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Feature: VX8300 Accessory Guide

Monday, August 14, 2006

Convert Your MP3s to WMAs

The LG VX-8300 has great utility as a music player. Unfortunately, Verizon did not include default support for MP3 format music. There's a lot of talk about how to enable MP3 playback (which I will cover in a later article), and a lot of people do so without first weighing their options. Until Verizon changes the LG VX-8300 to support MP3s by default, I'd recommend to instead convert your MP3s to WMA format. Here's why:


This is what your music collection will look like if you use MP3s. An unordered list of every song you have stored on your phone. It is only sorted by filename, so you can't search by artist or album, or song...


If you use WMA music files, on the other hand, this is what your collection looks like. By going to Tunes & Tones > Manage Music, you are presented with a full featured music organizer. Search through your songs, or browse by artist, album, or even genre. Plus, using this application, your external display will display song information, instead of the ugly brown spectrograph that the MP3 player provides.

But what if you music collection on your computer is in MP3 format. Well, it's easy enough to convert to WMA. I use this free application.

54 Comments:

Anonymous Ted said...

Thanks for the tips.

8:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I second Ted's kudos for all the tips - "they're great".

Question - do you know of any way to make the "Manage Music" menu item one of the 4 shortcuts?

10:25 AM  
Blogger Andy M. said...

Sorry, I wish I could do this as well, but don't think it's possible. What I did instead is made Tunes and Tones my right shortcut, and I've found it pretty easy to press Right-7 in a quick sequence. (7 is the menu number of Manage Music)

12:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

By doing this, you can't hear them through a bluetooth stereo heaadset. Is this correct?

5:55 PM  
Blogger Andy M. said...

I'm not entirely sure, but if not, I hear the new firmware release (free soon from Verizon) will improve Bluetooth support.

6:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

>the music library will have your wmas from your sd card in it too right?

12:20 PM  
Blogger Andy M. said...

Yeah, as long as they're in your my_music folder. Give it a try.

1:18 PM  
Anonymous jpgee said...

You know a way I can get the phone to establish a blutooth connection (i.e. using A2DP), to send music back over to my computer or my stereo to play back music through these devices (note: my stereo does have a bluetooth linkup reciever)

Is it as easy as adding the device to the bluetooth list on the phone and enabling it...?

--I'd love to have this phone become my ipod.

3:12 PM  
Blogger Andy M. said...

This might work, as the phone works with stereo headphones, but I can't say for sure. I'm actually not sure if it uses the A2DP profile at all, though.

11:17 PM  
Anonymous jpgee said...

Yep, a bit of research at Verizon and some 'review' websites will show that it supports A2DP. e.g. http://www.mobiledia.com/reviews/lg/vx8300/page6.html .

But interestingly, I found a review that states stereo audio does not work with the vcast music player, i.e. http://www.infosyncworld.com/reviews/n/6908.html

I'm looking to find out why that is and how to work around it...

10:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, maybe a stupid question, but can someone tell me just how i go about transferring my WMAs from my PC to the 8300 phone? DO i need to buy some special adapter from Verizon? Hope not. I do have a microSD card as well as a USB reader for this microSD card. Are these enough?

12:08 PM  
Blogger Andy M. said...

Just use your card reader to put your WMAs in the my_music folder on your microSD card. If that folder doesn't exist, and the card is empty, first format the card in your phone, as described in the VX8300 user manual.

2:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just got a Moto DC800 and paired it to my computer and my headphones but when i pair it to my 8300,the phone resets. Any ideas?

10:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just upgraded to v02 (see the instructions and links on Howardsforum). There is now no longer a "7. Manage Music" option on "Get Tunes and Flix" - rather, the "My Music" now takes you to the screen that used to be "7. Manage Music". And, here's the good new, you can NOW make the "My Music" a shortcut.

Eventually Verizon will be upgrading all 8300s to v02 (if you bring it in to the store). But, if you can't wait, you can do it yourself if you follow the good instructions on HowardForums.

6:30 PM  
Anonymous jpgee said...

