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Old 24-02-2011, 05:52 PM
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Stuntman Stuntman is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Vancouver, B.C., Canada
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(Semi-)Unretired my N97

Last November, I felt that the N97 no longer served me well enough as a smartphone, so I made the switch to a Desire Z. I decided to keep my N97 around just in case I need it as a back-up phone. This week I took it out of the box and found a use for it.

Just a little background, the past few years, I have been listening to the sports talk radio shows on my daily commute in my car. I occasionally listen to the radio when my wife is also in the car with me. This month, I decided that I wanted to listen to music instead of the sports shows on the radio.

I set out to transfer my CD's to MP3 format and then put them on my phone to play in the car. My car is a 2002 model and does not have a jack that allows me to connect my phone to the sound system. No 3.5 mm headphone connector nor a USB connector. It does have a CD player of course and a tape deck. (I think it was probably one of the last cars made that still had a tape deck.) In order to play the songs on phone on the car sound system, I had to get a special adapter that converts a 3.5 mm headphone output to a cassette out. This worked fairly well, and I was able to enjoy my CD's in my car without having to bring my carousel of CD's into my car.

After a couple of weeks, I have become a little unsatisfied with this setup. First of all, the sound quality is quite poor. This is partially due to the fact that the headphone to cassette connector seems to make the sound tinny, and partially due to the Desire Z's sound quality being adequate, but not great. I have been able to get around the sound quality issue, but turning up the bass to max and lowering the trebble a little. The cassette interface is a little flaky at times and sometimes I have to jiggle it to realign the contacts.

The Desire Z is able to store all of the music on my CD's. However, I have just begun to convert all of my LP's and 45's to MP3 format. (For those too young to remember LP's and 45's, I mean vinal records.) I also plan to convert my cassette tapes as well. My wife also has her music collection and I was going to convert those to MP3's as well, so she can listen to them on her iPod. Since the Desire Z only has 8 GB of storage, I calculated that it would not be enough. I could just rotate the music selection periodically which is probably good enough.

Last night, I decide to pull out my old N97. I checked the storage I had available and found that I had around 30GB free. It looks like I have enough space to put all of my music collection on it and at least a good portion of my wife's as well.

The other thing I noticed is that the N97 has an FM transmitter. I tried it out and it works great. So I transferred some music onto my N97 and played it via my FM transmitter on my car sound system. No more fiddling with unsightly wires that get in my way when adjusting the environmental controls on my car. Also, the sound quality is noticeably better with my N97 via the FM radio than with my Desire Z via the cassette connector. I no longer have to crank the bass up and lower the trebble. I also, do not hear a low frequency hum of the tape deck mechanism when I turn the volume high.

The only issue I have is finding an unused FM radio frequency. I though I found one when I left my house. When I drove for 10 km and up a hill, I picked up some interference briefly. My FM radio receiver in my car can only tune into frequencies in intervals of 0.2 MHz on the odd decimal points (.1, .3, etc.). I live in Vancouver, B.C, Canada. It's rather mountainous terrain and is close to the U.S. I haven't scanned the entire FM frequency spectrum, but hopefully, I do find an unused frequency or at least one with less interference.

Although I am only using some limited functionality of the N97, I must say I give Nokia credit for building a device with a large amount of storage built in and to include a transmitter as well. I'll be looking for these features when it comes time to upgrade my phone again.