Saturday, April 08, 2006

T-Mobile SDA Reviews. Smartphones Reviews by CNET.

T-Mobile SDA Reviews. Smartphones Reviews by CNET.

So, I have been saying years that I'm waiting for the killer mobile device that had Edge, Wi-Fi, larger storage capacity, Windows Mobile 5 and support for my subscription media content (from AOL Music Now of course). On paper, the T-Mobile SDA is the holy grail.... and in fact, it's close. But inevitably, Microsoft has screwed the pooch with a frustrating bug (WMP Error Code 80070428) that leaves me in limbo.

For some inexblicable reason, the commercially deployed version of Windows Mobile 5.0 has a bug that only allows 25 WMDRM-protected tracks to be synced. If you check out the error message above, you'll see that Microsoft has basically washed their hands of the problem saying "we sent an update to your carrier". After going through 3 escalations on T-Mobile's support line (inevitabely making it to their India call center - where all the technical knowledge resides), I was told "sorry, we don't have the update - and have no idea when we'll get it or deploy it". Great. Followed up with an email, and this is the workaround I was given:



Thank you for contacting T-Mobile. We understand the frustration when you try to synchronize your SDA, you get Windows Media Player error .We will get it addressed for you today.

Unfortunately, we do not know when the update of Windows Mobile 5.0 will be available. You may find the information on our website whenever it is available. However, you may like to synchronize your files using the following procedure in the mean time:

NOTE: Backing up a file on your computer creates two separate versions of that file. Changes made to one file will not be reflected in the other.

  1. Plug the USB cable into the sync connector port on the bottom of your device.
  2. Plug the other end into a USB port on your computer. You will receive an audio alert when a connection is established.
  3. In ActiveSync on your computer, click Explore to open the Mobile Device folder.

Do one of the following: To copy the file to a location on your device, right-click the file and click Copy. Right-click the folder you want to move it to under Mobile Device and click Paste.

To copy the file to your personal computer, right-click the file and click Copy. Right-click the folder on your personal computer and click Paste.

For additional information on the T-Mobile services and features your SDA supports, please visit http://support.t-mobile.com/productSelector.html. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at 1 (800) 937-8997 or reply to this email. In addition, please visit http://support.t-mobile.com/faq.html? to browse most frequently asked questions.

We appreciate your business.

Sincerely,
Bairoo
Rep ID: 43527
Technical Care Specialist
T-Mobile USA

Now, I haven't tried this yet, although it sounds painful. I don't beleive that any of the licenses will sync at the end of my billing period, thus causing me to delete and recopy over my songs? Not sure yet, I'll try it and see what happens.

A couple of other minor issues:

  1. For some reason my WiFi connection has been spotty - although I think the problem is on my router side, and not the phone
  2. Microsoft and/or T-Mobile has decided to hide the Java Midlet Manager application - therefore once I downloaded the Java version of Google Maps (a MUST have - www.google.com/glm) I couldn't find it again. I ended up having to "unhide all files" in the File Manager app, then find and create a shortcut to jmm.exe

Other than what I mentioend above (and potentially $80 wasted on a 2GB miniSD card that now holds a whopping 25 songs), the phone actually is pretty damn sweet. Although, it has taken me a few days to get it working in the way I desired. But, watching an episode of The Office that I recorded on my Media Center PC (via Orb - www.orb.com) delivered at 130kbps (over Edge) was actually highly watchable, and indeed very cool.

All in all... the SDA is not quite ready for primetime, but when it is, it will be a big star.

4 comments:

SDAUser said...

Every time you connect your phone to the PC, a few (10-25) additional files will sync. So by connecting and disconnecting the phone repeatedly, you can syn as many files as you want.

J said...

Yeah, I figured that out too, but it's still a major pain. I'm hoping for a firmware update sometime soon.

s said...

regarding how to access java applets.. you can reprogram some of your sda buttons to open the java applet manager.. it is located in the windows folder, jmm.exe.

to reprogram the buttons, look up tmobile sda faq v2.0 on google. it will point to howardforums... on there you'll find instructions on how to reprogram any of the round buttons on the front, or the camera or comm mgr button.. I've reprogrammed the red tmobile button as the comm button, the back button as my task manager, the play button to my slingbox, the forward button to my todo list, and the original comm mgr button (on the side) as my java applets button).

sean said...

Thanks J. Maps is now working well on my SDA thanks to this post. Be well.