Okay, found a lot of discussion on stereo audio
and the 8300 (on howards forum). After reading
through almost all of it, the rundown is as follows:

Many people have been successful pairing headphones
and getting stereo audio. The majority of these are
using the Motorola the ht820s. Many have been
unsuccessful too... These people are using a variety
of different headphones.

The thinking is that A2DP was disabled by verizon
(there are various "researched":accounts' of this on
the forum) --Even though A2DP is listed in many
places as being a feature of the phone!

...and there is also talk about Verizon re-enabling
this (but I wouldn't hold my breath considering how
much Verizon tries to milk money out of subscribers).

Some people are assuming that another bluetooth
protocol is being used by the phone for stereo audio
(i.e. not A2DP) and that Moto is the one working
exclusively with Verizon, using this proprietary protocol...
Nothing like this has ever been announced by Verizon
or Moto, however.

Lastly, MP3 seems to have stereo, WMA, seems
not to... but admittedly, I need to verify this.

8:43 PM  
Blogger SpinDr said...

With Windows Media Player 10 and my phone connected via a USB cable, WMP will automatically convert all MP3s to WMA files when synching with my phone. I was surprised how convenient this was.

First, you need to connect your phone to your computer. Open WMP 10. Then go to (on your phone) Get It Now/Get Tunes & Tones/Synch Music and activate it. Next, hit the synch button on WMP and viola! All of your WMAs will be copied and all MP3s should get converted.

7:02 AM  
Anonymous Alan said...

Very helpful site! I haven't found any way to convert audio files to WMA format on a Mac. Any leads?

12:11 PM  
Blogger Andy M. said...

I haven't tested any, but perhaps one of these will work?
Try searching this and other shareware/freeware sites.

3:28 PM  
Anonymous Alan said...

Those sites didn't provide much help.

However, I found this info at the Apple forum:

http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?messageID=2512551�
****************************************************
I got my Micro SD card today so I was finally able to test the full functionality of the music player on the VX8300. There are a lot of qwirks when it comes to putting files on the phone and it turns out you can only put MP3 files on the card by using a card reader, you can't do it directly to the phone. The MP3 files have to go in a separate directory called "MP3" whereas the WMA files go in a directory called "Music" or "My Music" (I forget).

They also have completely different player capabilities for the two formats. The player for the WMA files is very basic, you can play/pause/FF/REW/Next/Prev/Mute, and there is a small progress bar and timer on the screen as well as a volume bar. The MP3 player offers the same functionality but has a great graphic EQ that fills the screen on both the inside and outside displays. You can also Shuffle, Repeat One or Repeat All, everything you need in an MP3 player.

The way you navigate the files is different too for WMAs vs. MP3s, and my personal preference is definitely for the MP3 functionality. It looks like a lot more effort went into it, which is rather odd since MP3 functionality is turned off by default with no way to turn it on unless you find the secret code sequence. There is also no mention of MP3 support in any of the manuals, only WMA, and they claim that you have to use the VCAST software (basically a mod to the Windows Media Player). This is a crappy way to put files on the phone and automatically converts them to WMA files during the process which is very time consuming.

Bottom line, if you already have your files in MP3 format, screw the VCAST software and WMA files, just load the files using a separate card reader and put them in the MP3 directory. If your files are in WMA format, you will probably use them as-is, but it might be worth converting them to MP3 due to the functionality differences. Audio quality on the built in speakers is pretty good overall, with no noticable quality difference between formats assuming that the original files are of similar quality.
****************************************************
This seems to conflict with Andy's experience. Could this mean that the newer phones have better MP3 software? As a Mac user, I'm definitely leaning toward MP3s. My phone should arrive this week.

1:33 PM  
Blogger Andy M. said...

No, as you can see from my tutorial, the WMA player is far superior to the MP3 player. The person who wrote this apparently hasn't found the "Manage Music" player, as described above. Word has it, however, that the upcoming firmware for the VX8300 has MP3 support by default, in fact, the crappy MP3 player with the "great graphic equalizer" has been done away with and MP3s have been enabled in the WMA player.

