On Wednesday, “Apple, along with partners Cingular Wireless and Motorola, launched ROKR E1, the first mobile phone with Apple’s hugely popular iTunes software built in. It was regarded as the worst-kept secret in technology. My quick first impression is it’s a snazzy device. But as with all cell phones, its value will meet its truest test over time,” Edward C. Baig reports for USA Today.
“The 3.8-ounce candy-bar-shaped ROKR bears little resemblance to any iPod models. It is not white. There is no click wheel. The Motorola and Cingular logos are prominent, but Apple’s is nowhere to be seen,” Baig writes. “The most obvious giveaway of the phone’s iTunes roots is a key with a musical note situated just to the left and above a tiny navigational joystick. Press that key, and Apple’s iTunes software loads on the phone. You can use the joystick to easily move through the main iTunes menu (showing play lists, artists, albums and songs). You can also randomly shuffle the order of the tunes you play back. You must already have or install the latest version of iTunes on a PC or Macintosh. It’s through the software that you can buy and download 99-cent songs from the iTunes Music Store and create play lists. Or you can copy your own CDs.”
“When I connected ROKR via USB to my iBook, a window appeared on the computer screen. I was given the option to automatically have the software randomly select 100 songs from my iTunes library of more than 3,000 to transfer to the phone. I was able to have the software choose songs I had rated more highly. Unfortunately, my Mac froze during this process,” Baig reports. “I was pleased with the way songs on the device played. For a relatively small device, ROKR has two external surround-sound speakers that are fairly robust. The phone reverberates as it plays back songs. If available, you can peek at album art as the music plays… By selecting ‘airline mode,’ you can listen to music with the phone off during a flight… The companies have hinted that better music phones are coming. You’ll have to read tea leaves to try to sniff out the details.”
Full article here.
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