrot again - it kinda grows on ya, doesn't it?) Check out MountUSB, which you can place on your home screen as a one click solution for mounting the SDHC card as a USB device when connected to your computer via the MicroUSB to USB cable.

While on the subject of apps (I know, that was yesterday - still, these are very noteworthy) there are a couple that I think you will enjoy immensely, and a couple more that I think you might find ... intriguing, to say the least.

browser by 1nternet - a faster, better optimized browser for Android - with tabs - see http://www.androlib.com/android.application.com-jie-browser-izw.aspx

ASTRO file manager (formerly Bender) - exactly that, a file manager - see http://www.androlib.com/android.application.com-metago-astro-qzq.aspx

ConnectBot - Open Source SSH client - see http://www.androlib.com/android.application.org-connectbot-BDC.aspx

Listen - Listen to podcasts and streams directly on Android devices - straight outta Google Labs - see http://www.androlib.com/android.application.com-google-android-apps-listen-qqFj.aspx

Locale - Complete customization of your phone based upon certain criteria, called situations, that you set up, including, but not limited to, time of day, calendar events, GPS-enabled location checks, etc. This app also supports plugins for other apps and functions - see http://www.androlib.com/android.application.edu-mit-locale-zpC.aspx for the main app and see http://www.androlib.com/r.aspx?r=locale+plug-in for the plugins

Spare Parts - a more robust Android configuration tool, includes some 'hidden' settings in Android - see http://www.androlib.com/android.application.com-androidapps-spare_parts-qtm.aspx

I am still trying out apps and removing them if they don't pass muster, and I have many more, but these are the primary ones for now.

One more thing regarding the UI - a lot of people have made a big deal about using third party UI enhancements, to allow for things like one click Bluetooth and WiFi enabling / disabling, etc. There is actually an OS Widget that controls that, called Power Control - LongTouch the home screen in a blank area --> Widgets --> scroll down to Power Control. It puts a nice set of 5 one-click buttons combined into a single strip that control WiFi, BT, GPS, Sync, and Brightness (in 3 degrees dim, normal, and bright).

OK, that is all for me now. I think from here on out I am going to post as @nkyadav so you'll be able to link to me via Twitter as needed.

Cheers!

12:02 AM  
Blogger digitalzen said...

"Would R2D2 ever Mount anything? I think not."

I always wondered about him and C3PO.

8:21 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

There is one good point to not auto-mounting. When connected to a strange computer at the office simply to recharge, my files are isolated from whatever virus or corporate scanners might be on that machine.

9:35 AM  

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