11:16 PM  
Anonymous Alan said...

What's your understanding of when the new firmware will be available? Will we be able to upload it ourselves to the phone? Are you saying that the same player will then play both WMA files and MP3 files?

7:14 AM  
Anonymous Mike M said...

If all the visual and organizational reasons don't convince you to convert your mp3's over to wma's, maybe this will. Take a look at a the typical size of a CD in mp3 format, Radiohead's Amnesiac is 60.1mb according to windows file explorer. When converted over to wma format the CD slims down to 40.4mb! For those of you like me who don't have a lot of space (picked up a 512mb card for cheap) size is very important and is the reason I finally switched even though it's a little more of a hassle to convert each CD.

10:40 AM  
Blogger Andy M. said...

Alan: The V02 Firmware has actually leaked and you can install it yourself. Join howardforums.com and search for this post "VX8300: How to upgrade/downgrade your firmware W/Pics".

Mike: I usually find that WMAs sound best at similar bitrates to MP3s (around 128kbps or better), in which case they take up around the equivalent amount of space.

11:56 AM  
Anonymous Mike M said...

Yeah i guess I took for granted that most of my mp3's are encoded at 192 which is important to me while on the computer. I can sacrifice a little disk space for better quality. On the phone, however, I don't mind reducing it to 128 if it means I can jam a little more on the micro-sd.

8:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aargh...help!! So, I converted my songs to WMA format, but when i put the card back in the phone and go to "manage music", only about 75% of the songs show up and play. When I look under "my music", ALL the songs are there, BUT, the ones that don't show up in "manage music" come up as "PLAYER ERROR: music is not available"...???
Has this happened to anyone else? I don't get what is going on?
Also, what format parameter are people using for their songs with the wma converter? I've been using the first one (WMA9, 192kbps, 49KHz, stereo, CBR)...maybe I'm using the wrong one?
HELP! thanks!

8:26 PM  
Blogger Andy M. said...

I've gotten lots of questions about issues like this, and unfortunately, they're hard to diagnose without just trying lots of different settings. For what it's worth, I think I've been converting at 44KHz.

10:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm having troulbe finding how to play my MP3's through my Moto H500 headset. Can it be done?

6:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Andy...I'm the one who was having problems with "player error"...I switched to 44kHz,128kbps and all my songs are now playing with no problems!!

8:48 PM  
Anonymous Riccardo said...

Two (more) challenges:

I've tranferred a few CDs-worth of MP3s to WMA files using the free converion utility mentioned here, and put them in a my_music folder on the microSD card.

I'm converting from MP3/vbr to WMA 128kbps/44kHz, and saving to a local folder b4 I copy to the card.

The MP3s started out in an iTunes music folder, and each had pretty complete ID3 tag info associated with each.

1. When I view the library on the phone under Tunes & Tones > Manage Music, the files that are present show up with no genre, artist, album info at all. Any thoughts?

2. Some of the tunes I converted don't show up at all, even though they're on the card when viewed in Windows Explorer. And some of the tunes are damaged...with drop out and other distortion that was not present in the original MP3. Any thoughts?

I've not determined yet if the dropout/distortion is being introduced by the conversion program or not. If the converted files on the PC are fine...and only the copies on the SD card are hosed, I supposed I could re-format the card and try again.

It's also possible the the files on the card are fine if played on the PC via WMplayer...and only hosed when the phone tries to play them.

I'll look into that, and post any relevant info.

4:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you are waiting to buy a mSD card, you can still put a few wma's on the phone using BitPim.

Connect via BT, navigate to File System, my_music and copy over a wma or 2. Sound quality is great, just wish I could play wma's using the front buttons.

8:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bought a 2.5 to 3.5 mm adapter so I can play WMAs through wired accessories (earbuds, FM xmitter etc.)
BUT I only get right channel sound, and when I plug into the phone, the CONTACT(!) list comes up on the front display.
I suspect it thinks I plugged in a 2way earpiece, and that the left ch. is waiting for mic. input.
Is there some trick wiring in the earbuds that Verizon sells, and can I duplicate it to make the phone jack put out stereo sound???

