The mobile phone as an Mp3 player

Russell Beattie and many others have been talking about the mobile phone as a mp3player. To me this is nothing new at all. God since I first saw the Ericsson Mp3 attachment in early 2000, I always wanted one.

Ericsson T28 with Mp3 attachement

And I did end up buying one, I mean two. Now if you can get them on the market, they cost 25 pounds. It used MMC and came with 32 meg and a nasty card reader which would consume the mouse and keyboard ports for power. Thanks goodness for 8 in 1 card readers!

Anyway since the old ericsson days I've progressed onto the Microsoft Smartphone range. I wanted the Ericsson Bluetooth Mp3 Headset but there was no way I was going to get hoodwinked back into using Sony Memory stick, specially the Duo versions. I thought in advance that the SPV with large SD card could play not only music on the go but little movies if needed. And in that lies the issue.

The Bingo which Russell talks about is just that, with enough storage your mobile phone can be a great mp3 player. Maybe even better than the ipod? As Russell identified, why carry all your music with you when you can stream it on demand? Yes I know GPRS and 3G are expensive at the moment, but its getting cheaper plus there nothing stopping you from copying files over beforehand. Obviously there are those who disagree.

I wanted to go one step beyond Russell's argument. Most phones now have Bluetooth, hell some even have wifi now. How long have apple fans been screaming for Bluetooth or wifi in there ipods? Well I'm thinking Bluetooth with something simple like the file transfer stack or even some kind of mDNS (zero-conf) protocol on top of Bluetooth. Could open the door to p2p sharing or listening on the go… How interesting would that be. That regular train ride to work would be that more interesting. Think about toothing someones music collection while waiting for the train to Crystal Palace?

Oh by the way, Mark Eichin, makes a good comment about audioblogging. Don’t worry folks, there's no way I'm going audioblogging anytime soon…

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Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser. Can be found at, and