iPhone 3G: Is it worth the hype

The short answer here is yes but that’s not why I’m writing this, I was the first of my friends to put down and get the new iPhone 3G and now everyone asks me what I think and should they get one. This is a short review and FAQ for those people thinking about asking me the same questions.

The new iPhone is the same as the old one in most parts. The main improvements are the speed of data (with 3G) and GPS support. You can get almost all the apps on the old iPhone after you update to the 2.0 software.

The phone is major improvement in my books. I held off the original because a phone that relies so much on the Internet should at least have 3G. Now the phone has that I was willing to stick by my word and buy it.

Now I’ve said that let me answer the most popular questions I get asked.

Do you regret buying it? No it’s a fantastic phone. I truly love it.

Should I buy it? Yes if you’re looking for a phone on contract and can afford it. Although don’t get the £30 a month O2 contract it’s not worth it.

Will the iPhone be on pay as you go? Yes around December O2 will be offering the iPhone on pay and go for around £500 – £700.

Make MP3s into iTunes Audiobooks

Normally when you download free audiobooks they are in the MP3 format, which is not bookmarkable and iTunes treats it as music. To get them into and iTunes Audiobook format is easier than you think.

For the purpose of this guide I will asume your book is spilt into parts, if yours isn’t you can skip to 3.

  1. First you need to get those files merged together in one file, to do this I use a sound editor. Import your MP3s and add them to a track lining them up in order with no gaps.
  2. Now export these as a low qualty MP3 file, an audiobook is only spoken word so 64Kbps is more than enough.
  3. Add your file to iTunes
  4. Change your Import settings. Go to edit > Preferences > Advanced > Importing and change “Import Using” to “AAC Encoder”, chnage”Settings” to “Custom” and “Stereo Bit Rate” to “64Kbps”. Your setting should look like the image below (click to enlarge)
  5. Right click the ‘song’ in iTunes and select “Convert Selection to AAC”.
  6. When this is completed right the new ‘song’ and click “Show in Windows Explorer”
  7. Rename this file “.m4b” and add it to iTunes again.

Once your done done you can delete all the MP3 version of the book you have.

The World is Flat Free Audiobook

Thomas L. Friedman’s book The World is Flat, 3.0 is avaliable as a free audiobook on his site, all you’ve got to do is sign up for his email newsletter and wait a while and you’ll get an email with a link to go download the 3 parts in DRM free MP3’s.

Once you’ve signed up and got your downloads you can unsubcribe with the link in the first confrimation email.

To make the MP3 files into an iTunes audiobook follow this guide.

Update: The free audiobook giveaway has now ended.

Review: MobileMe

Back in June Apple announced MobileMe an update to the .mac service with new support for Windows, iPhone and iPod Touch. The service is a PIM (Personal Information Management) system and is doing somewhat of a good job at it. For simplicity I am going to review the service on each platform. Continue reading “Review: MobileMe”

Firefox 3 Release Day Set

Mozilla set the release date for Firefox 3 today. This is good news becasue now they can actually have a chance in setting a good record.

The date: Tuesday 17th june 2008, mark it on your calendar.

The servers should be able to cope with us all to go and download the browser and bandwidth isn’t an issuse for Mozilla as Firefox is hosted by Google on their servers.