6:47 PM  
Blogger Andy M. said...

Riccardo: (1) Can you verify using another program that iTunes is actually saving ID3 tags to the MP3s, and not just saving the information in its internal database? Also check your WMAs in Windows Media Player to see if they're tagged. (2) WMAs with file names that are too long will not show up in the media player, but there are also other as-of-yet undetermined causes of this problem, too.

Anonymous #1: Hold down the play button for a few seconds to start it, assuming they are still set to the VCAST shortcut.

Anonymous #2: You'll need to find a 3.5mm to 2.5mm adapter with three black bands, not two (the phone uses an extra conductor for the microphone). Once you get this, you have to push it in not quite all the way (it will still be snug, however). If you have an adapter with only two black bands, you can try pulling it out partially, but it falls out easily and I believe you will only hear mono sound, but through both channels.

2:38 AM  
Anonymous Grant said...

WMA vs MP3. Size isn't really the issue as was mentioned, equivalently encoded songs (bitrate) are roughly equivalent. WMA format gives you the manage music option (library functions) but no equalizer so all songs are flat. MP3 format means I don't have to convert all my songs to wma and make sure I choose an appropriate bit rate to not loose sound qulaity and I get the equalizer, which given the sound processing capabilites of the phone makes a huge difference. I'll take better sound over a music manager any day.

12:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i put about 60 songs on my phone and only 40 of them are played the other ones you scould see on the list but when i try to play them it says music is unavailable wat do i do?

4:24 PM  
Anonymous kvadim said...

i put my WMAs into my_music folder of the phone using bitpim. i dont have a sdcard yet so i had to convert them using 32kbps, 22khz settings which sound fine for me. so now i can enjoy my favorite songs. thanks for the tips!

P.S. i coulnd make it play MP3s though, but who cares

11:15 PM  
Anonymous Troy said...

All righty then. I bought this phone just recently and have been playing around with the music capabilities. I havn't found a way to make my wireless logitech headset to work with the WMA formated player. It does however work with the MP3 player. Everytime I switch over to the WMA player it plays through the speakers on the phone itself. Any ideas? suggestions?

7:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello, can someone tell me why when i put WMA files under my music on the card and then put it in my phone will it read my MP3's but wont recongnize my WMA's??? Thx

12:59 PM  
Anonymous Mike M said...

[Quote - "i put about 60 songs on my phone and only 40 of them are played the other ones you scould see on the list but when i try to play them it says music is unavailable wat do i do?"]

I had the same problem for a while and fixed it by shortening the length of the song's title. If the name of the song is something like "Aphex Twin - Selected Ambient Works Vol. 2 - 01 - xtal.wma" it wouldn't play, however if I shortened it to "Aphex Twin - Xtal.wma" it would play just fine.

9:50 AM  
Anonymous Brian Velkavrh said...

I used the convertor suggested on a couple of mp3's. Works very well, meat and potatoes, no fluff!

?, Do you know how to get album art to appear in the WMA file thru the Vcast music player, like the songs that are purchased directly thru Verizon. I updated the id3 tag of an mp3 w/ a pic before I converted it to WMA, but had no luck.

Any suggestions?

THX

4:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

is there any way that I can make my music I put on my vx8300 and use them as ring tones?

4:04 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

"Free Mp3 Wma Converter 1.4" program is only compatible with Windows. Is there an alternative for Mac's? mark

7:03 PM  
Anonymous Chris said...

Hi All. Just a quick comment about A2DP. I just picked up the Sony Ericson HBH-DS970 wireless earbuds. Very cool indeed. If you are using WMAs on this phone, the music plays through the speakers even when the headphones are on. MP3 files on the other hand work fine. Not sure if this is the case for all A2DP devices but it would seem so.

Also note that if you try to play a music track using the this headset and there are no MP3s files in memory, the phone goes into an infinite loop trying to start the track. I had to pop off the batter to reboot!

7:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Playing any kind of music on this phone sucks. I've been pissing around for a month. I converted mp3s with the converter you recommended and it starts, adds 1 song to a "library" and won't advance to the next. I don't have Verizon's $40 software so I can't organize the wmas. I set it to play mp3s, made the directory, and see... NOTHING! I should have bought the RAZR iTunes model. This is making me crazy. Any tips are welcome. If not, I have a phone for sale.

DG

1:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, my bad. The mp3s work when I set the outside play button to play mp3s. *But let me clarify: mp3s DO NOT show up under "Get Tunes and Tones". All the wmas are only in there.

Do you have to buy their proprietary software to organize music? I was told by the saleswoman that you could download it. nice pitch and I bought it!

DG

1:28 PM  
Blogger Andy M. said...

DG, if you have a V01 version of the phone (the original firmware), your mp3s will be accessible under a different menu under Tunes & Tones: "My MP3s"

7:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does WMA files on the phone have an equalizer with a repeat function?

Thanks for all of your help on this website!

2:54 PM  
Anonymous rob said...

well i recently got this phone and im having serious issues with my music on my sd card.i converted about 40 mp3s to wmas and used my card reader to put them on my sd card.for some reason and this happend with my mp3s as well,only about 20 of the songs show up.i cant figure out for the life of me why.if anyone knows i would really appreciate it.

11:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Same problem here with the phone not showing 25% of my songs when they were converted to WMA (64kbs, 44khz, CBR). Someone posted that if the song's name is too long, it'll show up as an error when trying to play it in "My Music," which is happening to me. Also, those songs don't even show up in "Manage Music." I'm going to try to shorten the names. - Mike

6:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I shorten the filenames and, voila, all of the songs are playable. N.B. The tags on a few songs from an album showed up as "unknown." So i modified the tags in WinMediaPlayer. When I put them back into the phone, no change. Weird. So i reformatted the microSD while in the phone, took it out and recopied the songs via my computer, put it back in the phone, and now the correct artist shows up. Very Weird. - Mike

6:30 AM  
Anonymous WolfNRose said...

Re: size of MP3 vs. WMA:

This is entirely a configuration issue, folks... you are supposed to SET that bitrate when you do the conversion. At the same bitrate, I think MP3 sounds better, but that's just me.

8:23 PM  
Anonymous WolfNRose said...

Re: WMA vs. MP3 choices:

First off, WMA files on my phone DO NOT work under the "manage music" menu, as others have noted. ALL of the WMA music I loaded comes up as "unknown" genre, artist, etc. I checked the files back on the PC, and all tags seem present (?). I have V01 firmware.

Second, MP3 files get a great equalizer, better sound to start with, a choice of repeat modes, a properly working "select" button if I want to play *that* song I've highlighted, and MANY other advantages. The WMA player *SUCKS* in comparison. Since my music is currently in MP3 format, non-conversion is nice too.

IF the "manage" option above worked for WMA, it would be the ONLY advantage to WMA on this phone. Since it doesn't, HANDS DOWN I'd use MP3!!!

8:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, just got the phone, it works really well. However, the album art on the phone after i synced it to my pc doesn't display anymore like it used to. Is it a media player problem, or the phone?

5:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if you convert the mp3's to wma's, can you still use the same process when enabling the music setting? because theres a process for enabling the mp3s, i was just wondering if you had to do something different for the wmas?

6:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey andy,

is there some sort of song limit on the v03 firmware? im using a 1 gig card and a couple hundred songs or so... when i click reinitialize library, it only catalogs 110 of them. ive tried connecting the problem to different bitrates or ID3v1 vs ID3v2 tags but both the cataloged and the non-cataloged songs contain various settings so im stumped. these are mp3 files and they play fine, but not having them in the library (aka not being properly sorted) is annoying. any tips would be cool.

5:28 PM  


I've enjoyed responding to your hundreds of comments, but I've finally decided to disable comment posting now that I've created a better alternative. Please use the VX8300 forums for any further questions, where they'll me answered by me, or any number of other helpful VX8300 users.

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